STUDY ALERT: Self-compassion decreases acceptance of own immoral behaviors

by Scott Barry Kaufman in Blog, Study Alerts

Self-compassion decreases acceptance of own immoral behaviors

Xue Wang, Zhansheng Chen, Kai-Tak Poon, Fei Teng, Shenghua Jin 

Self-compassion, which is a kind attitude toward oneself, has been well documented to promote psychological health. This research extended the literature by examining how self-compassion would predict the acceptance of one’s own immoral behavior. Study 1 recruited participants in China, measured their trait self-compassion, and instructed them to judge hypothetical moral transgressions. Study 2 recruited participants in the United States, manipulated state self-compassion, and measured judgments on real immoral behaviors. Two studies, with samples from different cultures, consistently revealed that higher self-compassionate people accepted their own moral transgressions less. These findings not only enrich the literature about how self-compassionate individuals react to their own moral violations but also link self-compassion to moral behaviors and concerns.

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