The Psychology of Morality: Being Your Best Self

Cite this

This work describes morality as the main component of modern society. It is an integral part of it, as it regulates order and interpersonal relations. In addition, the article describes rationalizations, justifications, and distractions that are tools for hiding the truth. People suppress the truth for various reasons, and often they do not want to lie, but if they admit something, it can lead to several sanctions that are not profitable for them, or they are afraid of them for some reason. This article describes each tool individually, as well as the relationship of all three instruments together. Moreover, the article aims to address specific issues; these issues are considered and disclosed in detail, and at the end of the paper are summed up.

Cut 15% OFF your first order
We’ll deliver a custom Personality paper tailored to your requirements with a good discount
Use discount
322 specialists online

Being Your Best Self

Moral choice is the concept through which morality is problematized mainly as a phenomenon of individual personal consciousness. The moral choice belongs to the individual as the bearer of ethical qualities, the subject of honest assessments, and the one who carries out these assessments. In the moral choice, the question of the moral law and the categories of morality, with the help of which a person determines moral qualities and assessments for themselves, are actualized. Following morals has important social consequences, as people expect others to follow morally correct behavioral guidelines (Ellemers et al., 2019). The purpose of this essay is to address rationalizations, justifications, and distractions that prevent people from making a morally correct decision.

Rationalization is a psychological defense in which a person justifies his controversial actions or feelings, explaining them rationally and logically. Rationalization is an unconscious attempt by a person to avoid internal conflict and maintain their self-esteem. These can include making up excuses such as “Everybody does it,” “Compared to what I could have done, my act is not so bad” and “Only little harm was done” (Mulder & Van Dijk, 2020). This type of psychological defense occurs after the fact so that the person has the feeling that they made a conscious choice.

In reality, their behavior was dictated by chance or a momentary desire. Rationalization allows people to create the appearance of reasonable and decent behavior-both in their own eyes and the eyes of others. For example, if a person is prone to passive behavior, rationalization, in this case, will be associated with caution; if they show aggression, then rationalizes this behavior as a self-defense mechanism. Moral rationalizations do contribute to the escalation of unethical behavior (Mulder & Van Dijk, 2020). Rationalization is often opposed to logic and facts, but this condition is not necessary.

Justifications are attempts to reduce their guilt to the interlocutor by explaining the reasons for their actions or telling about difficult circumstances. Insecure people who are not ready to take risks are more likely to justify themselves: they are used to blaming themselves, and they need self-justification. Self-confident people respond with self-realization and development to accusations, but certainly not with justification. Moreover, justifications can be caused by fears: fear of isolation, loneliness, fear of failure, and loss of image.

Justifications always arise in response to accusations – real or imaginary, born due to the individual’s internal dialogue. However, excuses are made without a visible request – that is, no one requires a person to explain his unsuccessful behavior, and justifications are still provided. Furthermore, justification always fulfills the function of psychological protection: it protects the integrity of the person’s image, settles cognitive dissonances, helps the person to feel more balanced and consistent.

On-Time Delivery!
Get your customised and 100% plagiarism-free paper done in as little as 3 hours
Let’s start
322 specialists online

In order to avoid the truth, people often use various distractions. For example, they change the topic of the conversation, and in addition, they can change their mood, which discredits the interlocutor and forces them to switch to this change. In this case, through distractions, the person can avoid direct lies. That is, people use distractions, probably for a better moral purpose, to avoid lying, but also not to draw the attention of the interlocutor to the problem that they were discussing at that moment.

People use rationalisms, justifications, and distractions to protect themselves from the consequences that a particular action may incur. These methods of self-defense are psychological and cannot be morally correct. From the point of view of morality, if a harmful act is committed, it would be more accurate to admit it, realize the guilt, and if there is a need to be punished. Very often, people use a set of psychological defenses to resolve a conflict or ease anxiety. In the case of using tools that hide the truth, it is necessary to remember morality because it is one of the main ways of normative regulation of human actions in society. Morality regulates the behavior and consciousness of a person to some extent in all spheres of social life without exception — in work, in everyday life, in politics and science, in family, personal, intra-group, inter-class, and international relations.

In conclusion, morality is the primary regulator of the correct behavior of people in society. If to deviate from morality, society will not be orderly, and norms of conduct will be absent so that chaos can occur. Anyway, even if some people violate the standards of morality and commit some hostile act, they try to hide it through some tools. Such tools are justification, rationalization, and distraction. These tools are used if a person does not want to lie but is afraid to tell the truth for some reason. On the opposite, they violate the norms of morality and still lie or do not tell the truth. In order to meet the accepted standards of morality, people need to cross all barriers and speak only the truth. Only conscious actions allow a person, without any external compulsion, to independently and freely apply moral norms in any life situation.


Ellemers, N., van der Toorn, J., Paunov, Y. & van Leeuwen, T. (2019). The psychology of morality: A review and analysis of empirical studies published from 1940 through 2017. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 23(4), 332–366. Web.

Get a custom-written paper
For only $13.00 $11/page you can get a custom-written academic paper according to your instructions
Let us help you
322 specialists online

Mulder L. B. & van Dijk, E. (2020). Moral rationalization contributes more strongly to escalation of unethical behavior among low moral identifiers than among high moral identifiers. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1-76. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


PsychologyWriting. (2022, July 26). The Psychology of Morality: Being Your Best Self. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2022, July 26). The Psychology of Morality: Being Your Best Self.

Work Cited

"The Psychology of Morality: Being Your Best Self." PsychologyWriting, 26 July 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'The Psychology of Morality: Being Your Best Self'. 26 July.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "The Psychology of Morality: Being Your Best Self." July 26, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "The Psychology of Morality: Being Your Best Self." July 26, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "The Psychology of Morality: Being Your Best Self." July 26, 2022.