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What do I Think of Others in Relation to Myself? Moral Identity and Moral Inclusion in Explaining Prejudice


Correspondence to: Stefano Passini, University of Bologna - Department of Education, Bologna, Italy. E-mail:


The aim of this article is to analyze the effect of moral identity on prejudice in conjunction with moral inclusion/exclusion attitudes. In particular, the hypothesis is that even if high moral identity people tend to be less prejudicial than low moral identity people, this result can be explained with reference to moral inclusion/exclusion attitudes. A questionnaire was distributed to 192 Italian subjects. According to the hypothesis, results show that moral identity is negatively correlated with blatant prejudice, but that this effect is completely mediated by the perception of moral inclusion/exclusion with the other groups. These results suggest that it is not how morally you behave (symbolization), or the relevance you give to moral traits for your identity (internalization), that have an effect on prejudice, but rather it is who you include within the moral community within which moral values apply. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.