Perceived self-society moral discrepancies concerning fairness predict depression and paranoid ideation

  • Müjde PekerEmail author
  • Robert W. Booth
  • Onuray Güney


This study investigated the psychological correlates of perceiving a discrepancy between one’s own moral beliefs and those of the greater society (a ‘moral discrepancy’). One hundred and one female Turkish students answered questions about their own moral beliefs, their perceptions of the greater society’s moral beliefs, and their mental health. Moral discrepancies were assessed using an adaptation of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (Graham et al. 2009), while mental health was assessed using the Symptom Check List-90-Revised (Derogatis 1992). Participants who perceived a discrepancy relating to fairness and reciprocity concerns reported more depressed and paranoid symptoms. It is suggested that moral discrepancies can create a vulnerability to depression and paranoid thinking by fostering a feeling of isolation.


Moral discrepancies Depression Paranoid ideation Psychopathology 



We are grateful to Mete Budak, Ayşe Nur Karkın, Ayca Ezgi Meriçtan, Seher Özdemir, and Tuğçe Yurtsever.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there are no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences/Department of PsychologyMEF UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesSabancı UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyEge UniversityIzmirTurkey

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