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					                                                                      Morality Shifting   1



Running head: MORALITY SHIFTING




                  Morality Shifting In In-Group and Out-Group Atrocities




                                     Christopher Seemann

                                        Doreen Brady

                             New School for Social Research

                                        January 2008



                                      Word count 4878



Please Address Correspondences To:

Christopher Seemann

The New School for Social Research

80 Fifth Avenue, Box 165

New York, NY 10003

USA

Telephone: 646.438.1850

E-mail: seemc576@newschool.edu
                                                                              Morality Shifting    2

Abstract:

       Previous research has shown that when rating an atrocity committed by one’s in-group,
individuals rate it less negatively because individuals disengage morally when judging these
events. Leidner (unpublished) provided an alternative explanation for this finding by suggesting
that what occurs is not an individual morally disengaging from an atrocity, but an individual
shifting the tenets used to evaluate the atrocity. This study attempts to replicate Leidner’s initial
findings that individuals engage in morality shifting and that this effect is moderated by
glorification. In an extension, the role of infrahumanization and negative emotions in morality
shifting will be investigations. However, this study was unable to demonstrate that individuals
engage in morality shifting. An analysis of these findings suggests that they may be the result of
methodological issues or may be the explained through an alternative model of the relationship
between glorification, attachment, and infrahumanization that stems from an individuals
worldview rather than his or her reaction to a specific atrocity given the correlational
relationships found by this study.


             Key Words: Atrocity, In-group, Out-group, Morality Shifting, Infrahumanization,
Negative Emotions, Haidt
                                                                            Morality Shifting   3

                     Morality Shifting in In-group and Out-group Atrocities

       One of the most notable atrocities in history was committed against the Jew by the Nazis

in World War II. At that time, individuals within Germany reacted to this atrocity in one of three

ways by becoming Nazi supporters of the act, becoming inactive bystanders, or becoming

rescuers of the Jews. In order to understand what led to these different approaches, Monroe

(2008) investigated the psychological factors used to explain these behaviors during the

Holocaust. Interpretive analysis of in-depth interviews with bystanders, Nazis, and rescuers

during the Holocaust revealed the importance of cognitive categorization and the way

participants viewed themselves in relations to others. Bystanders and Nazis differed from the

rescuers in their self-image, worldviews, and cognitive classification. The bystanders viewed

themselves as defenseless. The Nazis believed they were the protectors of their community. The

rescuers felt they were protectors of their own community as well as the community of the

human race.

       The distinct reaction to the same event by the bystanders, Nazis, and rescuers, according

to Bandura (1999), was due to the difference in moral disengagement strategies employed to

ameliorate the negative effects of committing an unthinkable act. Bandura (1999) suggested that

through the act of morphing an atrocity into an acceptable act, we are able to maneuver our

moral self-sanctions and engage in inhumane conduct. Monroe’s (2008) anecdotal observation

demonstrates that Nazis employed what Bandura calls dehumanization - the act of the perceiving

an out-group as less than human - to decrease personal distress.         Additionally, the Nazis

employed moral justification strategies in that they were protecting their community from the

Jewish threats (Bandura, 1999; Monroe, 2008). Cohen (2008) went on to propose that the

morality for ingroup interactions do not demand benevolent behavior toward the outgroup but,
                                                                             Morality Shifting     4

instead encourages them to do what is best for their in-group regardless of the amount of

suffering experienced by the out-group. The bystander, on the other hand, utilized the diffusion

of responsibility as a moral disengagement strategy. “[T]he bystanders saw themselves as people

who were weak, low on efficacy, with little control over their situation (Monroe, 2008, p.712).”

