Conceptual foundations of principled behaviour tendencies: Implications of the commitment to principles


Current Psychology, vol.41, no.3, pp.1633-1652, 2022 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12144-021-02402-2
  • Journal Name: Current Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1633-1652
  • Keywords: Authenticity, Integrity, Principled behaviour tendency, Psychological needs, Self-construal
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


Ethical ideologies incorporate distinct features as they are quite influential with respect to a personal commitment to moral principles. As the endpoints of a continuum, principled and expedient ethical ideologies function as the pathfinders for individuals along various ethical paths. In this sense, due to their multifarious components and implications in human relations, an elaboration of the mechanisms underlying principled ethical ideologies merits further attention. For this reason, this study aimed to a) investigate some cognitive, emotional and behavioural factors and personality traits related to principled behaviour; b) develop a valid and reliable scale to evaluate the principled behaviour tendencies of people holding a principled ideology; and c) reveal the links between principled behaviour and self-construal, authenticity and psychological needs. The results of three studies have demonstrated that being principled is a combination of certain cognitive, emotional and behavioural factors and personality traits. Furthermore, individualistic, relational and collectivistic self-construal, authenticity and autonomy as well as relatedness and competence within the context of psychological needs were potent predictors of being principled.