ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (7): 1178-1187.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01178

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Moral Behavior under Two Kinds of Moral Self-regulation Mechanisms

ZHANG Hongwei;LI Ye   

  1. (Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education; Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province, School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2013-10-29 Online:2014-07-15 Published:2014-07-15
  • Contact: LI Ye


Moral self-regulation is individual does or does not engage moral behavior (immoral behavior), according to the moral self. Moral self falls into temporary moral self (moral self-perception) and stable moral self (moral identity). The negative feedback mechanism of moral self-regulation is that people keep the dynamic of moral behavior according to moral self-perception, and it includes two kinds of phenomena: moral cleansing effect and moral licensing effect. The positive feedback mechanism of moral self-regulation is that people maintain the consistency of moral behavior according to moral identity. Construal level theory not only integrates the positive feedback mechanism with the negative feedback mechanism, but also integrates two moral behaviors. Future research should explore the influence of public-self and individual differences on two moral self-regulation mechanisms.

Key words: moral self-regulation, moral identity, moral cleansing, moral licensing, construal level theory