Moral Self-Licensing

Posted: September 7, 2016 in English 11 Honors, Uncategorized

Here’s the Moral Licensing stuff we’ve been studying in English 11 to accompany Between the World and Me and Outliers.

Moral Self-Licensing: “Past good deeds can liberate individuals to engage in behaviors that are immoral, unethical, or otherwise problematic, behaviors that they would otherwise avoid for fear of feeling or appearing immoral.” (Merritt, Effron & Monin)

moral_compass_120626Naturally this concept isn’t employed all the time, and it’s a subconscious occurrence, but it is an interesting way to look at some of the inconsistencies we find in society.  Here’s the podcast we heard in class: Malcolm Gladwell Revisionist History Episode 1: “The Lady Vanishes”

We then read “Moral Self-Licensing: When Being Good Frees Us to Be Bad” and completed moral-self-licensing-4-a.

But what happens when we forget about the good (or bad) things we’ve done?  There’s an interesting story on NPR this week on just that:


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