Morality and Moralization

Figure 2 from Hofmann et al., 2014

Moral and immoral events are common and play an important role in people’s emotional lives and in their sense of wellbeing and belonging (Hofman, Wisneski, Brandt & Skitka, 2014). How do people come to hold onto their moral beliefs in the first place and why are they such a powerful factor? We have studied this question by focusing on moralization, which is when an attitude, idea, or behavior acquires moral relevance over time (Brandt, Wisneski, & Skitka, 2015), and by trying to understand the precise mechanisms linking disgust with harsher moral judgments (Wagemans et al., 2018).

Key Project Publications

  • Kodapanakkal, R. I., Brandt, M. J., Kogler, C., & van Beest, I. (2022). Moral frames are persuasive and moralize attitudes; nonmoral frames are persuasive and de-moralize attitudes. Psychological Science, 33, 433-449. doi | pdf | code | data
  • Kodapanakkal, R. I., Brandt, M. J., Kogler, C., & van Beest, I. (2022). Moral relevance varies due to inter-individual and intra-individual differences across big data technology domains. European Journal of Social Psychology, 52, 46-70. doi | pdf | code | data
  • Curry, O. S. Alfano, M., Brandt, M. J., & Pelican, C. (in press). Moral molecules: Morality as a combinatorial system. Review of Philosophy and Psychology. pdf
  • Turner-Zwinkels, F. M., Sibley, C. G., Johnson, B. B., & Brandt, M. J. (2021). Conservatives moral foundations are more densely connected than liberals’ moral foundations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 47, 167-184. doi | pdf
  • Kodapanakkal, R.I., Brandt, M.J., Kogler, C., & van Beest, I., (2020). Self-interest and data protection drive the adoption and moral acceptability of big data technologies: A conjoint analysis approach. Computers in Human Behavior, 108, 106303. doi | pdf
  • Voelkel, J. G., & Brandt, M. J. (2019). The effect of ideological identification on the endorsement of moral values depends on the target group. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45, 851-863.  doi | pdf | code | data
  • Hofmann, W., Brandt, M. J., Wisneski, D. C., Rockenbach, B., & Skitka, L. J. (2018). Moral punishment in everyday life. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 1697-1711. doi | pdf | code | data
  • Skitka, L. J., Wisneski, D. C., & Brandt, M. J. (2018). Attitude moralization: Probably not intuitive or rooted in perceptions of harm. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27, 9-13. doi | pdf
  • Wagemans, F. M. A., Brandt, M. J., & Zeelenberg, M. (2018). Disgust sensitivity is primarily associated with purity-based moral judgments. Emotion, 18, 277-289. doi | pdf | code | data
  • Brandt, M. J., Wisneski, D., & Skitka, L. (2015) Moralization and the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election campaign. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 3, 211-237. doi | pdf | code
  • Hofmann, W., Wisneski, D. C., Brandt, M. J., & Skitka, L. J. (2014) Morality in everyday life. Science, 345, 1340-1343. doi | pdf | code | data
  • Brandt, M. J., & Reyna, C. (2011). The chain of being: A hierarchy of morality. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 428-446. doi | pdf
Political Psychology Lab