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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Recent research has identified important functional differences between Prescriptive morality (based in approach motivation) and Proscriptive morality (based in avoidance motivation). The purpose of the present research was to understand the consequences of these moralities applied at the group level for social categorization, especially in response to threat. I measured social categorization with a novel method in which participants categorized same-race and cross-race morphed faces. Social Justice (which is Prescriptive morality applied to the group) was associated with more inclusive social categorization under conditions of threat compared to a control condition. Social Order (which is Proscriptive morality applied to the group) was not associated with social categorization. The implications of this work for social categorization, politics, and our understanding of moral diversity are discussed.


First Advisor

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman