The interpersonal level: Moral self- views, at the interpersonal level of analysis

Maryam Kouchaki*, Rajen Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we highlight the social and interpersonal nature of moral self- views. Across a variety of domains and contexts - including morality - people define themselves in relation to other people. In addition, people typically want to think of themselves as moral actors. We argue that a number of psychological and social processes - both in response to our own behavior and to the behavior of others - allow individuals to maintain such positive moral self- views. When we behave morally, praise from others boosts our self- esteem and self- concept. When we behave immorally, guilt and blame from others help to "recalibrate" individuals to behave more morally in the future. When others behave morally, we can draw closer to them and be inspired by them. When others behave immorally, we engage in condemnation and downward comparison. We end by highlighting several promising topics regarding the nature of interpersonal moral self- views for future research. Highlights: • Relations with other people impact on our moral self- views. •People are motivated to maintain a positive moral self- view by referring to the moral behaviors of other people and through other people's reactions on their own moral behavior. • Moral self- views can be maintained by drawing closer to others who behave morally and condemning others who behave immorally. • Praise from others boosts moral self- views; guilt and blame from others helps us to behave more morally in the future. • Lack of well- calibrated praise and blame can also impact moral self- views: understanding how and when feedback is given is crucial to understanding the interpersonal influences on moral self- views. • Future research into interpersonal moral self- views should investigate the role of moral conversations (e.g., gossip, disagreements, advice giving/ receiving) and how to integrate across multiple levels of analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of the Psychology of Morality
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781003125969
ISBN (Print)9780367647209
StatePublished - Jul 31 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The interpersonal level: Moral self- views, at the interpersonal level of analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this