intro to moral foundations theory, jonathan haidt, the righteous mind

As you can see from figure 8.1, the lines for Care and Fairness (the top two lines) are moderately high across the board. Everyone – left, right, and center – says that concerns about compassion, cruelty, fairness, and injustice are relevant to their judgments about right and wrong. Still, the lines slope downward. Liberals say that these issues are a bit more relevant to morality than do conservatives.

But when we look at the Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity foundations, the story is quite different. Liberals largely reject these considerations. They show such a large gap between these foundations versus the Care and Fairness foundations that we might say, as a shorthand, that liberals have a two-foundation morality. As we moved to the right, however, the lines slope upward. By the time we reach people who are “very conservative,” all five lines have converged. We can say, as shorthand, that conservatives have a five-foundation morality.

Next: updates and refinements to the early model

from Haidt, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

see also: politics, economics, and moral psychology

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