Moral Licensing

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The premise of this article is to examine how anticipating to complete a moral act in the future, may effect the likeliness of an individual making immoral decisions in the present. The authors of this article explore prospective moral self licensing and how it is used to excuse present immoral acts or behaviours. Moral licensing is defined as a mental process which occurs when a person recalls previous moral behaviour which contributes to a positive self image. The sense of security in one’s self image leads one to act immorally in the present. Casio and Plant (2014) relate this process to a type of credit that is received whenever one engages in moral behaviours. This credit is like a currency that may be spent in the future on immoral behaviour. Casio and Plant also state that people will frequent engage in goal-pursuit behaviour which leads to moral licensing.…show more content…
They feel okay with counter-acting with their goals in the present because they plan on accomplishing their goal soon. For example, Sally plans to go volunteer at the soup kitchen next week because she wants to be more involved in her community and be a better person overall. While at the mall, she gets into an elevator when she sees someone running to also enter the elevator. Wanting to get upstairs immediately, she quickly presses the “Close Doors” button. However, she does not feel as guilty as she should about this because she has planned to engage in moral behaviours next week. Goal-pursuit and moral licensing, directed Casio and Plant’s research on morality and how it affects participant’s behaviours in the present or the

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