Morality in Groups: On the Social-Regulatory Functions of Right and Wrong



Applying what we know about group-based identities and concerns allows us to improve our understanding of the ways in which morality is relevant to social judgments of right and wrong. We distinguish between three different social functions of moral standards and moral judgments. The identity defining function of morality indicates where people want to belong, and how they are regarded by others. The group dynamic function indicates consensual definitions of what is right and wrong that guide individual behavioral choices. The intergroup relations function of group morality, speaks to the way people tend to communicate with and behave towards members of other groups that have different moral standards.