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Surveillance Cues Enhance Moral Condemnation:

Surveillance Cues Enhance Moral Condemnation: Humans pay close attention to the reputational consequences of their actions. Recent experiments indicate that even very subtle cues that one is being observed can affect cooperative behaviors. Expressing our opinions about the morality of certain acts is a key means of advertising our cooperative dispositions. Here, we investigated how subtle cues of being watched would affect moral judgments. We predicted that participants exposed to such cues would affirm their endorsement of prevailing moral norms by expressing greater disapproval of moral transgressions. Participants read brief accounts of two moral violations and rated the moral acceptability of each violation. Violations were more strongly condemned in a condition where participants were exposed to surveillance cues (an image of eyes interposed between the description of the violation and the associated rating scale) than in a control condition (in which the interposed image was of flowers). We discuss the role that public declarations play in the interpersonal evaluation of cooperative dispositions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

Surveillance Cues Enhance Moral Condemnation:

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/147470491100900206
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Humans pay close attention to the reputational consequences of their actions. Recent experiments indicate that even very subtle cues that one is being observed can affect cooperative behaviors. Expressing our opinions about the morality of certain acts is a key means of advertising our cooperative dispositions. Here, we investigated how subtle cues of being watched would affect moral judgments. We predicted that participants exposed to such cues would affirm their endorsement of prevailing moral norms by expressing greater disapproval of moral transgressions. Participants read brief accounts of two moral violations and rated the moral acceptability of each violation. Violations were more strongly condemned in a condition where participants were exposed to surveillance cues (an image of eyes interposed between the description of the violation and the associated rating scale) than in a control condition (in which the interposed image was of flowers). We discuss the role that public declarations play in the interpersonal evaluation of cooperative dispositions.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2011

Keywords: reputation monitoring; surveillance cues; cooperation; moral judgments; signaling theory.

References