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1 Psychology 307: Cultural Psychology Lecture 17.

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1 1 Psychology 307: Cultural Psychology Lecture 17

2 2 Reminder: Optional Paper Topic due date: March 21 (Option A or B, 3-5 sentence summary; to your TA for approval). Paper due date: April 4.

3 3 Morality 1.What are Shweder’s codes of ethics? (continued) 2.What emotions accompany moral violations? 3.Do cultural groups vary in the extent to which they judge the morality of thoughts?

4 4 1. discuss cultural variation in Shweder’s codes of ethics. 2. identify the emotions that accompany distinct moral violations. By the end of today’s class, you should be able to: 3. review research on the impact of disgust on moral reasoning. 4. discuss cultural variation in judgement of the morality of thoughts.

5 However, in other cultures, the ethics of community and divinity are as important or more important than the ethic of autonomy. ● According to Shweder, the ethic of autonomy is most important in Western cultures. What are Shweder’s codes of ethics? (continued) 5

6  Example: Miller and Bersoff (1992) Presented Indian and American adults with moral dilemmas in which two ethics were in conflict. 6

7 7 What should Ben do?

8 Response choices: 8

9 What results do you expect? 9 (a) Indians and Americans choose to protect the Ethic of Community at the same rate. (c) Indians choose to protect the Ethic of Community more often than Americans. (b) Americans choose to protect the Ethic of Community more often than Indians. (d) Indian and Americans choose to protect the Ethic of Autonomy at the same rate.

10 Sample Dilemma (Ben) 10

11 The Kargar Case In 1996 in Maine, USA (State of Maine v. Mohammed Kargar, 679 A. 2d 81), an Afghani immigrant was charged with child molestation after he was seen kissing the genitals of his infant son. Mohammed Kargar provided baby-sitting services to local families. One of these children saw Mohammed Kargar place a kiss on the genitals of his own 18-month-old son. Disturbed by this behavior, the child that Kargar was babysitting reported Kargar’s behavior to her parents, who then reported the incident to the police. Kargar claimed that his gesture is customary and familiar to members of his family and within the Afghani community, where it is understood as a display of love and affection for baby boys. Was Kargar’s behavior immoral? 11

12 12  Ethic of Autonomy Concerned with harm, rights and justice. Moral issues include: Whether or not someone was harmed. Whether or not someone suffered emotionally. Whether or not someone cared for someone weak/vulnerable. Whether or not someone was cruel. Whether or not someone was denied his/her rights. Whether or not someone acted unfairly. Whether or not some people were treated differently than others. Whether or not someone tried to dominate someone else.

13 13  Ethic of Community Concerned with duty, loyalty, and hierarchy. Moral issues include: Whether or not someone showed a lack of loyalty. Whether or not someone did something to betray his/her group. Whether or not the action affected your group. Whether or not someone’s action showed love for his/her country. Whether or not someone failed to fulfill the duties of his/her role. Whether or not someone conformed to the traditions of society. Whether or not someone showed a lack of respect for authority. Whether or not an action caused chaos or disorder.

14 14  Ethic of Divinity Concerned with sacred order, purity, and sanctity. Moral issues include: Whether or not someone violated standards of purity and decency. Whether or not someone was able to control his or her desires. Whether or not someone acted in a way that God would approve of.

15 The Shafia Family Case In 2009 in Kingston, Ontario, S hafia sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, along with Rona Amir Mohammed, 50, were found dead inside a car that was underwater. The girls were daughters of Mohammad Shafia and his second wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya. The couple also had a son Hamed, 20. On July 23, 2009, Mohammad, Tooba Yahya, and Hamed were arrested on charges of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. It was speculated that the murder was an honour killing; Zainab and Sahar had brought shame on the family by dressing in less modest Western garb and keeping secret boyfriends. In secret wiretaps recorded in the days after the deaths, Mohammad Shafia can be heard saying, “God curse their generation, they were filthy and rotten children" and "Even if they hoist me up onto the gallows, nothing is more dear to me than my honour.” Should the Canadian government accept “cultural relativism” as a defense? 15

16 16 ● Notably, within cultures, the importance of these ethics varies among groups: political groups (Graham et al., 2009; Haidt, 2008). orthodox (i.e., fundamentalist) and progressive (i.e., modernist) religious groups (Jensen, 1997).

