Moral thought and action in sport and student life: a study of bracketed morality

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Abstract

The present study examined differences in moral behavior and judgment in sport and student life. Participants (N = 372) were students at a British university who responded to moral dilemmas pertaining to sport and student life. They indicated the likelihood that they would act antisocially or prosocially and provided judgment ratings of the behaviors described in the dilemmas. Likelihood to act antisocially was higher toward opponents in sport than other students at university, whereas likelihood to behave prosocially was lower toward opponents in sport than other students at university. Finally, antisocial behavior was less likely toward teammates than other students. The sport–university difference in antisocial opponent/student behavior was fully mediated by moral judgment, whereas the difference in prosocial behavior was partially mediated by moral judgment. These findings reveal a more nuanced aspect to bracketed morality that considers in-group loyalty when understanding moral judgment and behavior in and outside of the sport context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalEthics & Behavior
Volume26
Early online date26 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • behavior
  • bracketed morality
  • game reasoning
  • in-group loyalty

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