       Being a member of a group that commits an atrocity is sufficient to prompt an individual

to employ psychological defenses to minimize the negative affect that stems from the actions of

his or her group (for review, see Castano, 2008). Research has demonstrated that in such

situations, individuals will react with guilt, the realization that one has done something wrong, or

shame, one is a bad individual because of the misdeed. When an individual’s in-group commits

an atrocity, he or she feels morally responsible for the actions of the group and experiences these

emotions because of a shared, collective identity (Prentice, Miller, & Lightdale, 2005). In the

experience of these emotions, shame has been linked to negative outcomes such as the

dehumanization described by Bandura (1990), while guilt has been linked to positive outcomes

like reparations (e.g. Doosje, Branscombe, Spears, & Manstead, 1998).

       As with the actions of individuals in Nazi Germany, how an individual indentifies with

his or her in-group determines whether an individual experiences shame or guilt when that

individual’s in-group commits an atrocity. How an individual identifies with his or her in-group

can be described as patriotic, which is the typical love of one’s group, or nationalistic, which is

an aggrandizing of one’s group.       Individuals with a nationalistic identity, known as high-

glorifiers, have been shown to experience shame because of the actions of the in-group (Johns,

Schmader, and Lickel, 2005). Moreover, high-glorifiers have been shown to be harsher on

victims and to downplay the suffering of the families of the victims (Castano, 2008).
                                                                             Morality Shifting    5

       In order to cope with the shame from an atrocity, high glorifiers engage in a number of

psychological defenses to minimize the feeling of shame. In addition to blatant dehumanization

of the victims and outright denial of the events, an individual may perceive the victims of an

atrocity committed by his or her in-group as infrahuman, or less human, through the denial of

characteristic that make us human.       Leyens et al.     (2000) demonstrated that individuals

differentially attribute emotions to individuals of an in-group and of an out-group. Using both

positive and negative primary emotion (i.e. anger, fear, attraction, etc.) and positive and negative

secondary emotions (i.e. love, humiliation, guilt, etc.), Leyens and his colleagues (2000) found

that in-group participants attributed an equal amount of primary emotions to both the in-group

and out-group, while secondary emotions were mostly assigned to the in-group. It is these

secondary emotions that are uniquely human and through whose denial, victims can be made less

human and moral culpability can be limited (Castano & Giner-Sorolla, 2006).

       The previously described psychological defense mechanisms are examples of moral

disengagement where an individual acts to ameliorate the effects of the knowledge of an atrocity

committed by that individual’s in-group through judging the atrocity amorally. Judging an

action amorally precludes the necessity of experiencing a negative effect, as an amoral action is

neither right nor wrong, but is value neutral. However, in this is the tacit assumption that we

disengage from our morals when our well-being is threatened, as suggested by Bandura.

However, morality is not an either/or proposition where there is but one absolute standard of

judgment. Instead, we possess a number of different principles through which we evaluate

actions.   Haidt & Graham (2006) described morality as consisting of five psychological

foundations that an individual may use to evaluate an action and include harm, fairness, in-

group, authority, and purity. Within these sets of principles are two major approaches to moral
                                                                            Morality Shifting    6

reasoning that a biological/evolutionary trait.      The first is the prevention of harm and

embracement of care, which is found in the evolutionary trait of kin selection. The second is the

encouragement of fairness and preservation of justice, which is founded on the evolutionary trait

of reciprocal altruism (Haidt & Graham, 2006).

       Drawing on Haidt’s principles of morality, Leidner (unpublished) suggested that what

moral disengagement represents is not the judgment of actions as amoral, but the shifting of

moral principles to a different standard of judgment. For a group to function there is a need for

the other four principles in Haidt’s view of morality as these serve to ensure that actions benefit

the group.    This approach, termed groupism by Leidner, plays an important role in an

individual’s judgment of an action. However, research into moral disengagement strategies

focuses on the harm/care principle of morality. In doing so, researchers have missed the shifting

of morality to a groupism perspective and so have viewed individuals as morally disengaging

from an atrocity and judging that action amorally.

