Journal article

Moral Vitalism: Seeing Good and Evil as Real, Agentic Forces

Brock Bastian, Paul Bain, Michael D Buhrmester, Angel Gomez, Alexandra Vazquez, Clinton G Knight, William B Swann

PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2015

Abstract

Moral vitalism refers to a tendency to view good and evil as actual forces that can influence people and events. We introduce a scale designed to assess the belief in moral vitalism. High scorers on the scale endorse items such as "There are underlying forces of good and evil in this world." After establishing the reliability and criterion validity of the scale (Studies 1, 2a, and 2b), we examined the predictive validity of the moral vitalism scale, showing that "moral vitalists" worry about being possessed by evil (Study 3), being contaminated through contact with evil people (Study 4), and forfeiting their own mental purity (Study 5). We discuss the nature of moral vitalism and the implica..

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Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council


Awarded by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness



Awarded by Economic and Social Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (Brock Bastian, Paul Bain, & William B. Swann Jr.: DP110102632), by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness Grant PSI2012-30921 to Angel Gomez, and by Grant UNED 2013-004-UNED-PROY to Alexandra Vazquez.