DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.01253

Advances in Psychological Science (心理科学进展) 2018/26:7 PP.1253-1263

Moral elevation: A positive moral emotion associated with elevating moral sentiment

Moral elevation refers to a positive moral emotion response to a situation that, when witnessing other's moral behavior, people appreciates other's virtue and feels moral sentiment elevated. Moral elevation has affective, physical, cognitive, and behavioral aspects. Moral elevation can be induced by materials and situations, and be measured by identifier words and scales. The formation of moral elevation needs two key mechanisms, including positive inner attribution and positive upward social comparison, and these mechanisms can be affected by the characteristics of other's moral behavior and the observer's characteristics. Moral elevation triggers activation of the cranial and autonomic nerve as well as endocrine reactivity. Psychological effects of moral elevation include promoting pro-social behavior and positive social cognition, and enhancing positive impact to oneself. Future researches of moral elevation should investigate its physiological mechanisms, explore its broaden-and-build effects, examine diverse cultural and indigenous populations, and consider applications to moral education.

Key words:moral elevation,moral sentiment,positive emotion,moral emotion

ReleaseDate:2018-08-06 13:54:54

陈世民, 吴宝沛, 方杰, 孙配贞, 高良, 熊红星, 郑雪. (2011). 钦佩感:一种见贤思齐的积极情绪. 心理科学进展, 19(11), 1667-1674.

董华华. (2016). 道德提升感对环保意识的影响研究(硕士学位论文). 浙江工业大学, 杭州.

董蕊, 彭凯平, 喻丰. (2013). 积极情绪之敬畏. 心理科学进展, 21(11), 1996-2005.

梁宏宇, 陈石, 熊红星, 孙配贞, 李放, 郑雪. (2015). 人际感恩:社会交往中重要的积极情绪. 心理科学进展, 23(3), 479-488.

廖珂. (2015). 道德提升感对道德判断和道德奖惩行为的影响——从道德基础理论视角出发研究(硕士学位论文). 浙江大学, 杭州.

吴玮. (2011). 大学生道德提升感状况及其与亲社会行为的关系(硕士学位论文). 上海师范大学.

熊梦辉, 石孝琼, 骆玮, 余力, 王磊. (2016). 负面新闻影响人际信任的心理机制. 心理技术与应用, 4(8), 491-498.

喻丰, 彭凯平, 韩婷婷, 柏阳, 柴方圆. (2012). 伦理美德的社会及人格心理学分析:道德特质的意义、困惑及解析. 清华大学学报(哲学社会科学版), 27(4), 128-139.

郑信军, 何佳娉. (2011). 诱发道德情绪对大学生人际信任的影响. 中国临床心理学杂志, 19(4), 508-511.

郑信军, 孙洲, 缪芙蓉. (2009). 道德情感的研究趋向:从分立到整合. 心理科学, 32(6), 1408-1410.

Algoe, S. B., & Haidt, J. (2009). Witnessing excellence in action:The ‘other-praising’ emotions of elevation, gratitude, and admiration. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(2), 105-127.

Aquino, K., McFerran, B., & Laven, M. (2011). Moral identity and the experience of moral elevation in response to acts of uncommon goodness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(4), 703-718.

Ash, E. M. (2013). Emotional responses to savior films:Concealing privilege or appealing to our better selves? (Unpublished doctorial dissertation). The Pennsylvania State University.

Chang, Y.-H., Kim, K.-J., & Lee, J.-S. (2015). The relationship between college student's character strengths (humanity), self-control, and altruistic behavior in the times of convergence:The mediating effect of moral elevation. Journal of Digital Convergence, 13(9), 445-452.

Choi, I., Nisbett, R. E., & Norenzayan, A. (1999). Causal attribution across cultures:Variation and universality. Psychological Bulletin, 125(1), 47-63.

Cox, K. S. (2010). Elevation predicts domain-specific volunteerism 3 months later. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5(5), 333-341.

Diessner, R. (2007). Beauty and moral education. Journal of Chongqing Institute of Technology, 21(1), 11-21.

