How to determine that a person is trustworthy? According to researchers, people who hold onto moral absolutes are more trusted and more valued as social partners, suggesting that people gauge others’ trustworthiness based on their moral judgments.
The findings help explain that snap judgements about morality tend to be based on a set of absolute moral rules even if a person makes different decisions when given more time.
“If people who stick to moral absolutes are preferred as social partners, expressing this view will reap benefits for oneself,” said lead researcher Jim AC Everett from the University of Oxford.
The team used several variations of moral dilemmas where a person must decide whether or not to sacrifice an innocent person in order to save the lives of many others.
Our day-to-day moral decisions don’t fit into the neat categories defined by moral philosophers. Instead, real life morality is suited to the complexity of real life situations, the researchers suggested in a paper that appeared in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.