Salient Social Identity: Effects on Moral Foundations


Natalia Assis

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Summer 2020


Social identity theory relates to the degree to which individuals act as a function of their respective group memberships. That is, individuals categorize themselves into specific social identities, resulting in the tendency to behave as a collective group, as opposed to individuals. Similarly, moral foundations theory attempts to explain normative behaviors. However, by examining the origins and diversity of human moral reasoning and moral judgments, based of modular foundations closely related to cultural values and norms. The present research study examined potential changes in moral foundations depending on salient social identity. Although some support for the association of degree of group membership identification and endorsement of values was found, the main hypothesis that, emphasizing participants’ long-lasting identities (i.e., American identity), or shorter-lived group identifications (i.e., A&M-Commerce student) influence participants’ ratings of moral foundations, was not supported.


Stephen Reysen

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences