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The scale you completed was the "Personal Theories of Morality Questionnaire", developed by Monica Gamez-Djokic and Daniel Molden at Northwestern University.

The scale is a measure of your agreement with five different ideas about what fundamentally determines whether particular thoughts and actions are moral or immoral. These different ideas were related to the following factors: 1) benevolent impact, which is the idea that thoughts or actions are immoral when they do not result in positive outcomes for other people; 2) normative standards, which is the idea that thoughts or actions are immoral when they violate what is generally belived to be acceptable in society; 3) emotional experience, which is the idea that thoughts or actions are immoral when they lead to negative feelings and emotions; 4) religious principles, which is the idea that thoughts or actions are immoral when they are inconsistent with religious teaching or the perceived will of some higher power, and 5) malicious intentions, which is the idea that thoughts or actions are immoral if they arise from harmful intentions, such as jealousy or hate.

The idea behind this scale is that few psychological studies have directly considered the general beliefs or personal theories that people have about what makes particular thoughts, intentions, or actions moral or immoral. People often have informal, common-sense explanations or beliefs about the world around them, and these can have an important influence on how they think and act. The scale was initially developed by conducting a large, open-ended survey about people's personal definitions of morality. The responses were then organized and condensed into the basic ideas that emerged, which let to the questionnaire focused on the five fundamental ideas described above.

People's beliefs about morality can have important effects on the way they make moral judgments. Research in many different areas of psychology have shown that personal theories about the world can create a lens through which they interpret and conceptualize the people and events they encounter in their daily lives. The scale is designed to examine how this process might occur for perceptions of and decisions about morality. For instance, some personal theories about morality might make people sensitive to information regarding other people's intentions and moral character, whereas other theories might make people more sensitive to the harms or benefits caused by other people's actions. Thus, people's personal beliefs of morality may decide which features of a situation they pay the most attention to and what kind of information they find most relevant and meaninful when making a moral judgment.

The graph below shows your scores (in green) compared to those of the average male (in brown) and the average female (in orange) visitor to this website. Each scale runs from 1 to 7, where 1 = you completely reject the lay theory and 7 = you very strongly endorse that lay theory of morality and use it to decide whether some action or intention is moral or immoral.

Do you have ideas on improving this study? Or did you encounter any difficulties in answering the questions? Click here to send a message to the creators of this study.

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