Your sense of right and wrong is interwoven with your personality

Your sense of right and wrong is interwoven with your personality

Luke D Smillie and Milan Andrejević write:

Although many moral views seem somewhat universal – most would agree that it’s generally wrong to end someone’s life – people often disagree on how to weight and prioritise different values. For instance, some would argue that ending a person’s life can be morally justifiable when other values are taken into consideration (such as in cases of voluntary assisted dying), while others would strongly disagree.

Why do people routinely arrive at a different set of moral priorities and judgments to that of a friend or family member? Although these differences are commonly attributed to factors such as one’s religious upbringing or local cultural norms, our moral worldviews are also shaped by our individual personalities. In recent years, research using the Big Five personality framework – which describes individual differences in terms of broad traits such as conscientiousness, extraversion and agreeableness – has illuminated how variation in personality relates to variation in moral thinking.

One of the most influential frameworks used to study morality is moral foundations theory. It proposes that people base their judgments of right and wrong, to differing degrees, on at least five core principles: [Continue reading…]

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