17 17 Number of Justifications

18 18

19 What emotions accompany moral violations? ● Consider the following: 19

20 20 A soldier has died in military combat. At her funeral, as her parents are grieving, a group of religious fundamentalists begin to protest, chanting that God is killing Canadian soldiers because the government is permitting individuals who are homosexual to serve in the military. Have the protesters behaved immorally? What emotion does reading this passage generate for you?

21 21 An individual’s mother has died. However, he chooses not to attend her funeral because he has a number of social and work- related obligations that he feels he must attend to. Has this individual behaved immorally? What emotion does reading this passage generate for you?

22 22 A brother and sister, who are especially close, are traveling together through Europe. One night they decide to have sex with each other. Although they enjoy it, they vow never to do it again, and that it would be their own private secret that keeps them close. Have this brother and sister behaved immorally? What emotion does reading this passage generate for you?

23 ● Research suggests that distinct emotions are associated with distinct moral violations: Autonomy violations: Anger Community violations: Contempt Divinity violations: Disgust ● Several studies have demonstrated that the experience of disgust leads people to judge simultaneous events as being immoral: 23

24 24  Example: Schnall et al. (2008) Manipulated disgust among participants using “fart spray.” Control condition: Normal smelling room. Mild “stink” condition: Four sprays. Strong “stink” condition: Eight sprays. Asked participants to assess the morality of dubious behaviours in vignettes.

25 Moral Condemnation 25

26 26  Wheatley and Haidt (2005) Hypnotized participants: “When you read the word “often,” you will feel a brief pang of disgust... a sickening feeling in your stomach. You will not remember that you have been told this.” Participants then rated the morality of a target individual in several scenarios.

27 Dan is a student council representative at his school. This semester he is in charge of scheduling discussions about academic issues. He [tries to take/often picks] topics that appeal to both professors and students in order to stimulate discussion. 27

28 28 Dan’s Immorality (0-100)

29 29 Participants’ explanations: “It just seems like he’s up to something.’’ “He’s a popularity-seeking snob.’’ ‘‘It just seems so weird and disgusting.’’ “I don’t know [why it’s wrong], it just is.”

30 30 ● The extent to which the experience of disgust impacts moral reasoning may be influenced by socioeconomic status (SES):

31 31  Example: Haidt, Koller, and Dias (1993) Recruited American and Brazilian participants of varying socioeconomic status (SES). Asked participants to rate the morality of the man in the following vignette:

32 32 A man goes to the supermarket once a week and buys a dead chicken. But before cooking the chicken, he has sexual intercourse with it. Then he cooks and eats it.

33 Percentage indicating the behaviour was Immoral 33

34 34 High SES individuals tended to base their decision on the degree of harm caused (i.e., the ethic of autonomy). Low SES individuals tended to base their decision on the extent to which they were “bothered” or felt disgust.  Follow up questions revealed that:

35 Do cultural groups vary in the extent to which they judge the morality of thoughts? ● Research suggests that cultures vary in the extent to which they judge the morality of thoughts:  Example: Cohen and Rozin (2001) Hypothesized that Protestants would judge the morality of thoughts to a greater extent than Jews due to their distinct religious doctrines: 35

36 36 Hebrew Bible (Old Testament): The Ten Commandments emphasize behaviour. Examples: You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain Remember the Sabbath day. On it, you shall do no work. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

37 37 Christian Bible (New Testament): Passages reference the morality of thoughts. Example: Jesus stated “You have heard it said ‘you shall not commit adultery’: but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5: 27-28: New American Standard version).

38 38 Morality 1.What are Shweder’s codes of ethics? (continued) 2.What emotions accompany moral violations? 3.Do cultural groups vary in the extent to which they judge the morality of thoughts?


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