       In a preliminary test of his hypotheses, Leidner (unpublished) presented Americans with

a news article that discussed an atrocity, the killing of Iraqi prisoners, which was committed by

the in-group (Americans) or the out-group (Australians). He found that when presented with

atrocities committed by an in-group, individuals do in fact shift moral principles from a

harm/care perspective to a groupism perspective when evaluating actions committed by the in-

group. This shift did not occur when evaluating atrocities committed by an out-group. Leidner

also found that glorification was a moderating factor, suggesting that a high glorifier’s morality

was based on authority to a higher degree when the in-group committed the atrocity.

                                    Rationale and Hypothesis
                                                                            Morality Shifting   7

   This analysis suggests that when an individual is presented with an atrocity, he or she will

experience shame or guilt. Shame or guilt, utilizing atrocity committed against Iraqis in detainee

camps in the Iraq as an example, drawn from current events, we intend to empirically test

Leidner’s (2008) hypothesis that individuals engage in morality shifting when viewing an

atrocity committed by an in-group (American) or by an out-group (Australian). First this study

will replicate Leidner’s initial findings.   Then, we will provide an empirical extension by

drawing on the findings from research on moral disengagement and infrahumanization to explore

the role of the assignment of emotions to the victims and the role of the experience of negative

emotions by the individual when engaging in psychological defense mechanisms to cope with an

atrocity committed by the in-group in morality shifting. As such, we hypothesize that:

   1. Participants will value different moral principles when an in-group versus out-group

       commits an atrocity. In an in-group condition, individuals will value in-group/authority

       more than harm/fairness when an atrocity is committed by an in-group. In the out-group

       condition the trend will be reversed with individuals valuing harm/fairness more than in-

       group/authority.

   2. The participant’s glorification will act as a moderating factor in the shifting of moral

       principles.

   3. When engaging in morality shifting, higher infrahumanization would result in a greater

       distinction between the in-group and the out-group conditions in respect to the value

       place on harm/fairness and in-group/authority.

   4. When engaging in morality shifting, participants will experience a negative affective state

       as a result of learning of the atrocity committed by the in-group.

                                             Methods
                                                                              Morality Shifting   8

Participants

       United States born participants were recruited through advertisements on websites such

as facebook and Craig’s list. The participants were asked to complete an online questionnaire,

which was hosted on Surveymonkey, concerning American’s perception of an atrocity

committed against Iraqi prisoners. Participants were given the opportunity to enter a $50 dollar

raffle for completion of the survey. 305 participants (25% male; 75% female) completed the

questionnaire. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 74 years with an average age of 35.79

(13.08) years. From this sample, 7 participants were excluded because they were not born in the

United States. 22 participants were excluded for failing to correctly complete a reading test in

which they were asked the country of origin of the soldiers in the story.

Procedures

       Participants were randomly assigned to either an in-group (n = 158) or out-group (n =

150) condition. In all conditions, participants were first asked complete a consent form and then

were asked to read a newspaper article unrelated to any atrocity.           Next, participants were

presented with the experimental article. Participants assigned to the in-group condition read an

article in which American soldiers committed an atrocity against Iraqi prisoners, while

participants in the out-group condition article read an article in which Australian soldiers

committed an atrocity against Iraqi prisoners. Participants were then asked to summarize this

article. Next participants in both conditions were presented with the Lickel’s emotions items and

the Explicit Infrahumanization Measure in a randomly assigned order.             Next, participants

completed the Moral Foundations Questionnaire, followed by Rocca’s National Attachment and

Glorification Scale. Participants were then asked to provide demographic information such as

gender, political beliefs, location of birth, year of birth. Finally, participants were thanked and
                                                                               Morality Shifting    9

debriefed. On the debrief form, participants were given the opportunity to provide his or her e-

mail address in order to enter the $50 raffle.

       Lickel’s Emotion Items (Johns et al., 2005). Participants were then asked to indicate their

feelings towards the article containing the atrocity against the Iraqis, as scored on a 6-point likert

scale from 1 for “not at all” to 6 for “extremely intensely.” The items measured the extent to

which participants experienced the following emotions: humiliated, regretful, guilty, sorry,

embarrassed, hurt, disappointed, angry at others, sad, ashamed, angry at yourself, depressed,

remorseful, disgraced.

