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   2011, Vol. 19 Issue (8) : 1233-1241     DOI:
研究前沿 |
A Review of the Research on Moral Psychological Licensing
School of Culture and Social Development Studies, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
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Abstract  Moral psychological license may be defined as people’s perception that they are permitted to take an action or express a thought without fear of discrediting themselves. We present evidence that good behavior in one domain can license otherwise-discrediting behavior in the same domain or an unrelated domain. Observers are sometimes willing to extend license to actors on the basis of the actors’ behavioral history. The potential mechanisms behind licensing are moral credits and moral credentials which can be viewed as two independent routes. When one acts in domains that are relatively unimportant to one’s identity or can avoid appearing hypocritical, one’s behavioral history will liberate rather than constrain future behaviors. We also discuss remaining questions in the literature and propose avenues for future research, the questions including the relationship between self-licensing and person-licensing, verification fundamental assumptions of moral credits and moral credentials models, the desirable consequences of moral licensing.
Keywords moral psychological licensing      moral credentials      moral credits      hypocrisy     
Corresponding Authors: SHI Wei   
Issue Date: 15 August 2011
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SHI Wei. A Review of the Research on Moral Psychological Licensing[J]. , 2011, 19(8): 1233-1241.
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