The Strategic Pursuit of Moral Credentials

Anna Merritt, Stanford University, USA
Daniel Effron, Stanford University, USA
Steven Fein, Williams College, USA
Ken Savitsky, Williams College, USA
Daniel Tuller, Stanford University, USA
Benoît Monin, Stanford University, USA
We demonstrate that when people anticipate acting in a way that could seem immoral, they attempt to establish their moral values ahead of time—that is, they strategically earn moral credentials. The strategic pursuit of moral credentials is intended to encourage favorable attributions for the upcoming morally ambiguous behavior.
[ to cite ]:
Anna Merritt, Daniel Effron, Steven Fein, Ken Savitsky, Daniel Tuller, and Benoît Monin (2011) ,"The Strategic Pursuit of Moral Credentials", 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: 81-82.