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Traditional Stories as Possible Vignettes in the Research of Moral Judgement: A Preliminary Report Using Stories from Mahabharata
Published in Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd
Volume: 31
Issue: 1
Pages: 187 - 219
The most prevalent stimuli for exploring moral judgement in laboratory settings are small vignettes in the form of moral dilemmas. These dilemmas, mostly borrowed from the field of philosophy, are often criticised for lacking ecological validity due to their confined outcomes, hypothetical physical harms, focus on one character and overlooking cultural aspects. These criticisms are especially implicative for Indian culture which may have a different perspective on morality due to cultural prerogatives, encouraging collectivism as opposed to individualism of the West. Moreover, Indian culture often incorporates hints of ancient traditions and tales in a subtle but extensive way. We wished to probe this complex paradigm of moral judgement in the Indian context empirically by qualitatively analysing the responses and exploring the corresponding ratings of 60 participants, employing 10 selected stories from the Mahabharata. A preliminary report of the analysis is presented here. While the ratings varied considerably for similar judgements, the qualitative results indicated a complex amalgamation of emotions, reasons, intuitions and cultural influences. The scope for using epic stories to understand moral judgement, in the context of contemporary society, is discussed. The findings further encourage questioning the relevance of culture and issues of the ecological validity of vignettes. © 2019 Department of Psychology, University of Allahabad.
About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetPsychology and Developing Societies
PublisherData powered by TypesetSage Publications India Pvt. Ltd