Emotional Reactions and Moral Judgment: The Effects of Morally Challenging Interactions in Military Operations

Ethics and Behavior 26 (1):14-31 (2016)

Abstract

This study explores the association between different types of morally challenging interactions during military deployment and response strategies, as well as the mediating role of moral emotions. Interviews with Dutch servicemen who participated in military operations were content coded. We found a relationship between local-cultural and team-related interactions and moral justification; these effects were mediated by other-condemning emotions. Similarly, other-condemning emotions mediated the relationship between local-cultural interactions and relativism. This study points at the importance of other-condemning emotions in shaping military reactions to frequently occurring morally challenging interactions.

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