Monday, September 9, 2019

Self-enhancement, righteous anger, and moral grandiosity

Self-enhancement, righteous anger, and moral grandiosity. Jeffrey D. Green, Constantine Sedikides, Daryl R. Van Tongeren, Anna M. C. Behler & Jessica M. Barber. Self and Identity, Volume 18, 2019 - Issue 2, Pages 201-216.

Abstract: Do people self-enhance by dwelling in righteous anger in an effort to preserve their self-views as pillars of morality? We addressed this question in two experiments. Participants read a story about an injustice (experiencing righteous anger) or grocery shopping (experiencing neutral emotion), indicated their interest in reading injustice-relevant or happiness-relevant newspaper articles, and rated themselves on moral and agentic traits. Participants who experienced righteous anger (vs. neutral emotion) maintained their anger (i.e., exhibited stronger interest in reading injustice- than happiness-relevant articles) and rated themselves more positively on moral, but not on agentic, traits. Furthermore, anger maintenance mediated the effect of righteous anger on moral grandiosity. The findings illustrate tactical self-enhancement: the instrumental use of one’s negative emotions for self-enhancement purposes.

Keywords: Self-enhancement, anger, moral grandiosity, self-views, emotion regulation

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