Age differences in moral judgment: Older adults make more dispositional attribution
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractRecent studies have shown that older adults gave harsher moral judgment than younger adults over different cultures. This age difference was known to be moderated by mortality salience and executive functioning of the individual. Under mortality salience (MS) manipulation, high executive functioning older adults gave more lenient moral judgment compared to their control counterparts (Maxfield, Pyszczynski, Greenberg, Pepin, & Davis, 2012) such that the ages differences in moral judgment no longer existed. Older adults also showed increased generativity and decreased tendency under reminder of mortality (Maxfield et al.,2014; Maxfield, Pyszczynski, Greenberg, & Bultmann, 2017). To investigate the mechanisms behind the age differences in moral judgment, 50 younger adults and 50 older adults were recruited to give moral judgment either under control or MS manipulation condition. The tendency to make correspondence bias (moderated by MS and executive functioning) and generativity (moderated by MS) were tested as moderated mediators. A modified Chinese version of word-stem completion task as a manipulation check of MS was also tested. In general, older adults provided significantly harsher moral judgment, F(1, 93)=81.47, p<0.001, η2p=.47, and demonstrated more dispositional attribution (i.e. correspondence bias), t(95)=-6.27, p<.001, d=1.27, than younger adults. Although there are significant differences between control and MS conditions in MS manipulation check, F(1, 93)=5.084, p=.026, η2p =.05, no moderation effects of MS and executive functioning on these age differences were found. No age differences in generativity were found. The age differences in moral judgments were found to be partially mediated by the tendency to make correspondence bias.
All Author(s) ListNicole Long Ki Fung, Helene Hoi-lam Fung
Name of ConferenceGerontology Society of America 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting “The Purposes of Longer Lives”
Start Date of Conference14/11/2018
End Date of Conference18/11/2018
Place of ConferenceBoston
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
Proceedings TitleInnovation in aging
Year2018
Month11
Volume Number2
Issue NumberSuppl 1
PublisherThe Gerontology Society of America
Pages902 - 903
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2020-29-04 at 10:01