       Explicit Infrahumanization Measure.        To measure infrahumanization the participants

were asked to attribute primary and secondary emotion. Responses were scored on a 5-point

scale from 1 for “not at all” to 5 for “very much.” The participants were instructed to indicate

the extent to which the thought that the dead prisoner’s family members felt an emotion when

informed about the death. The emotions listed were anguish, disgust, dismay, fear, fright,

humiliation, melancholy, pain, panic, resentment, shame, suffering, and sorrow. Additionally,

explicit infrahumanization was measured on a 6-point scale from 1 for “totally disagree” to 6 for

“totally agree.” The participants were asked to what extent he or she agrees or disagree to

culture related matters (e.g. “some aspects of Iraqi life are typical of backward culture” or “Iraqi

culture is as highly developed as most cultures”).

       The Moral Foundation Questionnaire (MFQ30; Graham, Haidt, & Nosek, revised in

2008). The participants then completed a two part 30-item self-report instrument that consists of

five   subscales   (harm/care,    fairness/reciprocity,   ingroup/loyalty,   authority/respect     and

purity/sanctity). In the first part, participants were asked to rate to rate the extent in which they

consider statements to be relevant to their moral decisions. Responses were scored on a 6-point
                                                                             Morality Shifting    10

rating scale, from 0 for “not at all relevant” to 5 for “extremely relevant.” In the second part, the

participants were asked to read a series of sentence and indicate if they were in agreement or

disagreement with the statement on 6-point scale, from 0 for “strongly disagree” to 5 for

“strongly agree.”

       National Attachment & Glorification Scale (Roccas et al. 2006). Participants were

presented with two scales regarding how they identified with the U.S. The first scale, the

National Attachment scale assessed how they perceive themselves as U.S. citizens. The second

scale, the National Glorification scale gauged their opinion on the role of their county in the

world. Responses were scores on a 6-point likert scale from 1 for “strongly disagree” to 6 for

“strongly agree.”

                                              Results

       Preliminary Analysis

       Each item underwent factor analysis and if a participant’s response was found to be an

outlier, that item was excluded from analysis. Each item was also transformed when possible to

establish normalcy before the measures where scored. To further increase variance and establish

normalcy, the results for Rocca’s Attachment and Glorification scale and the MFQ30 were

standardized to a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.

       In addition, a number of metafactors were constructed.             From the MFQ30, two

metafactors were constructed from averaging subscales. The harm and the fairness scales were

averaged to construct the harm/fairness score and the in-group and the authority scales were

averaged to construct the in-group/authority score.       From the Lickel’s emotion items, five

metafactors were constructed by averaging the scores of different items. The feeling of pain is

comprised of the average of the scores of the anguish, pain, resentment, suffering, and sorrow
                                                                           Morality Shifting    11

items. The feeling of fear is comprised of the average of the scores of the fear, fright, and panic

items. The feeling of shame is comprised of the average of the scores of the humiliation and

shame items. The feeling of sentience is comprised of the average of the scores of the anguish,

disgust, dismay, fear, fright, humiliation, melancholy, pain, panic, resentment, shame, suffering,

and sorrow items. Compunction is comprised of the average of the scores of the embarrassed,

angry at others, guilty, disgraced, hurt, depressed, sorry, ashamed, regretful, humiliated, sad,

disappointed, and remorseful items.

