The present research recruited participants from China, which is suffering from serious air pollution, and examined whether air pollution would be associated with moral judgment and immoral behavioral intention. Study 1 (n
= 145) used the objective Air Quality Index to indicate the level of air pollution and found that it predicted harsh judgment on others’ moral violations but did not predict judgment on others’ non-moral negative behaviors or their own immoral behavioral intentions. Study 2 (n
= 90) asked participants either to recall a past experience of being exposed to air pollution or to recall a neutral experience and consistently found that air pollution only influenced judgment on moral violations. The findings also ruled out the feeling of threat or the trust of government as possible mediators in the relationship between air pollution and harsh moral judgment.
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