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Original Article

The Central Role of Morality in Perceived Humanness and Unselfish Behaviors

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000352

Abstract. There is ample evidence for the central role of morality in social judgments. However, research has not examined whether perceived morality of others also drives perceived humanness, nor has it extensively considered its behavioral consequences. These issues were addressed across two studies. Study 1 revealed that information about a target person’s morality increased his/her perceived humanness, which in turn explained positive behavioral intentions toward him/her. Study 2 pointed out that information about a target person’s morality increased unselfish behaviors toward him/her. This effect was explained by perceived humanness of the target. Implications of the relationship between morality, perceived humanness, and unselfish behaviors are discussed.

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