Bodily self-consciousness (BSC) mainly consists of the sense of owning one’s own body, -Sense of Ownership (OW)-, and of being in control of one’s own actions -Sense of Agency (AG)-. The way in which BSC signals can influence morality and the tendency to deceive is still unclear, with studies suggesting that attention towards body signals can make us more sensitive to our needs and thus dishonest, and others suggesting that BSC signals would make us feel more in control of our actions and therefore more honest. Here, we tested (N=658) whether self-report measures of BSC differently relate to Moral Identity (measured by a questionnaire) and Moral Behavior (measured as participants’ tendency to cheat for money). Our results show that i) higher OW predicts higher morality (but higher dishonesty) in people who are less sensitive to Monetary Reward; ii) higher AG increases Morality by boosting the effect of Sense of Power and diminishing that of Moral Disengagement. The dissociation between Moral Identity and Moral Behavior found in people who are less sensitive to Monetary Reward is in line with moral credit models: being aware of the fact that we are not tempted by rewards enhances moral self-image but impairs Moral Behavior.
The role of bodily self-consciousness in morality and (dis)honest behaviour / Scattolin, Marina; Panasiti, Maria Serena; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria. - (2019). (Intervento presentato al convegno Aegina Summer School in Social Cognition “Norms and Biases in Social Interactions” tenutosi a Aegina; Greece).