The Socio-Pyschological Views on Morality

The Socio-Pyschological Views on Morality

According to Adeboye (2000) the word “Morals” is used to the sense of relating to the principles of right and wrong in human behaviors. This included honesty, truthfulness and high standard of conduct in sexual and other matters. The above brief explanation means that morality deals with the problems of right and wrong behaviors good and bad conduct or actions (Bedelye 2001) in other words the whole business about morality involves four distinct but inter-related factors which include

–         Belief about the nature of man

–         Belief about the ideals that is what is good, worthwhile and desirable and therefore worthy of pursuit

–         Rules prescribing what ought to be done and what ought not to be done.

–         Motives that direct us to choose the right or the wrong course.

Several approaches have been employed by different theorists to justify moral behaviors or actions. The relativists, for example hold the view that morality is relative to a particular society. In other words what considered  morally good and desirable in one society may be seen as morally bad and undesirable in another society (Kanu 2000)

Therefore they argue that any justification for morality should be based on the acceptance or non acceptance of each moral value by each society. No other justification is needed beyond societal approval or disapproval (Ekepenyoung 1999). All the relativists are saying here that if any society accepts any action a good, then that action is good in that society. For example in the advanced societies, it is considered morally wrong for youths to engage in love affairs before marriage. But in African societies, such actions are abhorred as being amoral acts (Ekezie 2000)

The absolute on their part reject the relativists view and argue that there are certain things that ought to be accepted and certain thing that ought to be rejected by all human societies at all times and in all places. They contend that there are fundamental basic truths that remain the same irrespective of time and paces (Anyanuw 2001)

For the intuitionists, moral values are apprehended by the individuals directly. In other words an individual can say whether an action is right or wrong by means of an in-born moral sense, that is, by intuition. The action or behavior we see in this way are right in themselves. Their rightness cannot be proved logically or tested empirically. The tightness can only be intuited ( Nwokeocha 2000). The naturalist believed that the rightness of any actions is determined on the basic of the observation consequences to which that action gives rise. For example, if it is believed that pre-marital sexual relation is morally wrong, such belief should not be based on ethical judgment already made on the subject but on the outcome of personal observation or scientific studies of the effects of such relations ( Ibegbu 2000). Hence in summary the naturalist maintain that moral values or the rightness or wrongness of an act should be based on objective examination of the practical consequences of the act.

To the utilitarian, the most important value is happiness. They believe that the ultimate purpose for all human action is to increase human happiness. Therefore they argue that the rightness of an action is determined on the basic of whether such an action contributed to a greater balance of happiness over misery (Illoegbu 1990). This implies that if an event or an action bring happiness to majority of people, then that action is said to be morally right. But when the more people become misery than happy as a result of an action, then that action is said to be a result of the utilitarian emphasis the happiness of the majority, but without being against the happiness of the minority. However, they warned that the minority, in the pursuit of its happiness should not cause misery for the majority. For example two friends talking and laughing  inside a classroom where about thirty students are studying are free to do so, provided they do not disturb the others reading.

In his views on morality, Edeani (2000) stated that the acceptance or non acceptance of any behavior by the society suggest some kind of social criteria because the society must have established certain norms or standards against which to measure different modes of behaviors in order to determine their acceptability or non acceptability. By establishing its norms of good and hd behaviors the society is making some kind of value judgment. This is because it is saying that certain behaviors are more socially acceptable and more in the interest of majority than others. The society mates its value judgments on the basis of the values which it holds. Or example in Nigeria armed robbery is defined as immoral behavior. The definition of armed robbery as immoral behavior or act is based on the value judgment that robbery is not in the interest of the society. And the value on which this value judgment is based is called honesty. Therefore for the fact that the Nigerian society accept honesty as one of the values, it cannot permit armed robbery. It will therefore be compelled to gave the judgment that lack of armed robbery is better than armed robbery (Asodu 1998)

The values which a society hold and on the basis of which it makes it vale judgment give rise to moral rules, which are sometimes re-forced to as “a moral code” such moral rules are prescriptive in nature, and prescriptive statement are “ought statements (Nsidi 2000). So prescriptive statement about behavior usually state that behavior ought to be so. The morality of any behavior or act is therefore determined on the basis of the moral rules. Any violation of moral rules attracts certain consequences for the offender. For instance, if an individual breaks a moral rule, he is punished by complete ostracism or social disapproval or public ridicule (Nwogu 1997). However the type of punishment to be given to defaulters depends on the type of moral rule that has been violated or broken.


It is a truism that the present day Nigeria society has thrown morals to the winds, and had warmly embraced iniquity and immorality. The nations media (newspaper, radio and television) report incidence of bad moral behaviors by Nigerians. Such behaviors include stealing, deceit, murder, bribery and corruption and all forms of fraud embezzlement and so on (Awuyale 1999)

Corruption among politicians and government officials is a common events in the country. A report by the transparency international in 200 revealed that the cost or corruption within Nigerian during 1998 and 1999 was striated of 110.6 billion niare (Igbiki owubo 2001). This involved everything from fund embezzlement by government contacts. Large scale among laundering and the smuggling of weapons and narcotic has been allowed by customs officials and many other top civil servants had been bribed to silent.

