The Asceticism Dimension of the Protestant Work Ethic: Shedding Its Status of Invisibility
Article first published online: 16 AUG 2010
© 2010 Copyright the Authors. Journal of Applied Social Psychology © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 40, Issue 8, pages 2043–2070, August 2010
How to Cite
Mudrack, P. E. and Mason, E. S. (2010), The Asceticism Dimension of the Protestant Work Ethic: Shedding Its Status of Invisibility. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40: 2043–2070. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2010.00650.x
- Issue published online: 16 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 16 AUG 2010
Asceticism seems an “invisible” Protestant work ethic (PWE) dimension that has largely been ignored in research. This study, building directly on existing knowledge, investigated the possibility that deference to authority was central to asceticism and the possible ethical implications of this. In 3 samples of employed persons, results demonstrated that highly ascetic individuals were highly authoritarian, were low in advanced moral reasoning, and regarded ethically questionable activities benefiting organizations (but not individuals) as relatively acceptable. However, “hard workers,” another PWE dimension, regarded all ethically questionable activities as inappropriate, regardless of the beneficiary, and were less clearly authoritarian. Significant relationships involving the PWE may sometimes be undetectable when combining distinct dimensions, and asceticism merits attention as a distinct PWE component.