London: Can a smartphone app judge how moral you are in daily life? Yes it can, say researchers.
In a bid to track moral judgements in everyday life, researchers used a smartphone app to track moral and immoral acts committed or witnessed by more than 1,200 people as they spent the day.
The findings showed that people were about three times as likely to report committing a moral act compared with an immoral one, but about 2.5 times as likely to report about someone else behaving badly than someone doing good deeds.
For the study, researchers looked into the lives of 1,252 US and Canadian adults recruited through Craigslist, Twitter and other sources, wired.com reported.
Wilhelm Hofmann, a social psychologist at the University of Cologne in Germany, and his colleagues sent participants text messages at random times and asked them to report any moral or immoral acts they had committed, been the target of, witnessed, or simply heard about within the previous hour.
Of 13,240 responses, 29 percent included a morally significant event.
"These were roughly evenly split between moral acts such as helping a lost tourist or giving a sandwich to a homeless person and acts deemed immoral such as petty theft or smoking in a car full of children," researchers noted.
Most of these acts - 64 percent - occurred in public places. Another 23 percent occurred at home.
The study also supports the idea that people with different political leanings emphasise different aspects of morality.
The study appeared in the journal Science.