It is however not only those of the highest levels of society who exhibit bad moral behavior. A report from the code of conduct Bureau in 1998 revealed that up to 30 percent of the Nigerian gross national product consist of income from businesses that are not registered and do not pay taxes. Furthermore, the economic and financial crime commission (EFCC) press release in 2003 also revealed that Nigeria losses well over 20 billion niara annually because or employee stealing or diverting government property (Ugwu 2003).

Fraud is also another manifestation of moral laxity in Nigeria The entire range of human wants in the in the country presents opportunities for fraudulent crimes. For instance, the sale of food in the country has long being profitable field for such firms of fraud as adulteration, misbranding, shortchanging and over pricing. Charlatans in the country also cater to the natural human desire for health, wealth and beauty.

Even religion is subject to fraudulent practice and the something for nothing offers appeal to the greedy side of human nature. Charity scheme exploit the generous and human impulses of the simple and trusting people. Dreams books, horosiges, and lucky charms are palmed off  on these who are credulous and naïve. In finally the advance fraudsters popularly called the higher are having their day in the country (Awanwu 2001)

In addition to the above, the internet has been used by people who seeks to have children and minors into illegal sex activities. The Nigerian media had made many report that reflected their consequences about increasing child pornography on the internet. Another subject of concern by the Nigeria media is the rising incidence of prostitution, child trafficking and internet fraud(Ani 2000)

The discussion made in this section is a strong proof that moral laxity is the bane of the Nigeria society. Hence here is dare need to unravel the cause of this problem in order to ascertain the expected role of the electronic media in the crusade for moral probity.


Asiodus (1998) stated that for any given act performed by an individual, four elements are involved. These elements include

–         The act itself

–         The circumstances of the action

–         The consequences of the action

–         The motives of the action.

For the present purposes, the researcher is particularly interested only on the last element which is the motive behind the action. This is because in determining the morality of an act, it is important to identify the motives behind such acts, (Adeboye 2000). The motive refers to the internal reason for performing the act. This implies that the motives for moral behavior involve inner reasons or urges for behaving in a way morally accepted by a society of group (Ekezie 2000).

According to Iloegbu (1998) individuals are motivated to do what is right by certain factors. These factors include

–         Personal satisfaction

–         Respects for rules

–         Respect for others as persons.

With regards to the first factor, Nsidi (2000) noted that getting satisfaction is one of the most powerful of human motives. In most cases, on individuals chooses to behave in a certain way because of the satisfaction he/she will get by behaving in such a way. The chose to behave in that particular way not because of any rule or any established standards to which he must conform and not because he had weighed behaving in that way against behaving otherwise. Rather he/she chose to behave in the any she/he did because behaving in that way will bring him/her satisfaction.

As regards to the second factor, Ugo (1997) stated that respect for rules is one reason why people behave in certain ways. The habit to obey rules is usually inculcated into individuals right from childhood. Consequently, individuals try to behave in accordance to established rules for any other reason other than that such rules hold for every occasion. Respect for rules sometimes involves respect for the authority of such rules.

For instance, respecting the ten commandment in the bible, by implication, involves respect for God who is the author of these commandments.

With regards to the third factor Obioha (2000) noted that the respect for others involves higher motive than respect for rules or personal satisfaction because any rule in this case, individual show respect to others people not because any rule say respect must be shown to other, but just because the people they are respecting are persons. For example, an individual can pay his debt not of any rule about borrowing and paying but out of respect for the creditor as a person who has a claim on him, the debtor. Under respect for others, we have such higher motives as sympathy, benevolence, respect for the right of others, and so on when individuals act out of these higher motives, they are more opportune to posses higher morality.


According to Ugo (1991) corruption is prevalent in Nigeria due to the fact that Nigeria glorifies low moral values. Corruption is regard as the mother of all crimes that occur in the country. It has risen and crystallized to be a pervasive phenomenon that can be found in every portion of the Nigeria polity.

The point to note here is that corruption undermines the management of public affairs and the economic development of the country. It hinders proper resources management, emasculate efforts reduce poverty into the country and obstruct sound and sustainable private sector development (Bedeley 2001)

Obioho (2000) noted that corruption is particularly harmful for Nigeria, which remains one of the hast developed nation in the world, when more than three quarters of the people are living in object penury, surviving on less than $1.00 per day and life expectancy is badly 45 – 50 years. The populace is seriously decimated by most intractable and destructive exigency, disrupting life and instigating civil wars, religious and tribal conflicts not forgetting pandemics such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.

