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Holier Than Thou Types Are Full of Crap? O-RLY?

I saw this headline on Yahoo! news, Oddly, Hypocrisy Rooted in High Morals, and of course started to chuckle. As if I didn’t already know that usually those who purport to be the most “moral” are usually the slimiest eels in the pit.

In the new study, detailed in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers find that when this line between right and wrong is ambiguous among people who think of themselves as having high moral standards, the do-gooders can become the worst of cheaters.

The results recall the seeming disconnect between the words and actions of folks like televangelist and fraud convict Jim Bakker or admitted meth-buyer Ted Haggard, former president of the National Evangelical Association, an umbrella group representing some 45,000 churches.

“The principle we uncovered is that when faced with a moral decision, those with a strong moral identity choose their fate (for good or for bad) and then the moral identity drives them to pursue that fate to the extreme,” said researcher Scott Reynolds of the University of Washington Business School in Seattle. “So it makes sense that this principle would help explain what makes the greatest of saints and the foulest of hypocrites.”

Yep, that explains a lot.

Like this, and this, and this, and this, and definitely this.

You get the picture.

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