Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 322–342 | Cite as

On the emotions associated with violations of three moral codes (community, autonomy, divinity)

  • Dolichan KollarethEmail author
  • James A. Russell
Original Paper


According to CAD theory, different moral domains are associated with different emotions: (C) community violations with contempt, (A) autonomy violations with anger, and (D) divinity violations with disgust. Do people from different cultural groups make the same associations? Three studies (Ns = 120, 240, 240) tested the CAD theory. Participants from three cultural groups—North Americans, North Indians, and South Indians—associated emotions (with words or facial expressions) with vignettes of moral violations. Across all three cultures, moral violations were associated with more than one emotion: all negative rather than positive, anger for most, and disgust for violations involving sex and pathogens. CAD faired poorly, with C and A collapsing, and D limited to sex and pathogens.


Moral emotion Culture Moral domains CAD theory 



We thank our collaborators in St. Xavier’s College, Jaipur, India and St. Xavier’s College, Thiruvananthapuram, India for their assistance in conducting the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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