Big Five personality predictors of moral disengagement: A comprehensive aspect-level approach

Manuel Rengifo*, Simon M. Laham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Research in unethical behaviour has highlighted the role of moral disengagement as one of its main predictors. Even though extant research has studied trait moral disengagement in the context of Big Five personality domains, no studies have explored the contribution of within- domain aspects. In three studies (N = 663) we found associations between Big Five personality factors and moral disengagement that highlight the primary role of Agreeableness (and its aspects politeness and compassion), but also implicate assertiveness and volatility. Furthermore, we found that moral disengagement significantly accounted for the effects of domains Agreeableness and Openness/Intellect, and aspects politeness, compassion, volatility, enthusiasm, assertiveness, and openness on unethical decision-making. In sum, these findings provide valuable insight into the role that Big Five personality domains and aspects play in the deployment of moral disengagement and help us to understand how the latter may account for the relationships between Big Five personality traits and unethical decision- making.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111176
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Big Five aspects
  • Moral disengagement
  • Personality
  • Unethical decision-making


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