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Cultural variation and similarity in moral rhetoric: Voices from the Philippines and United States
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Short Title: Cultural variation and similarity in moral rhetoric
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2001
Pages: 112–124
Sources ID: 22926
Visibility: Private
Zotero Collections: Contexts of Contemplation Project
Abstract: (Show)

Past research on morality has emphasized a single justice-based moral ethic. Expanding this conception of morality, Shweder has proposed a universal taxonomy of three moral rhetorics related to justice, interdependence, and purity. Five studies tested the hypothesis that American morality emphasizes the justice-based rhetoric, whereas Filipino morality is represented by all three rhetorics. In the first three studies, American examples were modally justice based, whereas Filipinos generated examples in approximately equal proportions from each rhetoric. In Study 4, Americans rated justice-based rules higher on criteria of morality than rules from other rhetorics; Filipinos rated rules from all three rhetorics as moral. In Study 5, the association between anger and moral violations was stronger for Americans than for Filipinos, consistent with American emphasis on the moral stature of justice. Discussion focused on the origins and consequences of the American emphasis on rights and the balanced representation of morality observed in Filipinos.

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Contexts of Contemplation Project