       Relative importance of moral foundations

       We hypothesized that the individuals in an in-group condition would value in-group and

loyalty more than harm and fairness, while in the out-group condition this trend would be

reversed. Lacking a specific parametric test of this, we chose to rank order the means of each

type of morality. Results for each of the original five factors of the MFQ30 and of the two

metafactors (harm/fairness and ingroup/authority) are presented in table 1, which suggest that

when evaluating an atrocity committed by an in-group rather than an out-group, individuals in

the in-group condition place greater emphasis on harm/fairness than on in-group/authority, while

this trend is reversed in the out-group condition. A comparison of the means of the reported

moral foundations for the in-group and the out-group is presented in table 2 and suggests that

there is no difference in the means of the different moral foundations with ts < -2.19, and ps >

.30.

       Moral foundations, glorification, and attachment

       We also hypothesized that glorification would play a moderating role in the shifting of

morality. To test this hypothesis we constructed a 2 (in-group/loyalty vs. harm/fairness) x 2 (in-

group vs. out-group) mixed ANOVA with moral foundations as the within-subject variable and
                                                                            Morality Shifting    12

condition as the between-subject variable, will be conducted with in-group glorification and

attachment as continuously moderating factors. This analysis suggests a significant within-

subject effect for the interaction between the type of morality and glorification, F(1,234) = 56.49,

p < .0001, and a significant between-subject effect for attachment, F(1,234) = 15.27, p = .0001.

All other effects were not significant with Fs(1,234) < .78, ps > .38 for with-subject effects and

Fs(1,234) < 1.58, ps > .21 for between-subject effects.

       Further analysis demonstrated that for harm/fairness, the effect of glorification was

significant, F(1, 234) = 11.98, p < .001, as was the effect of attachment, F(1,234) = 4.58, p < .05.

Harm/fairness is negatively correlated with glorification as supported by its Pearson’s correlation

coefficient, r(251) = -.18, p < 0.01. For in-group/authority, the effect of glorification was

significant, F(1, 234) = 49.72, p < .0001, as was the effect of attachment, F(1,234) = 17.39, p <

.0001. In-group/authority is positively correlated with glorification as supported by its Pearson’s

correlation coefficient, r(251) = .64, p < 0.0001. In-group/authority is positively correlated with

attachment as supported by its Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r(250) = .55, p < 0.0001. No

statistically significant differences were found in the reported glorification in the in-group and

the out-group, with t = -1.03 and p = .3, while a statistically significant difference was found for

attachment with t = -2.02 and p < .05.

       Moral foundations and infrahumanization

       Additionally, we hypothesized that infrahumanization would impact morality shifting,

with higher infrahumanization resulting in a greater distinction between the in-group and the out-

group conditions in the two moral foundation metafactors.            To test this hypothesis we

constructed a 2 (in-group/authority vs. harm/fairness) x 2 (in-group vs. out-group) mixed

ANOVA with moral foundations as the within-subject variable and condition as the between-
                                                                            Morality Shifting     13

subject variable, will be conducted with infrahumanization as a continuously moderating factor.

This analysis suggests a significant within-subject effect from the type of morality, F(1,250) =

89.13, p < .0001, and the interaction between the type of morality and infrahumanization,

F(1,250) = 96.40, p < .0001, and a significant between-subject effect from infrahumanization,

F(1,250) = 14.75, p < .001. All other effects were not significant with Fs(1,250) < .17, ps > .68

for within-subject effects and Fs(1,250) < .59, ps > .44 for between-subject effects.

       Further analysis demonstrated that for harm/fairness, the effect of infrahumanization was

significant, F(1, 250) = 9.30, p < .01.           Harm/fairness is negatively correlated with

infrahumanization as supported by its Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r(254) = -.18, p < 0.01.

For in-group/authority, the effect of infrahumanization was significant, F(1, 250) = 102.90, p <

.0001. In-group/authority is positively correlated with infrahumanization as supported by its

Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r(254) = .54, p < 0.0001.

