Relationship-based moral judgments: A qualitative study

Philosophical Psychology 35 (2):1-24 (2022)
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Abstract

The goal of the present study was to explain the pattern of familiar and unfamiliar relationships influencing moral judgments. In this qualitative study, relationship-based moral judgments were examined according to the constructivist theory. The studied sample included 27 individuals, including 14 women and 13 men (both young and old), living in Tehran. A purposeful sampling method was used. In order to collect data, participants were faced with moral dilemmas using semi-structured interviews. The results showed that emotional intimacy, lack of tolerance for loss of loved ones and avoiding future regrets, group loyalty and common goals, and real or symbolic threats and a negative relationship were factors involved in relationship-based moral judgments. These factors, alone or together with cognitive biases, lead to unfair moral judgments, and after recognizing moral concerns related to ignoring the principle of equality, people tend to use Moral Disengagement mechanisms to reduce self-blame.

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