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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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

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Correspondence to Müjde Peker.

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Peker, M., Booth, R.W. & Güney, O. Perceived self-society moral discrepancies concerning fairness predict depression and paranoid ideation. Curr Psychol 40, 1152–1158 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-0034-1

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Keywords

  • Moral discrepancies
  • Depression
  • Paranoid ideation
  • Psychopathology