       Moral foundations and negative affect

       Finally, we hypothesized that morality shifting would occur in the presence of negative

emotions. To test this, we conducted T-tests on the five metafactors derived from Lickel’s

emotion items and results are presented in table 2. Differences in the means reported by the in-

group and the out-group condition for compunction, t(136,121) = 4.24, p < .0001, with the in-

group condition reporting more compunction than the out-group condition and for the feeling of

pain, t(118,109) = -3.42, p < .001, with the out-group condition reporting a greater feeling of

pain than the in-group condition, were found to be statistically significant.           Additionally,

harm/fairness was found to be positively correlated with compunction (r(259) = 0.46, p < .0001),

the feeling of pain (r(219) = 0.25, p < .001), the feeling of fear (r(258) = 0.16, p < .05), and the

feeling of sentience (r(254) = 0.26, p < .0001). In-group/authority was found to be positively
                                                                             Morality Shifting   14

correlated at a trend level with the feeling of shame (r(259) = 0.11, p = .068).

                                            Discussion

       Previous research has suggested that when an individual’s in-group commits an atrocity,

he or she would morally disengage from the atrocity to cope with the shame that the atrocity

causes. In moral disengagement, individuals engage in activities such as infrahumanization, and

that this effect is moderated by how an individual identifies with his or her in-group. However,

Leidner suggested that it is not that individuals morally disengage from an atrocity committed by

the in-group, but that individuals utilize different moral foundations to evaluate atrocities

committed by the in-group and the out-group.

       In ranking the means of the moral foundations, we were able to demonstrate that in the

in-group and the out-group condition, there was a reverse order of ranking for the importance of

moral foundations. In the in-group condition, individuals valued harm/fairness more than in-

group/authority, while in the out-group condition, individuals valued in-group/authority more

than harm/fairness. This pattern, however, was opposite the one originally observed by Leidner

and the one hypothesized by this study. Lacking a specific statistical method to compare the

rankings, we were unable to determine if there was a statistical difference in the ranking of moral

foundations in the in-group and out-group condition. Additionally, we were unable to find any

differences in the means of the different moral foundations for the in-group and the out-group

conditions.

       Next, attempted to replicate Leidner’s original finding that glorification acts as a

moderating variable in the morality shifting. However, we were unable to find an effect of

condition for the mixed ANOVAs which utilized glorification or attachment as a moderating

variable. The lack of an effect of condition suggests that morality does not shift when an in-
                                                                           Morality Shifting    15

group rather than an out-group commits an atrocity. We were able to find an effect of an

interaction between glorification and type of morality as a within-subject variable and attachment

as a between-subject variable. Significant effects were also found for both attachment and

glorification for the harm/fairness and the in-group/authority metafactors. These suggest that

while condition may not have an effect on the principles that an individual utilizes to make a

moral judgment, how an individual identifies with his or her in-group does play a role the tenets

an individual utilizes to make a moral judgment.

       In an extension of Leidner’s original findings, we hypothesized that the more an

individual infrahumanizes, the greater the distinction between the harm/fairness and the in-

group/authority metafactors in the in-group and the out-group condition. However, we were

unable to confirm the effect of condition on infrahumanization as a moderating variable in

another mixed ANOVA, suggesting that these findings do not support this study’s hypothesis.

We were also, despite expectations from the literature on infrahumanization, unable to find a

difference in the average level of infrahumanization in the in-group and the out-group condition.

We did find statistically significant within-subject effects for the type of morality and for an

interaction between the type of morality and infrahumanization and a between-subject effect for

infrahumanization. This suggests that while whether an in-group or an out-group commits an

atrocity may not have an effect on the principles that an individual utilizes to make a moral

judgment, how an individual views the victims of an atrocity does play a role moral judgment.

       Taken together, the lack of findings on the effect of condition potentially refute Leidner’s

original hypothesis. However, these findings could have been the result of methodological

issues. The first set of limitations comes from the use of the MFQ30, which is an explicit

measure of the moral principles valued by an individual. As the MFQ30 explicit measure, it is
                                                                            Morality Shifting     16

subject to the social desirability effect. The social desirability effect could have led to the

extremely skewed distributions as a result of a ceiling effect. To combat this, we transformed

and standardized the data in order to increase variance and create normalcy in the distribution.

