Predicting moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide: The role of religion, conservatism, authoritarianism, and Big Five personality

Maria Bulmer, Jan Rasmus Boehnke, Gary J. Lewis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The issue of physician-assisted suicide is a highly contentious social issue and thus there is importance in understanding the factors that predict attitudes in this domain. In the current study we sought to examine individual differences in moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide with a particular focus on religion/religiosity, political ideology, authoritarianism, and Big Five personality traits, all of which were identified in an extensive review of previous studies as potentially relevant predictors. Based on N = 1598 respondents from the Baylor Religion Survey (US) our results indicated an independent role for each of the predictors: being a Protestant or a Catholic (vs. no religion), higher levels of religiosity, higher levels of conservativism (vs. liberalism), and higher levels of authoritarianism uniquely predicted lower levels of support for physician-assisted suicide. Moreover, higher levels of extraversion independently predicted greater support for physician-assisted suicide. These results confirm a set of previously described predictors in an independent data set and extend prior research by showing that they independently predict moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide when modelled jointly. In summary, moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide reflects individual differences in a broad range of social and psychological factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)244–251
    Number of pages8
    JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
    Volume105
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

    Fingerprint

    Authoritarianism
    Assisted Suicide
    Religion
    Politics
    Personality
    Individuality
    Psychology
    Research

    Keywords

    • Physician-assisted suicide
    • Personality
    • Religiosity
    • Political ideology
    • Authoritarianism

    Cite this

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    abstract = "The issue of physician-assisted suicide is a highly contentious social issue and thus there is importance in understanding the factors that predict attitudes in this domain. In the current study we sought to examine individual differences in moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide with a particular focus on religion/religiosity, political ideology, authoritarianism, and Big Five personality traits, all of which were identified in an extensive review of previous studies as potentially relevant predictors. Based on N = 1598 respondents from the Baylor Religion Survey (US) our results indicated an independent role for each of the predictors: being a Protestant or a Catholic (vs. no religion), higher levels of religiosity, higher levels of conservativism (vs. liberalism), and higher levels of authoritarianism uniquely predicted lower levels of support for physician-assisted suicide. Moreover, higher levels of extraversion independently predicted greater support for physician-assisted suicide. These results confirm a set of previously described predictors in an independent data set and extend prior research by showing that they independently predict moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide when modelled jointly. In summary, moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide reflects individual differences in a broad range of social and psychological factors.",
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    T1 - Predicting moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide

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    AU - Bulmer, Maria

    AU - Boehnke, Jan Rasmus

    AU - Lewis, Gary J.

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    N2 - The issue of physician-assisted suicide is a highly contentious social issue and thus there is importance in understanding the factors that predict attitudes in this domain. In the current study we sought to examine individual differences in moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide with a particular focus on religion/religiosity, political ideology, authoritarianism, and Big Five personality traits, all of which were identified in an extensive review of previous studies as potentially relevant predictors. Based on N = 1598 respondents from the Baylor Religion Survey (US) our results indicated an independent role for each of the predictors: being a Protestant or a Catholic (vs. no religion), higher levels of religiosity, higher levels of conservativism (vs. liberalism), and higher levels of authoritarianism uniquely predicted lower levels of support for physician-assisted suicide. Moreover, higher levels of extraversion independently predicted greater support for physician-assisted suicide. These results confirm a set of previously described predictors in an independent data set and extend prior research by showing that they independently predict moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide when modelled jointly. In summary, moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide reflects individual differences in a broad range of social and psychological factors.

    AB - The issue of physician-assisted suicide is a highly contentious social issue and thus there is importance in understanding the factors that predict attitudes in this domain. In the current study we sought to examine individual differences in moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide with a particular focus on religion/religiosity, political ideology, authoritarianism, and Big Five personality traits, all of which were identified in an extensive review of previous studies as potentially relevant predictors. Based on N = 1598 respondents from the Baylor Religion Survey (US) our results indicated an independent role for each of the predictors: being a Protestant or a Catholic (vs. no religion), higher levels of religiosity, higher levels of conservativism (vs. liberalism), and higher levels of authoritarianism uniquely predicted lower levels of support for physician-assisted suicide. Moreover, higher levels of extraversion independently predicted greater support for physician-assisted suicide. These results confirm a set of previously described predictors in an independent data set and extend prior research by showing that they independently predict moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide when modelled jointly. In summary, moral sentiment towards physician-assisted suicide reflects individual differences in a broad range of social and psychological factors.

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    KW - Political ideology

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