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Moral pride: benefits and challenges of experiencing and expressing pride in one’s moral achievements

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Forthcoming
Publication date16/09/2017
Host publicationThe Moral Psychology of Pride
EditorsJ. Adam Carter, Emma Gordon
PublisherRowman and Littlefield
ISBN (Electronic)9781783489107
ISBN (Print)1783489081, 9781783489084
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameMoral psychology of the emotions
PublisherRowman and Littlefield

Abstract

Pride is a positive emotion experienced following the recognition of one’s status or achievements. Here, we review the psychological literature that exists on pride, its expression and outcomes. We distinguish pride based on individual, competence-based achievements from moral pride where others benefit from a person’s efforts. We propose that pride is a highly social emotion experienced when appraising the social merit of one’s actions. Pride’s motivational function may be to promote continued effort towards achieving, yet there are several distinct challenges to experiencing and expressing pride. First, we consider the conditions in which pride might serve to promote perseverance versus licensing effects, that is, continuance versus discontinuance towards desirable goals. Two important moderating factors we consider are the extent to which the achievement is considered to be self-diagnostic, and the extent that agent is held socially accountable. Second, we consider whether there might be greater social costs associated with expressing pride in moral achievements than expressing pride in competence-based achievements. For one, expressing pride in moral achievements may serve to cancel the perceived selfless motive of the act, while this may not be true for competence achievements. Furthermore, expressing pride in moral achievements may be more likely to pose an identity threat to audience members than when expressing pride in one’s skills. Thus, regulation of moral pride may be of critical importance to social functioning. Throughout the chapter we highlight a number of outstanding questions on the psychology of moral pride.