Is Moral Judgment Culture-Dependant?



  Introduction: Cultural studies have shown that there are cultural differences among people’s reasoning methods towards the universe. Considering intercultural studies, no study has been performed in order to assess personal and impersonal moral judgments. The purpose of this study was to investigate the responses and reaction times for personal and impersonal moral judgments and its comparison with Greene’s study (2004 and 2008) in western culture.   Method: This retrospective study was performed on 60 university students of different majors selected among Shahid Beheshti University students based on available sampling in year 2009. 20 dilemmas including 12 personal and 8 impersonal, were translated and presented to research units using computer and in audible format. They announced answers by pushing two keys to show their approval or disapproval for decisions proposed in dilemmas. Their answers and reaction times were recorded. Data was analyzed by Spearman’s rank correlation and Z statistics using SPSS 16.   Results: There was no significant difference between the rank order of reaction times to personal and impersonal dilemmas. Positive responses to personal and impersonal dilemmas were significantly different from past studies. Conclusion: It seems that there are significant cultural differences in moral judgments and culture has a dominant role in emotional moral decision-making along with cognitive and emotional factors.