Hostility and civic moral disengagement: Cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression as moderators

Journal of Moral Education


The present study focuses on explaining the incremental role of emotion regulation and hostility in the tendency of young adults to use moral disengagement strategies to avoid self-condemnation for their immoral conduct. We aimed to extend the area of investigation concerning the moral effects of emotion regulation and hostility, by exploring the association between hostility and civic moral disengagement (CMD), and the moderating role of emotional regulation strategies within this association. One hundred and sixty-three young adults aged 16 to 30 were administered a global measure of moral disengagement, namely the Civic Moral Disengagement scale, the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire and the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory. Our results confirmed that cognitive reappraisal moderates the relation between hostility and CMD. We conclude that young adults’ tendency to reappraise emotional events, when conjoined with high levels of hostility, might enhance their tendency to build convenient moral justifications for their immoral conduct, which in turn might have significant behavioral consequences.



Alexandra Maftei, Cristina-Maria Bostan, Daniela-Victoria Zaharia


Journal of Moral Education

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