RIA Novosti. Russian scientists from the Institute of psychology RAS examined how gender, age and culture of human influence on his moral principles and judgments, and figured out why old people always think young people are immoral, according to a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
“It was important for us to see how very different moral evaluation of different groups of people, and what it can be connected. We showed that some moral principles are really quite similar are used by people from different socio — cultural groups,” says Karina Arutyunov from Institute of psychology Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, quoted by the press service of the Russian science Foundation.
As Natalia says, her group studied how people evaluate actions from the moral point of view. From early childhood a person learns social norms and rules, accepted in his culture, which divide actions into acceptable and unacceptable, “good” and “bad”.
Some philosophers and scientists believe that in addition to such “acquired”, the relativistic form of morality, there are certain absolute moral principles that are part of biological human nature and which are used by people from different cultures and social groups in a fairly similar form.
Crime and punishment
Russian psychologists and their American colleague mark Heuser tried to find out, whether so it actually. To do this, they joined forces with Harvard University and conducted a series of surveys among residents of Russia, the USA, Canada and UK.
All the participants had to read several short stories describing moral dilemmas. All of these problems was based on the General principle – in various hypothetical situations, the researchers offered the participants of the experiments to make a choice to sacrifice one person’s life or commit a bad deed, but to save the lives of dozens of other people, or to save him, and find other victims to death or torture.
Comparison of results showed that among the inhabitants of all these countries have some common features, independent of upbringing, education, age, gender and other characteristics. For example, all men and women believe that causing harm by action are less permissible than omissions leading to the death of other people or severe consequences to their health.
Another example: a situation in which a person saves lives and accidentally harms someone else, was more acceptable from a moral point of view for Russians, Britons, Americans and Canadians than those cases in which the harm intentionally applied, as a means of salvation for other people. All people are equally bad attitude to “direct” harm, and more positively to indirect damage to health or property.
However, it turned out that there are differences between different groups of people. For example, men from all four countries preferred to save the lives of five people the price of the sacrifice of one man, whereas women were not ready for such immoral acts. Interestingly, men from Russia were in this respect less utilitarian than the British, Canadians and Americans, and most agreed with the women and saved the life of one of “drowning” than a group of five other people.
And finally, the Russian psychologists have probably found the reason why the younger generation always looks immoral in the eyes of older people found that older people more often took a “moral” solution, saving the life of one person, and boys and girls often made the decision to sacrifice them for the sake of saving more lives. These differences, as scholars have noted, was very pronounced among Russians, and among the inhabitants of the Western countries, they were less noticeable, especially when compared to the teenagers and aged people.
Why is this happening, scientists still don’t know, but they suggest that these differences in “morality” between generations can be associated with the cultural shifts that have occurred in recent years, and age-related changes in how a person perceives and develops emotions.
The presence of both shared and differing moral values of Russians and citizens of Western countries, according to arutunova and her colleagues, suggests that some form of absolute morality may exist, but its content can vary significantly from one group to another.