Warning Bell: Liberals Implicitly Respond to Group Morality Before Rejecting it Explicitly
59 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2012
Date Written: May 31, 2012
Moral Foundations Theory (Haidt & Graham, 2007) explains the intractability of many political disagreements as the result of liberals and conservatives reacting to different patterns of intuitive moral concerns. Research using self-report measures has shown that liberals endorse the Care/harm and Fairness/cheating foundations but generally do not endorse the Loyalty/betrayal, Authority/subversion, and Sanctity/degradation foundations, while conservatives endorse all five types of moral concerns (Graham, Haidt, & Nosek, 2009). Research on ideology and implicit attitudes (Jost, Federico, & Napier, 2010; Jost, Nosek, & Gosling, 2008) suggests that liberals may have more of a discrepancy between implicit reactions and endorsed attitudes than do conservatives. The present studies test whether liberals have implicit reactions to moral stimuli that contradict their consciously endorsed attitudes. The studies take a multi-method approach in order to measure moral reactions using different foundation-related stimuli and procedures, including self-reported gut reactions (Study 1), evaluative priming (Study 2), the Affect Misattribution Procedure (Study 3), and EEG event-related potentials (Study 4). The studies provide convergent evidence of implicit group-focused moral concerns in liberals not captured by explicit measures.
Keywords: moral intuitions, political ideology, individual differences, automaticity, implicit, moral foundations, politics
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