Examining the Network Structure among Moral Functioning Components with Network Analysis

Personality and Individual Differences 217:112435 (2024)
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I explored the association between components constituting the basis for moral and optimal human functioning, i.e., moral reasoning, moral identity, empathy, and purpose, via network analysis. I employed factor scores instead of composite scores that most previous studies used for better accuracy in score estimation in this study. Then, I estimated the network structure among collected variables and centrality indicators. For additional information, the structure and indicators were compared between two groups, participants who engaged in civic activities highly versus lowly. The results demonstrated significant intra- and inter-scale associations in the network. The network structure was invariant across the two groups. Despite the network invariance, I found that the global connectivity between and centrality indicators of examined factors were higher among the high civic engagement group in general. I discussed the implications of the findings in research on moral functioning based on moral psychology and virtue ethics.



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