Would Petty Crime Be More Acceptable in the Red Light District? the Effect of Conceptual Fluency on Moral Judgment

Tine De Bock, Ghent University, Belgium
Mario Pandelaere, Ghent University, Belgium
Patrick Van Kenhove, Ghent University, Belgium
Moral judgment is not only the result of conscious and rational thinking, but is also influenced by more intuitive elements. In line with this view, the current paper shows that conceptual fluency affects morality judgments. More specifically, immoral behaviors are considered as more acceptable when they are described on a background that is associated with a negative (vs. positive) valence. Moral behaviors, on the contrary, are considered as more acceptable when they are described on a background that is associated with a positive (vs. negative) valence. While Study 1 demonstrates this conceptual fluency effect using green (i.e., positive) versus red (i.e., negative) colored backgrounds, Study 2 replicates these findings using initially neutral colors that are experimentally endowed with a negative versus positive valence.
[ to cite ]:
Tine De Bock, Mario Pandelaere, and Patrick Van Kenhove (2011) ,"Would Petty Crime Be More Acceptable in the Red Light District? the Effect of Conceptual Fluency on Moral Judgment", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 702-704.