Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Morality and Culture: Differences in American and Chinese Moral Reasoning
Authors: Lo, Alison
Advisors: Prentice, Deborah
Contributors: Sinclair, Stacey
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: This research attempts to identify a moral framework specific to Chinese culture, adding to the theory that morality is culturally bound. To do so, a study was conducted examining Chinese and white American adults’ (N = 677) judgment about moral dilemmas in which interpersonal and justice responsibilities were in conflict. The majority of Chinese prioritized the interpersonal alternative while most Americans prioritized the justice alternative. When justifying their choices, Chinese tended to use role-related obligations, while Americans favored reasons of inherent rights and fairness. Furthermore, Chinese were more likely than Americans to categorize their choices as social conventions (legitimately regulated but not governed by moral obligations), but Americans were more likely to see them as moral issues (governed by moral obligations and legitimately regulated). Chinese were also more likely than Americans to change the weight they accorded to interpersonal obligations depending on their relationship to the person in question. Results suggest that Chinese and Americans have different moral values and reasoning. Americans have an individually centered morality that emphasizes inherent rights and principles of justice. In contrast, Chinese hold a moral code that focuses on relationships and collective responsibilities.
Extent: 68 pages
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2017

Files in This Item:
File SizeFormat 
Lo_Alison_Thesis.pdf490.01 kBAdobe PDF    Request a copy

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.