Moral Agency Scale (MAS)

Moral Agency Scale (MAS) is a 14-item measure of an individual's ability to choose moral actions freely. This scale contains 3 subscales: Responsibility, External Attribution and Group Pressure.


Geographies Tested: Canada,Spain,United Kingdom,United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


2. If I get into trouble, it is my own fault even if someone else told me to do it.
3. I make up my own mind about doing good or bad things.
5. I am just as at fault for breaking the rules when no one knows as when everyone knows.
7. I am the one responsible for my own behavior, good and bad.
9. I feel responsible for the consequences of my actions.
12. Most of the time I can tell how my actions are going to affect others.
14. In most cases, I can make my own decisions about what is right or wrong in a situation.

External attribution
4. Sometimes it seems like fate determines whether my actions are good or bad.*
6. Doing wrong is not really the fault of individuals when society enables them.*
10. When things don't turn out as I expected, it seems like someone else took control of things.*
11. Luck, more than what you do, is responsible for whether things turn out for the best.*

Group pressure
1. If I feel pressured into doing something, I'm not as responsible as when I decide on my own.*
8. No one can make me do something I know to be wrong.
13. My actions in most situations are based on what other people tell me is the right thing to do.*

Response Options:
5-point Likert scale
Strongly disagree - 1
Strongly agree - 5

Scoring Procedures

Item scores are summed to calculate a total score. Higher scores indicate greater attribution of moral agency.

Original Citation

Black, J. E. (2016). An introduction to the Moral Agency Scale. Social Psychology, 47(6), 295-310.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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