Toward a Psychology of Moral Expansiveness

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Theorists have long noted that people’s moral circles have expanded over the course of history, with modern people extending moral concern to entities—both human and nonhuman—that our ancestors would never have considered including within their moral boundaries. In recent decades, researchers have sought a comprehensive understanding of the psychology of moral expansiveness. We first review the history of conceptual and methodological approaches in understanding our moral boundaries, with a particular focus on the recently developed Moral Expansiveness Scale. We then explore individual differences in moral expansiveness, attributes of entities that predict their inclusion in moral circles, and cognitive and motivational factors that help explain what we include within our moral boundaries and why they may shrink or expand. Throughout, we highlight the consequences of these psychological effects for real-world ethical decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Fingerprint

Psychology
Modern 1601-history
Individuality
Decision Making
History
Research Personnel

Keywords

  • moral circle
  • moral decision making
  • moral expansiveness
  • moral flexibility
  • morality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Toward a Psychology of Moral Expansiveness. / Crimston, Daniel; Hornsey, Matthew J.; Bain, Paul G.; Bastian, Brock.

In: Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 27, No. 1, 01.02.2018, p. 14-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Crimston, Daniel ; Hornsey, Matthew J. ; Bain, Paul G. ; Bastian, Brock. / Toward a Psychology of Moral Expansiveness. In: Current Directions in Psychological Science. 2018 ; Vol. 27, No. 1. pp. 14-19.
@article{6ba5dded507042a6a4eb494af1d0e9f3,
title = "Toward a Psychology of Moral Expansiveness",
abstract = "Theorists have long noted that people’s moral circles have expanded over the course of history, with modern people extending moral concern to entities—both human and nonhuman—that our ancestors would never have considered including within their moral boundaries. In recent decades, researchers have sought a comprehensive understanding of the psychology of moral expansiveness. We first review the history of conceptual and methodological approaches in understanding our moral boundaries, with a particular focus on the recently developed Moral Expansiveness Scale. We then explore individual differences in moral expansiveness, attributes of entities that predict their inclusion in moral circles, and cognitive and motivational factors that help explain what we include within our moral boundaries and why they may shrink or expand. Throughout, we highlight the consequences of these psychological effects for real-world ethical decision making.",
keywords = "moral circle, moral decision making, moral expansiveness, moral flexibility, morality",
author = "Daniel Crimston and Hornsey, {Matthew J.} and Bain, {Paul G.} and Brock Bastian",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0963721417730888",
language = "English",
volume = "27",
pages = "14--19",
journal = "Current Directions in Psychological Science",
issn = "0963-7214",
publisher = "Sage Publications",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Toward a Psychology of Moral Expansiveness

AU - Crimston, Daniel

AU - Hornsey, Matthew J.

AU - Bain, Paul G.

AU - Bastian, Brock

PY - 2018/2/1

Y1 - 2018/2/1

N2 - Theorists have long noted that people’s moral circles have expanded over the course of history, with modern people extending moral concern to entities—both human and nonhuman—that our ancestors would never have considered including within their moral boundaries. In recent decades, researchers have sought a comprehensive understanding of the psychology of moral expansiveness. We first review the history of conceptual and methodological approaches in understanding our moral boundaries, with a particular focus on the recently developed Moral Expansiveness Scale. We then explore individual differences in moral expansiveness, attributes of entities that predict their inclusion in moral circles, and cognitive and motivational factors that help explain what we include within our moral boundaries and why they may shrink or expand. Throughout, we highlight the consequences of these psychological effects for real-world ethical decision making.

AB - Theorists have long noted that people’s moral circles have expanded over the course of history, with modern people extending moral concern to entities—both human and nonhuman—that our ancestors would never have considered including within their moral boundaries. In recent decades, researchers have sought a comprehensive understanding of the psychology of moral expansiveness. We first review the history of conceptual and methodological approaches in understanding our moral boundaries, with a particular focus on the recently developed Moral Expansiveness Scale. We then explore individual differences in moral expansiveness, attributes of entities that predict their inclusion in moral circles, and cognitive and motivational factors that help explain what we include within our moral boundaries and why they may shrink or expand. Throughout, we highlight the consequences of these psychological effects for real-world ethical decision making.

KW - moral circle

KW - moral decision making

KW - moral expansiveness

KW - moral flexibility

KW - morality

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041859457&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0963721417730888

DO - 10.1177/0963721417730888

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 14

EP - 19

JO - Current Directions in Psychological Science

JF - Current Directions in Psychological Science

SN - 0963-7214

IS - 1

ER -