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Moral hypocrisy: impression management or self-deception?

Lönnqvist, Jan-Erik, Irlenbusch, Bernd and Walkowitz, Gari (2014) Moral hypocrisy: impression management or self-deception? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 55. pp. 53-62. ISSN 0022-1031

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.06.004


In three studies (S1-S3; N=. 256) we investigated whether moral hypocrisy (MH) is motivated by conscious impression management concerns or whether it is self-deceptive. In a dictator game, MH occurred both within participants (saying one thing, doing another; S1) and between participants (doing one thing when it is inconsequential, doing another thing when it affects payoffs; S2). People were willing to let an ostensibly fair coin determine payoffs only if they could fudge the results of the coin flip, suggesting that hypocrites do not deceive themselves (S3). Also supporting this view, MH was associated with adherence to Conformity values (S1-S2), indicative of a desire to appear moral in the eyes of others but not indicative of self-deception. Universalism values were predictive of moral integrity (S1, S3).

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Published by Elsevier Inc.
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2014 13:24
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 01:46
Funders: German Science Foundation

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