Moral expansiveness short form: Validity and reliability of the MESx

Daniel Crimston, Matthew J. Hornsey, Paul Bain, Brock Bastian

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Moral expansiveness refers to the range of entities (human and non-human) deemed worthy of moral concern and treatment. Previous research has established that the Moral Expansiveness Scale (MES) is a powerful predictor of altruistic moral decision-making and captures a unique dimension of moral cognition. However, the length of the full MES may be restrictive for some researchers. Here we establish the reliability and validity of a reduced moral expansiveness scale, the MESx. Consistent with the full version, the MESx is strongly associated with (but not reducible to) theoretically related constructs, such as endorsement of universalism values, identification with all humanity, and connectedness to nature. The MESx also predicted measures of altruistic moral decision-making to the same degree as the full MES. Further, the MESx passed tests of discriminant validity, was unrelated to political conservatism (unlike the full MES), only mildly associated with the tendency to provide socially desirable responses, and produced moderate reliability over time. We conclude that the MESx is a psychometrically valid alternative for researchers requiring a short measure of moral expansiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0205373
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Early online date18 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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