Using a special smartphone application American psychologists have studied the moral and immoral behavior of people in real life. Before scientists learned about moral principles and acts only according to surveys and laboratory experiments, reports the journal Science.
1200 adult Americans and Canadians five times a day (at a randomly chosen time) asked, not made in the last hour of the moral (or immoral) act, have witnessed such and have not heard of it from someone else. In the case of an affirmative answer to the research participants were asked to briefly describe the event (using the same application). Scientists received 13 240 responses, righteous and immoral acts were represented with approximately equal frequency (2029 and 1799 cases).
People often talked about his own righteous acts of other immoral (and about the last they usually learned with someone else's words). This fact confirmed the long-held hypothesis that rumors and gossip spread primarily negative information. Political preferences were important for moral evaluations: liberals often drew attention to the honest (and dishonest) behavior, and the conservatives on the manifestations of loyalty and acts of treachery. The religiosity of the respondents did not affect the responses (with one exception: religious people are more sharply reacted to immoral acts, whose witnesses they were).
Finally, scientists have found evidence of two important hypotheses of social psychology. First, this "contamination of morality": if a man will act justly in the day it is very likely he will do something good for others. Secondly, this "moral indulgence: if someone in the morning did the right thing, closer to the evening, he can afford to be immoral.