Despite this effort, the use of the MFQ30 could have still contributed to the lack of findings and

explain why there were no statistically significant differences in the reported means for either the

5 original factors of the MFQ30 or the 2 metafactors constructed in this study. Future research

on morality shifting should attempt to utilize more implicit methodologies to overcome this

limitation.

       An additional methodological issue stems from the sample population. As characteristic

of many online psychology surveys, this survey was completed predominately by women.

Furthermore, participants were primarily recruit from major cities such as Boston and Los

Angeles.      More urban areas of the United States are typically less conservative.            Since

conservatism is positively correlated with glorification, the population sampled would be

expected to engage in less glorification. By neglecting typically a more conservative, rural

population, the expected effect may have been hidden from observation.            The lack of the

expected finding that when an in-group commits an atrocity individuals infrahumanize the

victims more than if the atrocity is committed by an in-group than if the atrocity is committed by

an out-group strengthens the possibility that this sample is not representative. As such, further

refinement and reanalysis of the sample, including an attempt to control for political

conservatism, may reveal the expected findings.

       While the findings of this study may be the result of methodological issues, a second

possibility is that these findings are the result of an alternative relationship between the moral

foundations, infrahumanization, glorification, and attachment. In this study, we were able to
                                                                          Morality Shifting    17

suggest a correlational relationship between the two moral foundation metafactors and how an

individual identifies with his or her in-group. The two metafactors, in-group/authority and

harm/fairness represent two different approaches to moral reasoning, relying on the shared and

specific values of the group or a moral universal idea of morality respectively. The findings of

this study suggest that the more an individual identifies with his or her in-group, whether it is

through glorification or attachment, will lead to an increase in the importance of the group’s

shared and specific view of morality as represented by in-group/authority. However, for the

more universal harm/fairness moral foundation, there was a negative correlation with

glorification, suggesting that individuals who glorify rely less on a universally applicable

principle of morality. These findings were both expected, though there was no difference

between these relationships by condition, which suggests that global differences in the value that

individuals place on the moral foundations are a product of how the individual identifies with his

or her in-group, rather than a defense mechanism utilized to cope with the knowledge of a

specific atrocity.

        For infrahumanization, we found a correlational effect with harm/fairness being

negatively correlated with infrahumanization and in-group/authority being positively correlated

with infrahumanization. This suggests that individuals who view members of an out-group as

more human are more likely to utilize an in-group/authority foundation to judge an atrocity,

while individuals who view members of an out-group as less human are more likely to utilize a

harm/fairness foundation. There were no findings of an effect of condition on this relationship.

This is in line with expectations given the correlational relationships found between the moral

foundations and glorification and attachment.       Taken with the previous findings of the

relationship between moral foundations and glorification and attachment, these findings
                                                                            Morality Shifting    18

strengthens the suggestion that it is an individuals worldview and not a reaction to a specific

atrocity that effects the value an individual places on the different moral foundations. However,

for infrahumanization, this finding is more tenuous as there were, despite the expectations

derived from previous research, no differences in the level of infrahumanization for the in-group

and the out-group condition.

       In final point of discussion, we hypothesized that morality shifting would occur in the

presence of negative emotions. In this analysis, it was found that in the in-group condition,

individuals experienced more compunction and in the out-group condition individuals

experienced more pain. Furthermore, harm/fairness was positively correlated with compunction,

the feeling of pain, the feeling of fear, and the feeling of sentience, while in-group/authority was

positively correlated at a trend level with the feeling of shame. Previous research has suggested

that moral disengagement is a method of coping with the shame that an individual experiences as

a consequence of membership to the group committing the atrocity.            The finding that in-

group/authority is positively correlated with shame matches the expectations derived from

Leidner’s original study, however, as this study was unable to find a relationship between

condition and the value placed on the moral foundations, it is harder to interpret the strength or

importance of these findings. The other emotions were combinations of negative, primary and

secondary emotions and were positively correlated with the in-group/authority metafactor. This

suggests that the more an individual experiences these sets of emotions, the more strongly the

individual values an in-group/authority moral foundation.

