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License to sin: Investigating the effect of moral self-licensing on guilt and prosocial behavior

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  • 罪へのライセンス─罪悪感と向社会的行動に対するモラルライセンシング効果の検討─

Abstract

<p>In this study, we investigated whether the moral self-licensing effect, a phenomenon where the past experience of moral behavior allows for immorality, alleviates guilt and prosocial behavior accompanying immoral behavior. As a moral licensing manipulation, we used an autobiographical recalling task that asked participants to recall their experiences where they engaged in prosocial behavior toward their friends in the past (e.g., Cornelissen, Bashshur, Rode, & Le Menestrel, 2013; Jordan, Mullen, & Murnighan, 2011). Subsequently, we manipulated the participants' feelings of guilt using the scenario method. The results showed a significant interaction between moral licensing and guilt manipulation. More specifically, in the guilt-induced condition, participants who recalled their prosocial experiences felt less guilt toward present immoral behavior than those who did not. Further, for prosocial behavior, we conducted a moderated mediation analysis using guilt scores as a mediator and guilt manipulation as a moderator. The results showed that, only in the guilt-induced condition, moral licensing reduced prosocial behavior through the guilt scores. These indicate that last behavior as well as behavioral history what they had done before influences guilt and guilt-induced behaviors.</p>

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