Following one's true self and the sacredness of cultural values Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018 People seem to share a widespread lay belief that true selves are morally good entities. This lay belief has downstream consequences for a variety of domains such as person perception and perceived self-knowledge. The current work examines whether it also has consequences for moral decision-making. We hypothesized that people would make more moral decisions when they were focused on being authentic as opposed to being focused on other decision-making strategies. This hypothesis rests on the idea that if people believe their true selves are morally good, then attempts to follow that true self will make them less willing to behave immorally. Consistent with this hypothesis, four within-subjects studies (total N = 817) found that participants reported that they and others would need more money to violate a moral norm if they were focused on trying to be authentic relative to if they were focused on being rational, intuitive, or realistic.

altmetric score

  • 4.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, J., Christy, A. G., Rivera, G. N., Schlegel, R. J., & Hicks, J. A.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • May 2018