Is it better to be moral than smart? The effects of morality and competence norms on the decision to work at group status improvement.

Ellemers, N., Pagliaro. S., Barreto, M. & Leach, C.W. (2008). Is it better to be moral than smart? The effects of morality and competence norms on the decision to work at group status improvement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1397-1410.

Three studies examined strategies of status improvement in experimentally created (Study 1 and 2) and  preexisting (Study 3) low-status groups. Theory and prior research suggested that an in-group norm that  established a particular strategy of status improvement as moral (rather than competent) would have a  greater effect on individuals’ decision to work at this strategy. Both Study 1 and Study 2 found that  morality norms had a greater impact than competence norms on individuals’ decision to work at group (rather than individual) status improvement. In both studies participants also needed less time to decide  on a strategy of status improvement when it is was encouraged by a morality norm rather than a  competence norm. Study 3 used a preexisting low-status group (i.e., Southern Italians) to further confirm  that morality norms have a greater effect on the decision to work at group status improvement than do  competence norms. Results are discussed in terms of social influence and identity management strategies.



(My publication)Posted: Thursday, March 5, 2009 by cwleach
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