Societies’ tightness moderates age differences in perceived justifiability of morally debatable behaviors

Dan JIANG, Tianyuan LI, Takeshi HAMAMURA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research on age differences in moral judgment tends to focus on children and adolescents. The current study examined age differences in perceived justifiability of morally debatable behaviors across adulthood cross-culturally. A large cross-cultural dataset consisting of 25,142 individuals of varying ages (15–95 years old) from 20 societies was drawn from the World Values Survey. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to test age differences in perceived justifiability of morally debatable behaviors on issues pertaining to honesty and fairness as well as the moderating effect of societies’ tightness. Across societies, older adults judged moral transgression less leniently than did younger adults. However, this pattern was moderated by the societies’ tightness, such that age was a stronger predictor of perceived justifiability of morally debatable behaviors in loose societies relative to tight societies. The current study highlights the importance of examining moral development from the lifespan development perspective. The findings may illuminate potential mechanisms for inter-generational misunderstanding about moral issues. Copyright © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-340
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Volume12
Issue number4
Early online dateJun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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age difference
society
Moral Development
moral judgement
life-span
fairness
adulthood
young adult
Young Adult
adolescent
Research
Values

Citation

Jiang, D., Li, T., & Hamamura, T. (2015). Societies’ tightness moderates age differences in perceived justifiability of morally debatable behaviors. European Journal of Ageing, 12(4), 333-340.

Keywords

  • Morally debatable behaviors
  • Age difference
  • Tightness
  • World Values Survey
  • Cross-cultural differences
  • Social values