Can high moral purposes undermine scientific integrity?

Lee Jussim, Jarret T. Crawford, Sean T. Stevens, Stephanie M. Anglin, Jose L. Duarte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews basic processes by which moral purposes can sometimes motivate immoral behavior, and it suggests how moral agendas can sometimes lead social psychology astray through an array of questionable interpretive practices (QIPs). Destruction or subjugation of indigenous peoples in the Americas, Australia, and Asia was believed to constitute the advancement of civilization. Political ideology is often anchored in moral intuitions that can help bind people into moral communities possessing shared values, worldviews. "Scientific integrity" refers to two related but separate ideas: the personal honesty of individual scientists in the conduct and reporting of their research; and developing robust bodies of conclusions that are valid and unimpaired by errors and biases. Reducing intergroup antipathy such as prejudice and discrimination is a justified moral concern. The chapter explores how moral purposes can lead to QIPs that undermine the validity of social psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Social Psychology of Morality
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781317288251
ISBN (Print)9781138929067
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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