EMPATHY AND AUTHENTICITY ONLINE:THE ROLES OF MORAL IDENTITY AND MORAL DISENGAGEMENT IN ENCOURAGING OR DISCOURAGING EMPATHY AND AUTHENTICITY ONLINE

Morgan, B., Fowers, B., & Kristjansson, K. (2018). Empathy and authenticity online: The roles of moral identity and moral disengagement in encouraging or discouraging empathy and authenticity online. University of Birmingham Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, ISBN: 9780704429536.

Abstract: This research paper explores the psychological constructs that encourage and discourage empathy and authenticity in the online environment. The first psychological construct, moral identity, refers to having moral traits as an important part of one’s sense of self. This construct functions to retain consistency between one’s thoughts and feelings and one’s actions and is positively related to prosocial behaviours such as charitable giving and civic engagement. Conversely, the second psychological construct, moral disengagement, allows individuals to ‘disengage’ from their moral selves without feeling guilt or shame and is positively related to immoral behaviours such as rule breaking and dishonesty. This study examined whether moral identity and/or moral disengagement would be able to predict adolescents’ levels of ‘online empathy’ and ‘online authenticity’. It was hypothesised that having a stronger moral identity would be related to higher levels of online empathy and authenticity. Conversely, it was hypothesised that higher levels of moral disengagement would be related to lower levels of online empathy and authenticity.

Regression analysis revealed that moral identity was positively related to empathy and authenticity and could predict 8.7% of the variance in online empathy and 12% of the variance in online authenticity in this dataset. Moral disengagement was negatively related to online empathy and authenticity and could predict 1.9% of the variance in online empathy and 1.4% of variance in online authenticity within this sample.

These findings indicate that moral identity is more strongly related to moral traits online and that by encouraging the development and accessibility of moral identity (through parental strategies, educational programmes, and priming accessibility, for instance) it may be possible to promote moral thoughts, feelings and behaviours when interacting in the online environment.

Read the article: Morgan, B., Fowers, B., & Kristjansson, K. (2018). Empathy and authenticity online: The roles of moral identity and moral disengagement in encouraging or discouraging empathy and authenticity online. University of Birmingham Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, ISBN: 9780704429536.



(Something interesting I found)Posted:Jun 01 2018, 12:00 AM by jlmatelski
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