According to world bank strategy report, Nigeria rank 54th on the Human Poverty index (HPI) and has shown an alarming increase in poverty incidence over he last 20years. From a head count of approximately 28 percent nationally in 1980, poverty incidence has risen to about 66 percent equally among the urban and rural population. Last test estimate of income suggest that about tow thirds of Nigerians, that is more that 80 million people survive in less than one dollar a day. The country is also rated as one of the most corrup in the world.

Kanu (2000) noted that we must not be unmindful of the growing evidence that corruption is fundamentally at the root of the myriads of our problems. He also stated that lax morality among Nigerians is among the causes of corruption. The point to note is that corruption intensifies ethnic conflict, ruins efficiency of government aid federal agencies, cripples the merit system of employment and promotion, and generates an atmosphere of distrust which pervades all levels of administration and governance. Corruption is also a major factor in the ineffectiveness of external aid in Nigeria. By estimates 18 billion dollars in aid for Nigeria has ended up in foreign bank accounts. It is distractive to note that this amount is twice the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of some African nations such as the following.

–         Cote d ivories

–         Uganda

–         Republic of Benin

–         Equatorial Guinea

–         Ethiopia

–         Tanzania

–         Guinea Bissan

–         Mali and Sudan

The view that corruption can be controlled only when on country is fully industrialized is considered a fallacy by many researchers. Although the extent of administrative and bureaucratic corruption is generally inversely correlate to a country’s level of development, there are large variation in the incidence of corruption among countries of  similar levels. Development according to Idika (1999) does not exempt countries from the problem

Bokare (2001) noted that public procurement has also been a very lucrative spot for corruption with the notorious 10 percent payment in competition for public procurement contracts.

The corruption in Nigeria distrust the allocation of social resources away from those who are legally entitled to them and direct them towards the rich powerful and politically connected. It disrupts the economic development efforts in the country by rewarding the most dishonest, rather than the most competent. It impedes services delivery and undermines state legitimacy and gains of domestic governance political and economic reforms. The country’s economy showing indications of growth world have achieved higher success if it is less affected by corruption.

In our cultures, especially our traditional village values, stealing is abhorred and repelled. In fact thieves are ostracized from the community. In some culture within Nigeria, the convict sometimes commit suicide and his family in shame move to distant plains to escape or minimize the scantly, badly, in certain higher levels in government, stealing is celebrated with drumming,, pomp and pageantry. This has in a sense compelled some unscrupulous following to the halls of infamy. Political or public office holder/seekers most often see power as means of gaining access to economic influence.

In other to combat  corruption in Nigeria, the federal government established the Anti corruption in  2001. according to Udoma (2001) under the enabling act, the commission has duty to

–         Receive and investigate upon reasonable grounds any report of ions-piracy to commit, attempt to commit, or the commission of any offence under the act or other law prohibiting corruption.

–         Examine practices, systems and procedures of public bodies and where they aid or facilitate fraud or corruption to direct or supervise a review

–         Instruct advice and assist on officer or agency or parastatals on ways by which fraud or corruption may be eliminated or minimized.

–         Educate the public on and against bribery, corruption and related offences.

–         Enlist and faster public support in combating corruption.

Despite the establishment of this body/commission corruption had continued to near its ugly head in Nigeria. This implies that the Anti-Corruption Commission had failed woefully in fulfilling its constitutional roles.


According to Udoma (2001) there is a general decline in moral behaviors among the Nigeria youth. He noted that due to the influence of western culture the moral behavior of the present day Nigerian youths had degenerated a great deal.

The everyday manifestations immorality among the Nigeria youth include the following.

–         Smoking and drug addiction.

–         Lack of respect to elders and to constituted authority

–         Greed

–         Drunkenness

–         Irregular attendance in school

–         Participation in secret cult activities

–         Armed robbery

–         Prostitution

–         Fraud among others


In Nigeria, the media has shown the Herculean task of championing the fight against moral decadence in our society. While it is doing it best the public should assist it to a more thorough job. Although it is a Herculean task on the part of the media, it need to direct its efforts towards ridding the society of this great vice  to preserve the scantly of our future generation (Ezeoke 2000).

At this juncture, the researcher will highlight the various applications of the media in the crusade for moral probity in some identified countries of the world. These are shown on table 2.1 below.


—-This article is not complete———–This article is not complete————

This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic


To purchase complete Project Materials, Pay the sum of N4, 000 to our bank accounts below:



ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0044056891




ACCOUNT NUMBER: 3066880122

After paying the sum of N4, 000 into any of our bank accounts, send the below details to our phone: 07033378184

1.      Your Depositors Name

2.      Teller Number

3.      Amount Paid

4.      Project Topic

5.       Your Email Address

Send the above details to: 07033378184 after  payment. We will send your complete project materials to your email 30 minutes after payment.

For Inquiries call – 07033378184

To Get Marketing Project Research Materials, Click Here!

To Get Accounting Project Materials, Click Here!

To Get Business Administration Project Materials, Click Here!

To Get Banking and Finance Project Materials, Click Here!

Co-Operative Economics and Management Project Materials, Click Here!

The Socio-Pyschological Views on Morality

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *