According to the study, people who are most afraid to capture COVID-19 are more valued

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Researchers studying how we make moral judgments found that people who were most concerned about catching COVID-19 were more disapproving of the wrong actions of others, no matter what they were doing wrong.

Researchers say their findings show that our morality is shaped by various emotions and intuitions, of which health and safety concerns stand out. This means that our judgments about wrongdoing are not entirely rational.

The study, published today in the journal Evolutionary psychology, did not focus on pandemic-related behaviors, such as —But he considered a wide range of moral transgressions.

Between March and May 2020, more than 900 study participants in the U.S. were presented with a series of scenarios and asked to rate them on a “not at all wrong” to “extremely wrong” scale. . This allowed researchers to measure participants ’responses across five key moral principles: harm, fairness, group loyalty, deference to authority, and purity.

Examples of scenarios include one of fidelity: “You see a man leaving his go to work for your main competitor ‘; and one of equity: “You see a tenant bribing a landlord to be the first to repaint his apartment.”

People who were more concerned with capturing COVID-19 judged the behaviors of these scenarios to be more wrong than those who were less concerned.

“There is no rational reason to be more critical of others, as you are concerned about getting sick during the pandemic,” said Professor Simone Schnall, of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Psychology, lead author of the report.

He added: “These influences on judgments occur outside of ours . If we believe that our well-being is threatened by the coronavirus, we are also likely to feel more threatened by other people’s misbehavior, it’s an emotional bond. “

The findings contribute to a growing body of evidence of a link between physical disgust — emotion designed to prevent evil — and moral condemnation.

“Disgust is an emotion we believe evolved to protect us from harm, avoiding a dirty toilet that could contaminate us with disease, for example. But now we apply it to also, and may feel physically rejected by others said Robert Henderson, a Gates doctoral student and academic in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University and first author of the report.

He added: “The link between worrying about COVID-19 and moral condemnation is related to well-being risks. If you are more aware of the health risks, you are also more aware of the social risks: people with a behavior that could cause you harm. ”


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More information:
Evolutionary psychology (2021). DOI: 10.1177 / 14747049211021524

Citation: People who are most afraid of capturing COVID-19 are most valued, according to the study (2021, June 8), retrieved June 8, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06- people-covid-judgemental.html

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