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Validation of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire with three Chinese ethnic groups

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Moral foundations theory is claimed to be universally applicable and is classified into 5 foundations of morality: care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, respect/subversion, and purity/degradation. This theory has not been tested in the Eastern cultural context. Therefore, in this study I addressed this lack in the context of China, where there are people of a number of different ethnicities. I adopted the Moral Foundations Questionnaire, which was completed by 761 Chinese of Han, Uygur, and Tibetan ethnicity. The results show that there was no gender difference in morality foundation scores, but the differences among ethnic groups were significant: Tibetans scored lower than did Han and Uygur in care and fairness, and Uygur scored higher than Han and Tibetans did in loyalty, respect, and purity. The interactions between gender and ethnic group were significant for care, fairness, and respect. These findings suggest that moral foundations theory is applicable to China, that the Moral Foundations Questionnaire can also be partially applied to Chinese, and that ethnicity is an influential factor when people make moral judgments.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2019

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