Behavior-analytic accounts of rule-adherence behavior suggest that rule-governance is a general class of functional (i.e., instrumental) behavior maintained by social consequences (Baum, 2005; Malott & Suarez, 2004; Jacobs et al., in prep.). Evolutionary Life-History (LH) theory suggests that LH strategy may underlie variation in rule-adherence behavior. Based on an integration of these two theories, a theoretical structural model of rule-governance was developed and tested. The structure of this model was used to develop follow-up experiments to test particularly salient links in the model. Consistent with theory, the structural model indicated that slow LH strategy directly and indirectly (through increased moral emotions and increased executive functioning) contributed to strength of rule-governance. Two experiments failed to replicate previously demonstrated effects of executive function depletion or moral identity priming (on moral behavioral outcome measures). Further, self-report measures of slow LH strategy, executive functioning, and rule-governance did not predict prosocial (donating) or rule-defiance (cheating) behavior in laboratory tasks. The limitations of relying solely on either self-report or behavioral tasks of unknown external validity are discussed.
|Advisor:||Figueredo, Aurelio J., Jacobs, W. Jake|
|Commitee:||Nichols, Shaun, Sechrest, Lee|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Experimental psychology|
|Keywords:||Executive function, Moral judgment, Obedience, Rule-governance|
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