The effect of psychological factors on morality. the role of culture and moral foundations.
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The main aim of this PhD research was to explore the cultural differences in moral judgment, moral behaviour, moral identity, and cultural values between Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom. Furthermore, I was interested in the psychological factors affecting morality in those two cultures. The first study aimed to achieve the following objectives: to understand people’s moral judgment in Saudi Arabia and the UK, to investigate whether and how personality traits and cultural values affect moral judgment in five moral foundations (harm avoidance, justice, ingroup, authority, purity), and to investigate whether personality traits and cultural values are related differently or similarly across Saudi and UK cultures. The findings of the study revealed that Saudi and British participants differed with regard to their foundation-specific moral judgments. Saudi participants were more likely to endorse moral foundations in the domains of intergroup relations, authority, and purity. However, there were no cross-cultural differences in the domains of harm avoidance and justice. Moreover, the results showed that the effect of personality traits and cultural values on morality varied. Harm and fairness foundations were predicted by personality traits while ingroup, authority, purity foundations were predicted by values. The second study investigated whether foundation-related moral behaviour was affected by moral judgment and people’s moral identity in a cross-cultural context comparing adults from the UK and Saudi Arabia. Findings of this study resulted in no cross-cultural differences between the two samples concerning moral judgment in the care and justice foundations. Furthermore, no cultural differences were found between the two samples concerning moral behaviour in the five foundations. In addition, moral identity mediated the relationship between moral judgment and allocations in the dictator game. The third study investigated the relationship between (dis-) honest behaviour, moral judgment and moral identity in two different cultures, namely Saudi Arabia and the UK. It has been found that there are no statistically significant differences in honest behaviour between Saudi Arabia and the UK. Furthermore, deception was not predicted or correlated significantly with any of the five foundation-specific moral judgments across both cultural samples. However, culture moderated the relationship between deception and moral judgment in harm and authority moral foundations. Additionally, moral sensitivity did not mediate the relationship between moral judgments and dishonesty. The forth study explored the link between moral foundation violations (harm, justice, ingroup, authority, and purity) and anger, disgust, sadness, apathy, guilt, contempt, shame, resentment, and embarrassment emotions. Findings showed that the violations of harm, and justice foundations triggered anger and Violations of purity foundation triggered disgust. The results show no cultural differences in the assignments of the violations made by both samples. Saudi and UK participants’ classifications were in agreement with the original classifications of the 40 violations by Graham et al. (2009). However, we found cross-cultural differences in the relationship between emotions and moral foundation violations.
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