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Mapping the Connections between Politics and Morality: The Multiple Sociopolitical Orientations Involved in Moral Intuition

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According to moral foundations theory (Haidt & Joseph, 2004), five foundations are central to moral intuition. The two individualizing foundations—harm/care and fairness/reciprocity—hinge on the rights of the individual, whereas the three binding foundations—in‐group/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity—focus on communal bonds. Recent work suggests that reliance on the various foundations varies as a function of sociopolitical orientation: liberals consistently rely on the individualizing foundations, whereas conservatives rely on both the individualizing and binding foundations. In an effort to further explore the relationship between sociopolitical orientation and morality, we argue that only certain types of sociopolitical attitudes and beliefs should relate to each cluster of foundations. Drawing on dual‐process models of social and political attitudes, we demonstrate that the individualizing foundations are aligned with attitudes and beliefs relevant to preferences for equality versus inequality (i.e., SDO and competitive‐jungle beliefs), whereas the binding foundations are aligned with attitudes and beliefs relevant to preferences for openness versus social conformity (i.e., RWA and dangerous‐world beliefs). We conclude by discussing the consequences of these findings for our understanding of the relationship between sociopolitical and moral orientations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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