The role of moral judgments within expectancy-value-based attitude-behavior models

Ethics and Behavior 12 (4):299 – 321 (2002)
Abstract
Rational choice models are characterized by the image of the self-interested Homo economicus. The role of moral concerns, which may involve a concern for others' welfare in people's judgments and choices, questions the descriptive validity of such models. Increasing evidence of a role for perceived moral obligation within the expectancy-value-based theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior indicates the importance of moral-normative influences in social behavior. In 2 studies, the influence of moral judgments on attitudes toward food produced with the use of genetic engineering techniques and toward meat consumption is addressed. The reasons participants provide for their moral judgments indicate some foci of their moral concerns. The results of both studies corroborate earlier findings that perceived moral obligation (moral norm) has independent effects on behavioral intentions; they also provide evidence that such judgments may affect attitudes themselves. The results are discussed in relation to the need for attitude-behavior models to reflect the role of moral evaluations in judgment and choice.
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