Diessner, R., Iyer, R., Smith, M. M., & Haidt, J. (2013). Who engages with moral beauty? Journal of Moral Education, 42(2), 139-163.

Diessner, R., Rust, T., Solom, R. C., Frost, N., & Parsons, L. (2006). Beauty and hope:A moral beauty intervention. Journal of Moral Education, 35(3), 301-317.

Ding, W., Wang, X. Z., Sun, B. H., & Li, W. J. (2014). The structure and measurement of the moral elevation. Advances in Psychology, 4(6), 777-787.

Ellithorpe, M. E., Ewoldsen, D. R., & Oliver, M. B. (2015). Elevation (sometimes) increases altruism:Choice and number of outcomes in elevating media effects. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 4(3), 236-250.

Englander, Z. A., Haidt, J., & Morris, J. P. (2012). Neural basis of moral elevation demonstrated through inter-subject synchronization of cortical activity during free-viewing. PLoS One, 7(6), e39384.

Erickson, T. M., & Abelson, J. L. (2012). Even the downhearted may be uplifted:Moral elevation in the daily life of clinically depressed and anxious adults. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31(7), 707-728.

Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 300-319.

Freeman, D., Aquino, K., & McFerran, B. (2009). Overcoming beneficiary race as an impediment to charitable donations:Social dominance orientation, the experience of moral elevation, and donation behavior. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(1), 72-84.

Gable, S. L., & Haidt, J. (2005). What (and why) is positive psychology? Review of General Psychology, 9(2), 103-110.

Grappi, S., Romani, S., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2013). The effects of company offshoring strategies on consumer responses. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(6), 683-704.

Haidt, J. (2000). The positive emotion of elevation. Prevention & Treatment, 3, Article 3.

Haidt, J. (2003a). Elevation and the positive psychology of morality. In C. L. M. Keyes & J. Haidt (Eds.), Flourishing:Positive psychology and the life well-lived (pp. 275-289). Washington, DC, US:American Psychological Association.

Haidt, J. (2003b). The moral emotions. In R. J. Davidson, K. R. Scherer, & H. H. Goldsmith (Eds.), Handbook of affective sciences (pp. 852-870). Oxford, UK:Oxford University Press.

Haidt, J. (2008). Morality. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3(1), 65-72.

Haidt, J., & Keltner, D. (2004). Appreciation of beauty and excellence. In C. Peterson & M. E. P. Seligman (Eds.), Character strengths and virtues (pp. 537-551). Washington DC, US:American Psychological Association Press.

Haidt, J., & Morris, J. P. (2009). Finding the self in self-transcendent emotions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(19), 7687-7688.

Han, H., Kim, J., Jeong, C., & Cohen, G. L. (2017). Attainable and relevant moral exemplars are more effective than extraordinary exemplars in promoting voluntary service engagement. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 283.

Hwang, K. K. (1998). Two moralities:Reinterpreting the findings of empirical research on moral reasoning in Taiwan. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 1(3), 211-238.

Immordino-Yang, M. H., McColl, A., Damasio, H., & Damasio, A. (2009). Neural correlates of admiration and compassion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(19), 8021-8026.

Jefferson, T. (1771). To Robert Skipwith, with a list of books for a private library. Retrieved August 17, 2017, from

Keltner, D., & Haidt, J. (2003). Approaching awe, a moral, spiritual, and aesthetic emotion. Cognition & Emotion, 17(2), 297-314.

Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs, M., Zak, P. J., Fischbacher, U., & Fehr, E. (2005). Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature, 435(7042), 673-676.

Krämer, N., Eimler, S. C., Neubaum, G., Winter, S., Rösner, L., & Oliver, M. B. (2017). Broadcasting one world:How watching online videos can elicit elevation and reduce stereotypes. New Media & Society, 19(9), 1349-1368.

Lai, C. K., Haidt, J., & Nosek, B. A. (2014). Moral elevation reduces prejudice against gay men. Cognition & Emotion, 28(5), 781-794.

Lewis, B. M. (2014). Neural and behavioral components of moral elevation (Unpublished bachelor thesis). Oregon State University, Corvallis.

