Why People with an Eye Toward the Future Are More Moral: The Role of Abstract Thinking  

Why do future-oriented people show greater moral concern than present-oriented people? Consistent with construal level theory (CLT; Trope & Liberman, 2003), we find that future-oriented people construe morally relevant actions at a higher level of abstraction, which clarifies their larger implications. Moreover, we show that level of construal partially explains the relationship between individual differences in temporal orientation and moral judgments. These findings support CLT and contribute to our understanding of moral psychology, as they are the first to show how individual differences pertaining to psychological distance relate to abstract thinking and moral judgments.

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APA-Format Citation

Agerström, J., & Björklund, F. (2013). Why people with an eye toward the future are more moral: The role of abstract thinking. Basic and applied social psychology, 35(4), 373-381.