Journalists Primed: How Professional Identity Affects Moral Decision Making

Patrick Ferrucci, Edson C. Tandoc, Erin E. Schauster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study examines whether professional journalists reason differently about moral problems when primed with their professional identity. This between-subjects experiment (N = 171) used the Defining Issues Test, a much-used and validated instrument that measures moral reasoning. The results show identity priming does not affect how journalists apply ethics. The study also found that journalists score far lower in moral reasoning than they did 13 years ago. These results are interpreted through the lens of social identity theory.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Journalism
  • ethics
  • experiment
  • identity
  • moral development
  • priming


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