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Title: The antecedent and functions of group-based moral emotions
Author: Noon, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 1091
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2019
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Theories in moral psychology have considered the role of emotions and group processes in conserving moral norms by regulating the behaviours of individual group members (Ellemers, 2017; Keltner & Haidt, 1999). Across six studies, the current thesis examined the multiple ways that group-based emotions function to change moral norms, such as by motivating distinct collective behaviours towards transgressing outgroups, reducing commitment to a transgressing ingroup, and signalling universal values. Using survey methods, the first two studies examined the role of group-based emotion in collective behaviour and provided support the claim that feelings of anger and disgust differ from guilt and shame since these emotions were found to become more intense and more positively related to ingroup identification in intergroup contexts compared to the intragroup settings. The findings also support the claim that intergroup anger and disgust are distinct since it was found that anger was predicted by an appraisal of the group action and was related to increase normative collective action while disgust was predicted by an appraisal of the group character as flawed and was related to non-normative action. In the third study, participants were presented with a national transgression with the aim to understand the role of group-based emotion in self-regulation. Unlike anger and disgust, it was found that moderately identified group members felt more guilt and shame than high or low ingroup identifiers. However, anger and disgust were related to greater disidentification from the ingroup. This suggests that anger and disgust during intragroup settings, motivate psychologically distancing oneself from the transgressing group. Lastly, the study considered the role of expressing group-based disgust in signalling universal moral values. It was consistently shown that group-based feelings of disgust signalled more universal moral values than individual level emotions. Overall, the studies demonstrate the multiple functions which emotions serve in response to moral transgressions which may have implications for policy makers and stakeholders who want to encourage political action.
Supervisor: Russell, Sophie Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral