Arts & Sciences

Motivations for taking the moral high ground

Every day, we face a series of opportunities to do the right thing. Sometimes we seize those moments; other times, we don’t. So, why do we make these choices, and what drives some people to take the moral high ground?

Jessie Sun, PhD, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, explored the motivations for moral behavior in a study published in the Journal of Personality.

For the study, 952 people answered questionnaires about the changes they’d like to make in their lives in order to become more morally good.

We spoke with Sun about her findings and the surprising reasons why some people make the effort to be good.

Read more.