AbstractTwo studies were designed to test whether moral elevation should be conceptualized as an approach-oriented emotion. The studies examined the relationship between moral elevation and the behavioral activation and inhibition systems. Study 1 (N = 80) showed that individual differences in moral elevation were associated with individual differences in behavioral activation but not inhibition. Study 2 (N = 78) showed that an elevation-inducing video promoted equally high levels of approach orientation as an anger-inducing video and significantly higher levels of approach orientation than a control video. Furthermore, the elevation-inducing stimulus (vs. the control condition) significantly promoted prosocial motivation and this effect was sequentially mediated by feelings of moral elevation followed by an approach-oriented state. Overall the results show unambiguous support for the proposal that moral elevation is an approach-oriented emotion. Applied and theoretical implications are discussed.
Copyright/License© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.