Implicit Theories and Conceptions of Morality
In this article, the authors propose that individuals' moral beliefs are linked to their implicit theories about the nature (i.e., malleability) of their social-moral reality. Specifically, it was hypothesized that when individuals believe in a fixed reality (entity theory), they tend to hold moral beliefs in which duties within the given system are seen as fundamental. In contrast, when individuals believe in a malleable reality (incremental theory), one that can be shaped by individuals, they hold moral beliefs that focus on moral principles, such as human rights, around which that reality should be organized. Results from 5 studies supported the proposed framework: Implicit theories about the malleability of one's social-moral reality predicted duty-based vs. rights-based moral beliefs.
fixed vs individually malleable reality beliefs & social morality, adults (mean age 19.86 yrs)
Personality and Social Contexts | Social Psychology
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
American Psychological Association
CHIU, Chi-Yue, DWECK, Carol S., TONG, Jennifer Yuk-Yue, & FU, Ho-Ying.(1997). Implicit Theories and Conceptions of Morality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(5), 923-940.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/285