Virtue and virility: Governing with honor and the association or dissociation between martial honor and moral character of U.S. Presidents, legislators, and justices

Dov Cohen*, Angela K Y Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In many honor cultures, honor as martial honor and honor as character/integrity are often both subsumed under the banner of honor. In nonhonor cultures, these qualities are often separable. The present study examines political elites, revealing that Presidents, Congresspeople, and Supreme Court Justices from the Southern United States with a greater commitment to martial honor (as indexed by their military service) also show more integrity, character, and moral leadership. This relationship, however, does not hold for nonsoutherners. The present studies illustrate the need to examine both between-culture differences in cultural logics (as these logics connect various behaviors under a common ideal) and within-culture differences (as individuals rise to meet these cultural ideals or not).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-171
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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