                                            Conclusion

       In conclusion, this study was unable to replicate the findings of Leidner’s study in which

he developed the hypothesis of morality shifting. However, an analysis of this study’s findings
                                                                          Morality Shifting   19

does not suggest that morality shifting does not occur, but suggests that the lack of findings

could come from methodological issues that stem from the measures selected and the sample

population. Further research, which would utilize implicit measures of moral foundations and a

more representative sample, may confirm Leidner’s original hypothesis.          This paper also

suggested that these findings might be better explained through an alternative framework. This

study suggested the possibility that the moral foundations that an individual values do not shift

when evaluating an atrocity committed by an in-group or an out-group, but are the product of

individuals global traits and are related to how an individual views those in the out-group and

identifies with the in-group. Further research will be able to evaluate this possibility as an

alternative explanation for how individuals make moral judgments.
                                                                         Morality Shifting   20

                                          References

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Castano, E., & Giner-Sorolla, R. (2006). Not quite human: Infrahumanization in response to
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Cohen, T., Montoya, R. M, & Insko, C. A. (2008). Group morality and intergroup relations:
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Doosje, B., Branscombe, N. R., Spears, R., & Manstead, A. S. R. (1998). Guilty by association:
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Haidt, J. & Graham, J. (2006). When morality opposes justice: Conservatives have moral
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Leidner, B. (2008). Intergroup atrocities and morality shifting. New School for Social Research
       Dissertation.

Leyens, J., Paladino, P. M., Rodriguez-Torres, R., Vaes, J., Demoulin, S., Rodriguez-Perez, A. &
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Roccas, S., Klar, Y., & Liviatan, I. (2006). The paradox of group-based guilt: modes of national
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                                                              Morality Shifting   21

Table 1:

Order Ranking of Moral Foundation by In-group and Out-group

                           Ingroup    Outgroup
                          Condition   Condition

Harm                          1           5
Fairness                      2           4
In-group                      3           3
Purity                        4           2
Authority                     5           1
Harm/Fairness                 1           2
In-group/Authority            2           1
                                                                       Morality Shifting   22



Table 2:

T-Test of Means between the In-group and Out-group Condition

                               In-group        Out-group
                                M (SD)          M (SD)             t                df
MFQ30
   Harm                        0.056 (1.00)   -0.063 (1.00)      0.18              257
   Fairness                    0.017 (1.03)   -0.020 (0.97)      0.18              257
   In-group                    0.012 (0.95)   -0.014 (1.05)      0.86              257
   Purity                    -0.0014 (0.98)   0.0016 (1.01)      0.46              257
   Authority                   -0.12 (1.05)     0.14 (1.00)      -2.19             257
   Harm/Fairness               0.040 (1.05)   -0.045 (0.95)      0.68              257
   In-group/Authority         -0.060 (0.98)    0.067 (1.02)      -1.02             257
Explicit Infrahumanization      2.70 (0.97)     2.60 (0.91)      0.86              252
Rocca’s A&G Scale
   Glorification             -0.062 (1.01)    0.068 (0.99)       -1.03             249
   Attachment                 -0.12 (1.02)     0.14 (0.96)      -2.02 *            249
Lickel’s Emotion Items
   Compunction                3.53 (0.99)     2.97 (0.93)      4.24 ***            257
   Feeling of Shame           3.46 (1.60)     3.41 (1.61)         0.27             257
   Feeling of Pain            5.83 (0.26)     5.93 (0.13)      -3.42 ***           217
   Feeling of Fear            4.69 (1.06)     4.58 (1.27)         0.74             256
   Feeling of Sentience       4.91 (0.61)     4.99 (0.66)        -0.99             252
*p < .05. ***p < .001.

				
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