Martínez-Martí, M. L., Hernández-Lloreda, M. J., & Avia, M. D. (2016). Appreciation of beauty and excellence:Relationship with personality, prosociality and well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(6), 2613-2634.

Monin, B. (2007). Holier than me? Threatening social comparison in the moral domain. Revue Internationale de Psychologie Sociale, 20(1), 53-68.

Oliver, M. B., Hartmann, T., & Woolley, J. K. (2012). Elevation in response to entertainment portrayals of moral virtue. Human Communication Research, 38(3), 360-378.

Oliver, M. B., Kim, K., Hoewe, J., Chung, M.-Y., Ash, E., Woolley, J. K., & Shade, D. D. (2015). Media-induced elevation as a means of enhancing feelings of intergroup connectedness. Journal of Social Issues, 71(1), 106-122.

Perlmutter, L. S. (2012). Transformational leadership and the development of moral elevation and trust (Unpublished doctorial dissertation). University of British Columbia.

Piper, W. T., Saslow, L. R., & Saturn, S. R. (2015). Autonomic and prefrontal events during moral elevation. Biological Psychology, 108, 51-55.

Pohling, R., & Diessner, R. (2016). Moral elevation and moral beauty:A review of the empirical literature. Review of General Psychology, 20(4), 412-425.

Proyer, R. T., Gander, F., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (2016). Nine beautiful things:A self-administered online positive psychology intervention on the beauty in nature, arts, and behaviors increases happiness and ameliorates depressive symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 94, 189-193.

Romani, S., & Grappi, S. (2014). How companies' good deeds encourage consumers to adopt pro-social behavior. European Journal of Marketing, 48(5-6), 943-963.

Romani, S., Grappi, S., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2016). Corporate socially responsible initiatives and their effects on consumption of green products. Journal of Business Ethics, 135(2), 253-264.

Sakai, J. T., Dalwani, M. S., Mikulich-Gilbertson, S. K., McWilliams, S. K., Raymond, K. M., & Crowley, T. J. (2016). A behavioral measure of costly helping:Replicating and extending the association with callous unemotional traits in male adolescents. PLoS One, 11(3), e0151678.

Schnall, S., & Roper, J. (2012). Elevation puts moral values into action. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(3), 373-378.

Schnall, S., Roper, J., & Fessler, D. M. T. (2010). Elevation leads to altruistic behavior. Psychological Science, 21(3), 315-320.

Siegel, J. T., Navarro, M. A., & Thomson, A. L. (2015). The impact of overtly listing eligibility requirements on MTurk:An investigation involving organ donation, recruitment scripts, and feelings of elevation. Social Science & Medicine, 142, 256-260.

Siegel, J. T., & Thomson, A. L. (2017). Positive emotion infusions of elevation and gratitude:Increasing help-seeking intentions among people with heightened levels of depressive symptomatology. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(6), 509-524.

Silvers, J. A., & Haidt, J. (2008). Moral elevation can induce nursing. Emotion, 8(2), 291-295.

Strohminger, N., Lewis, R. L., & Meyer, D. E. (2011). Divergent effects of different positive emotions on moral judgment. Cognition, 119(2), 295-300.

Thomson, A. L., Nakamura, J., Siegel, J. T., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Elevation and mentoring:An experimental assessment of causal relations. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(5), 402-413.

Thomson, A. L., & Siegel, J. T. (2013). A moral act, elevation, and prosocial behavior:Moderators of morality. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 8(1), 50-64.

Thomson, A. L., & Siegel, J. T. (2017). Elevation:A review of scholarship on a moral and other-praising emotion. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(6), 628-638.

van Cappellen, P., Saroglou, V., Iweins, C., Piovesana, M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). Self-transcendent positive emotions increase spirituality through basic world assumptions. Cognition & Emotion, 27(8), 1378-1394.

van de Vyver, J., & Abrams, D. (2015). Testing the prosocial effectiveness of the prototypical moral emotions:Elevation increases benevolent behaviors and outrage increases justice behaviors. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 58, 23-33.

Vianello, M., Galliani, E. M., & Haidt, J. (2010). Elevation at work:The effects of leaders' moral excellence. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5(5), 390-411.