4 Characteristics of High Morality and How to Improve It
As explained in the previous article, morality involves psychological elements in humans: emotion, cognition, awareness, and intuition. Then, what are the characteristics of high morality?
More broadly, there are actually many moral dimensions. Not limited to the psychological dimension, but also into social topics.
However, it should also be underlined that the key to the harmonization of society is in the individual’s morals. So, it becomes very important for us to start learning to be moral human beings.
Apart from being individuals, we all agree that we are also social beings. That is, each individual has a relationship with other individuals, in a positive or negative direction.
Characteristics of High Morality
No human survives without the help of other humans. Therefore, it is important for us to be moral human beings, so that we can maintain social harmony. Below are some of the characteristics of high morality in a human being.
1. Fulfilled psychological needs
Being a human being with high moral characteristics, is usually able to meet individual psychic needs. Baron & Byrne (2005), mentions, in some cases helping people can make people feel good. On the other hand, if the help doesn’t work, it creates negative emotions.
2. Have behavioral control
People with high morality also have good control in controlling their behavior. Because, if he commits even the slightest immoral act, a feeling of guilt will overwhelm him.
So, he will always try to do good, so as not to be enveloped in guilt. Unlike people with mental disorders, psychopaths, for example, enjoy their behavior when killing. He gets satisfaction while committing such immoral acts (Levin & Fox, 2008)
3. Good for building social relations
Nadira Quamira at ruangpsikologi.com in her article entitled “The Importance of Networking for Careers” reviews the importance of networking to support a career. But, does anyone want to build social relations with people who like to rob, rape, or kill?
Obviously no one wants to build relationships with immoral humans, except for those who are immoral too. From this, it can be concluded that being a moral person can support our careers in the future.
4. Social justice
Cases of corruption in Indonesia, or other legal cases, will not occur if morals are the basis of reasoning. Because, for those who are motivated by moral integrity, considerations of virtue and justice (Baron & Byrne, 2005). Politicians, lawyers or other state actors, not only choose policies that are useful for themselves, but also benefit society in general (Haidt, 2007).
Perhaps, the four characteristics of high morality above are only a small part. We ourselves are very sure there are many other characteristics as well as benefits that can be felt for humans themselves.
The simplest way to bring up the characteristics of high morality is if it is done from a young age by the environment and family, as well as educational institutions. However, it is never too late to learn. We who have become adults can also begin to monitor our own morals so as not to harm others.
How to Improve Morality
From several references to morality from a psychological point of view, here are some formulas to improve human morality.
1. Changing social perception
Jorge Moll and his colleagues (2005), examined the function of the human brain when conducting moral judgments. One that plays a role when making moral judgments are some parts of the brain that function to form social perceptions.
They assume that a person’s view of the world around him influences how that person takes moral actions towards his environment. If we think there is a need for harmony in society, our actions will be aimed at the harmonization of society. Consequently, we must also act to maintain harmonization in society.
2. Motivate yourself to act with morality
As Carl Rogers argued that humans have the ability to determine their own destiny (Alwisol, 2009). Humans also have the ability to motivate themselves to act according to morality.
Motivating oneself to act morally means subordinate motivation to meet individual needs (self-interest) (Baron & Byrne, 2005). Conflict between self-interest and moral integrity can be accomplished by making moral choices. Basing choices on virtue and justice (Baron & Byrne, 2005).
3. Friendly with nature
A spiritual leader who is also a politician in India, Mahathma Gandhi, once said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated(The greatness of a country and its moral progress can be judged by the way they treat animals).
That is, moral humans are not only wise and fair to their fellow human beings, but also to animals, in a broader context is nature. Therefore, to become moral human beings, from now on we should also be fair to nature. When it is fair to nature, it will be easier to be fair to fellow humans.
4. Learn from other countries
In Japan, a transportation or transportation minister, for example, chose to resign because there was a train crash. For him, the driver until the accident was his fault. In his book Asian Drama, Gunnar Myrdal, says that Third World nations, including Indonesia, are soft nations (soft state).
Soft is not in a physical sense, but in a moral sense, that is, in this nation the difference between right and wrong and good and bad is not very clear. Therefore, there are many cases in Indonesia which, if placed in the size of developed countries, would be scandalous, but here they are considered normal (Rachman, 2012), just a small example is the matter of delay.
Therefore, learn from other countries, at least there will be self-awareness of the need for strong morality, as the foundation of social life. Characteristics of high morality we can see and learn from many cultures.
Alwisol. (2009). Personality Psychology, Revised Edition. Malang: UMM Press.
Baron, RA, & Byrne, D. (2005). Social Psychology Tenth Edition Volume 2. (R. Juwita, & E. Al, Trans.) Jakarta: Erlangga.
Haidt, J. (2007). The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology. Sciencece316, 998-1001.
Levin, J., & Fox, J.A. (2008). Normalcy in Behavioral Characteristics of the Sadistic Serial Killer. In RN Kocsis (Ed.), Serial Murder and Psychology of Violent Crimes (pp. 3-14). Sydney: Humana Press.
Moll, J., Zahn, R., Souza, R. d., Krueger, F., & Grafman, J. (2005). The Neural Basis of Human Moral Cognition. Neuroscience799-809.
Rachman, BM (2012). Encyclopedia of Nurcholish Madjid: Islamic Thought on the Canvas of Civilization. Jakarta: Democracy Project.