ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (4): 700-710.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00700

• Regular Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The mental mechanism of immoral contagion and its effects

WANG Yue1, GONG Yuanchao1,2,3, LI Ying1()   

  1. 1 School of Education, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
    2 Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    3 Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-06-05 Online:2019-04-15 Published:2019-02-22
  • Contact: LI Ying


Immoral contagion refers to the process where a moral transgressor as a source of contagion directly or with the help of a morally neutral agent indirectly transfers the negative moral essence to a target, causing emotional, cognitive or physiological changes. The present review aims to, firstly, clarify the mental mechanism under immoral contagion -- disgust, on the basis of which the impact immoral contagion has on the field of moral psychology (moral emotion and moral cognition) is illustrated; then we expand the perspective to embodied cognition, organization and management as well as interpersonal interaction in order to explore the universal impact of immoral contagion on human society. Finally, future research is guided toward cross-cultural comparison, personal differences, the neural mechanism of dynamic process of contagion and positive moral contagion for a more thorough understanding of moral contagion.

Key words: immoral contagion, disgust, moral psychology, non-moral perspective

CLC Number: