Exploring the Influence of Culture & Individual Differences on the Conception of Perennial Virtues
Abstract: The relativism of virtues is an enduring topic in the realm of moral philosophy. Martin Seligman and colleagues (2015) executed a meta-analysis of philosophical and religious texts from the most influential civilizations of our world and identified six perennial virtues present within each: courage, justice, transcendence, humanity, wisdom, and temperance. Our study explored differences in the interpretation and importance of these virtues, despite their perennial nature. The complexity of culture can lead to distinct perspectives regarding an individual virtue’s meaning, practice, and connection to well-being. The survey instrument included a newly designed virtue association scale, a virtue ranking scale, demographic information, and a measure for cultural orientation. We hypothesized that differences in participants’ conceptions of virtues would be found based on cultural orientation, age, religion, gender, race, and immigrant status. Cultural orientation affected participants’ conception of courage, humanity and justice. Culture and sex interacted to affect participants’ conception of transcendence and justice. Cultural orientation interacted with age to affect conceptions of humanity. Cultural orientation interacted with religion to influence participants’ conception of courage. Finally, cultural orientation interacted with race to affect the conception of temperance, wisdom, justice, transcendence, and courage.
Sergio Daniel Garcia* and Mallorie Gomez
Judging Forms – Official judges only