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Liberty and Conservatives Rely on Different Sets of Moral Foundations. Patricia Myint and GoEun Yu. Introduction. Discover the relationship to voting behavior Apply the theory to moral differences across the political spectrum within the US Liberals vs. Conservatives .

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liberty and conservatives rely on different sets of moral foundations
Liberty and Conservatives Rely on Different Sets of Moral Foundations

Patricia Myint and GoEun Yu

introduction
Introduction
  • Discover the relationship to voting behavior
  • Apply the theory to moral differences across the political spectrum within the US
  • Liberals vs. Conservatives

Moral Foundations Hypothesis

Political liberals construct their moral systems primarily upon two psychological foundations—Harm/care and Fairness/reciprocity—whereas political conservatives construct moral systems more evenly upon five psychological foundations—the same ones as liberals, plus Ingroup/loyalty, Authority/respect, and Purity/sanctity.

study 1
Study 1
  • 1,613 adults
    • 47% female
    • 53% male
    • Median age: 29
  • Registered at Project Implicit website
  • Randomly Assigned
  • Political self-identification (7 pt. scale: strongly liberal to strongly conservative)
  • Gender, age, household income, and educational level
  • Implicit Association Test – political identification

Pre-Study:

methods
Methods
  • Rate how relevant various concerns were to them when making moral judgments
    • 15 moral relevance items
    • 6 pt. scale labeled never relevant and always relevant.
    • 16th item serves a check
results discussion
Results/Discussion
  • Different Models tested
  • Covariates
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Education level
    • Income
  • MultigroupVersion
    • United States
    • United Kingdom
    • Canada
  • No difference
  • Individualizing foundations – liberals
  • Binding foundations – conservatives
  • Liberals – more likely to consider individualizing concerns more morally relevant than binding concerns
  • Differences were neither binary or absolute
study 2
Study 2
  • 2,212 volunteers
    • 62% female
    • 38% male
    • Median age: 32
    • Only citizens/residents of the US
  • Three part study:
    • Moral relevance items
      • Answered as oneself, liberal, or conservative
    • Moral judgment items
      • 6 pt. scale: strongly disagree to strongly agree
      • Answered as oneself, liberal, or conservative
    • Political Identity
      • Measured with IAT
      • Two concept categories (liberal/conservative)
      • Two identity attributes (self/other)
      • Stimuli: well-known political figures and words corresponding to “self” or “other”.
methods1
Methods
  • Retained assessment from study 1 and added more concrete items
    • Trigger moral intuitions that play an important role in moral judgment
  • Four targets of judgment
    • One normative ideal
    • One statement about government policy
    • One hypothetical scenario
    • One positive virtue
  • Randomly assigned to receive four of the six self-reported measures
discussion
Discussion
  • Conservatives agreed with individualizing foundation judgments less than liberals.
  • Hypothesis Supported!
  • Liberals made a big distinction between the individualizing and binding foundations
  • Conservatives weighted the two more or less equally
study 3 moral trade offs
Study 3 : Moral Trade-offs
  • Unwillingness to violate the foundations for money
  • More personal and visceral
  • “sacred values” vs. profane value

“Liberalswouldbe less likely to see trade-offs related to the binding foundationsas violations of sacred values and, therefore, would be more willing to perform these actions for some amount of money”

  • Paricipants
    • 8,193 adults, 40% female
    • 13% Libertarians
slide10

Harm:

  • Kick a dog in the head, hard
  • Shoot and kill an animal that is a member of an endangered species
  • Make cruel remarks to an overweight person about his or her appearance

Try to imagine actually doing the following things, and indicate how much moneysomeone would have to pay you (anonymously and secretly) to be willing to do each thing. For each action, assume that nothing bad would happen to you afterwards. Also assume that you cannot use the money to make up for your action. If you prefer to think about Euros or any other currency, please do. The exact amounts are not very important.

Purity:

  • Sign a piece of paper that says “I hereby sell my soul, after my death, to whoever has this piece of paper”
  • Cook and eat your dog, after it dies of natural causes
  • Get plastic surgery that adds a 2-inch tail on to the end of your spine
slide11

Utilitarian

Deontological

Liberitarian?

study 4 moral texts
Study 4 : Moral Texts
  • Word use, “frames”
  • Sermons
    • Unitarian Universalist
    • Southern Baptist
study 4 moral texts1
Study 4 : Moral Texts
  • 69 liberal, 34 conservative sermons
  • LIWC dictionary
  • Supplemental program
  • Four independent raters

fair, fairly, fairness, fair*, fairmind*, fairplay, equal*, justice, justness, justifi*, reciproc*, impartial*, egalitar*, rights, equity, evenness, equivalent, unbias*, tolerant, equable, balance*, homologous, unprejudice*, reasonable, constant, honest*, unfair*, unequal*, bias*, unjust*, injust*, bigot*, discriminat*, disproportion*, inequitable, prejud*, dishonest, unscrupulous, dissociate, preference, favoritism, segregat*, exclusion, exclud*

discussion1
Discussion
  • Binding foundations – sources of immorality
  • Limitation
    • Sampling : self-selection
    • Measurements were picked out
    • Self-reported ratings
    • Unidimentional
    • Correlation