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Ellemers, Naomi

Ellemers, Naomi


Naomi Ellemers, born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1963. Ph.D. from the University of Groningen. Professor of Psychology at Leiden University.

Fellow (1 February 2015 – 30 June 2015)

Morality and the Regulation of Social Behaviour

Research Question

Moral judgments indicate ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’ ways to behave, and help regulate the behavior of individuals living in groups. I examine the social psychological functions of morality and moral judgments, by explicitly addressing the variations in what is seen as morally ‘right’ or virtuous across different groups or cultural contexts, and examining how this impacts on individual judgments and behaviors.

Project Description

I aim to write a book on the social functions of shared moral values for the regulation of behaviour within and between groups. This will contain an overview of my recent program of research that examines how adherence to the moral standards of the group can help achieve or maintain a positive group-level conception of self.

This analysis may help understand why people adhere to shared moral norms, even when these prescribe behaviours members of other groups may consider immoral. I explain how group-specific moral norms impact upon behavioural choices of individual group members. I also show that moral guidelines provided by members of another group fail to have similar effects, because people consider moral judgments of outgroup members less relevant to their social identity.

Selected Publications

1) Ellemers, N., & Van den Bos, K. (2012). Morality in groups: On the social-regulatory functions of right and wrong. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6, 878-889.

2) Ellemers, N. (2012). The group self. Science, 336, 848-852.

3) Ellemers, N., Pagliaro, S., & Barreto, M. (2013). Morality and behavioural regulation in groups: A social identity approach. European Review of Social Psychology, 24, 160-193.

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