What Can A Morality Test Teach Us?

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated July 11, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC

The good in someone can’t be tested. Or, can it? Many online tests claim to measure one’s morality, but what’s the validity of these tests? What are they created based on, and what can (or can’t) they teach you about yourself? How do you distinguish and act based on your morals? Today, we’ll answer those questions.

What Is A Morality Test?

Working To Align Your Actions With Your Morals?

Morality can be a tricky concept to define properly. The subjectivity of morality changes not just from person to person but from culture to culture and, if applicable, from group to group. Even the dictionary definition of morality“beliefs about right behavior and wrong behavior,” leaves room for interpretation.

Morals and ethics may also change with time and education. For example, you may have grown up around the beliefs of your parent or parents and went on to find that they were unjust. The same might also be true for what you learned in school.

A morality test is typically something that is taken for fun. Unlike some other tests, such as those used in career or guidance counseling, you’re unlikely to come across a morality test at a public college campus or in another similar setting. However, even the personality tests that are used in those settings have the potential to be biased. The same is true for morality tests.

Depending on what test you take, you’ll be scored in different ways. One morality test might reflect on your politics and how you might be characterized by others politically based on their questions. Others may score you based on whether you follow certain societal rules. Some may score on empathy, where others score you based on the law or legal questions. Many morality tests don’t necessarily say whether the creator would consider you moral or not but rather where your morals, values, and ethics might show up.

Here are some examples of morality tests you might find online and how they work.

The Moral Foundations Test

There are various places on the web where you can find the Moral Foundations Test, but the most common seems to be the version on https://www.idrlabs.com. This test contains 36 questions. Once you finish answering the test questions, you will see graphs that score how much you align with the following categories based on the creator’s affiliations with said questions:

  • The foundation of care shows how sensitive you are to the hu of others. In this foundation, the opposite of care is harm. The idea of care is to help those in need, nurture others, and extend compassion.
  • The foundation of care in this quiz relates to justice, honesty, and reliability. Many people think of how fair or certain unfair things maybe when they consider or think about ethics.
  • The foundation of loyalty in this quiz relates to loyalty to traditions and other people. Some people are loyal to those in their inner circle even when these individuals cause harm. At the same time, others are more apt to stand up for what they feel is right regardless of whether it is traditional or expected based on interpersonal relations.
  • The foundation of authority in this quiz relates to how likely a person is to base their ethics or morals on the following authority.
  • Similar to the concept of traditions, the foundation of purity in this quiz relates to ideas of sanctity.
  • Everyone claims to want liberty, the idea to be as free as one can be. In this quiz, the foundation of liberty relates to individuality and autonomy.

As you can see, these concepts in and of themselves are all subjective. For example, loyalty to you might mean being loyal to your values, whereas to another person, it might mean being loyal to a friend, family member, or system even when they know that it could negatively impact another person. Alternatively, you may view purity as honesty and positive intent. In contrast, this quiz mostly refers to ideas of virtue and behavior that may be outdated or align with one person but not another.

This test will also let you know if your score aligns most with what might be perceived as a left-liberal, a libertarianism perspective, or conservative. What you feel you align with most may vary from your results, whether related to your political values or what you feel your ethics are influenced or navigated by.

The Moral Sense Test(s)

There are six different tests on this website, which take somewhere from an estimated 5 to 15 minutes. The morality test specifically is estimated to take about 15 minutes, and it is supposed to reflect how you make ethical or moral choices. These tests are used for research, and they cannot be completed or taken using an iPhone or iPad, so if you want to use one of the tests on this website, you will likely have to take it on your desktop or laptop computer.

Other Tests

While these tests may not explicitly state that they care about or are related to morality, they may be enjoyable for those interested in topics surrounding ethics, personal beliefs, and personality.

Implicit Association Test (IAT)

With the disclaimer on the website in mind, this project and set of tests are largely used to help a person determine if they may have implicit biases surrounding various groups and topics. Topics include but aren’t limited to sexuality, religion, age, and gender. This test is mainly used among people who would like to acknowledge their potential implicit biases to work through said biases and improve.

If you wish to do so, you can take a test here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatouchtest.html.

Big Five

The big five personality test is very prevalent. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely heard of it. Although it doesn’t touch on ethics or morals specifically, it does rank traits like agreeableness and openness that may influence morals and ethics.

The Bottom Line: What Can A Morality Test Teach Us?

Much like other online tests, a morality test can be entertaining, but does it provide us anything outside of that? Here are two things a morality test might be able to give you:

  • There is nothing wrong with taking a test strictly for fun. Even some tests used in the workplace, therapeutic settings, or university settings are also available online to take for enjoyment. A common example of this is the Myers-Briggs test, which is not a morality test, but a test used in many career counseling and similar settings.
  • Self-reflection. Some of the questions on certain morality tests might give you an opportunity for self-reflection. A morality test may be biased, and it most likely shouldn’t be the be-all-end-all for determining how moral or immoral you are, but you can complete one as an exercise in getting in touch with your true personal values. You can use it as an opportunity to think for yourself and see how you feel about the questions.

As for the bottom line? Perhaps, these tests can’t be taken too seriously. That said, there’s probably no harm in taking one out of curiosity, especially if you use critical thinking skills while doing it and are mindful of the ways that these tests may be biased or outdated.  Remember that even scientific research can be heavily biased based on the person conducting it, which is true for these popular tests. So, your question now might be how to address or think about morality in your personal life absent of a quiz or other people’s ideas.

If you’re interested in exploring your ideas about morality, “What does morality mean to me?” or “What influences my ideas about morality? Is that something I am happy with, or is it something I want to change?” may be more effective questions than any of the questions on these tests. Alternatively, you may ask yourself, “How can I act in a way that aligns with my morals? Are there times when I struggle to do so?” Many people want to be the best person they can be, and thinking about these questions can help guide you. If you find that your actions don’t align with your morals or you’re having trouble asserting yourself in ways that relate to your morals, a counselor or therapist may help.

Find A Counselor

Working To Align Your Actions With Your Morals?

Interested in seeing a counselor but aren’t sure where to start? You can find a counselor near you through a web search, a physician-provided referral, or by contacting your insurance company. Alternatively, you may decide to sign up for a secure online platform with licensed remote counselors and therapists like BetterHelp. Financial aid is available for those who need it, and online counseling or therapy is typically a more affordable option in comparison to the cost of traditional in-person services. Whether you choose to connect with a therapist or counselor, you deserve quality care and support, so don’t hesitate to sign up or initiate your search for a provider today.

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