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Dispositional mindfulness modulates automatic transference of disgust into moral judgment
Shinrigaku Kenkyu: The Japanese Journal of Psychology
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2014
Pages: 605 - 611
Source ID: shanti-sources-108691
Abstract: Previous studies showed that incidental feelings of disgust could make moral judgments more severe. In the present study, we investigated whether individual differences in mindfulness modulated automatic transference of disgust into moral judgment. Undergraduates were divided into high- and low-mindfulness groups based on the mean score on each subscale of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Participants were asked to write about a disgusting experience or an emotionally neutral experience, and then to evaluate moral (impersonal vs. high-conflict personal) and non-moral scenarios. The results showed that the disgust induction made moral judgments more severe for the low "acting with awareness" participants, whereas it did not influence the moral judgments of the high "acting with awareness" participants irrespective of type of moral dilemma. The other facets of the FFMQ did not modulate the effect of disgust on moral judgment. These findings suggest that being present prevents automatic transference of disgust into moral judgment even when prepotent emotions elicited by the thought of killing one person to save several others and utilitarian reasoning conflict.