Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Your Morals

Interesting site/study that offers surveys and calculates various elements of ones morality depending on how they answer various questions. The above are my own results from the "Moral Foundations Questionnaire":

The scale is a measure of your reliance on and endorsement of five psychological foundations of morality that seem to be found across cultures. Each of the two parts of the scale contained four questions related to each foundation: 1) harm/care, 2) fairness/reciprocity (including issues of rights), 3) ingroup/loyalty, 4) authority/respect, and 5) purity/sanctity.

The idea behind the scale is that human morality is the result of biological and cultural evolutionary processes that made human beings very sensitive to many different (and often competing) issues. Some of these issues are about treating other individuals well (the first two foundations - harm and fairness). Other issues are about how to be a good member of a group or supporter of social order and tradition (the last three foundations). Haidt and Graham have found that political liberals generally place a higher value on the first two foundations; they are very concerned about issues of harm and fairness (including issues of inequality and exploitation). Political conservatives care about harm and fairness too, but they generally score slightly lower on those scale items. The big difference between liberals and conservatives seems to be that conservatives score slightly higher on the ingroup/loyalty foundation, and much higher on the authority/respect and purity/sanctity foundations. This difference seems to explain many of the most contentious issues in the culture war. For example, liberals support legalizing gay marriage (to be fair and compassionate), whereas many conservatives are reluctant to change the nature of marriage and the family, basic building blocks of society. Conservatives are more likely to favor practices that increase order and respect (e.g., spanking, mandatory pledge of allegiance), whereas liberals often oppose these practices as being violent or coercive.

Heh. From the results it would appear I'm well on my way to becoming a dictator. Heavy on the authority and loyalty but apparently ambivalent when it comes to people getting hurt or treated unfairly. Just call me Sulla...
Participation requires filling out a quick registration form that requires little more than your month and year of birth and your email address.
(Nod to Half Sigma)


The Whited Sepulchre said...

Good God in Heaven, I'm a moral leper.
Like all Whited Sepulchres, I should be avoided at all costs.
Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

deichmans said...

Soob, Looks like you're "loyal to a fault". :-)

Jay@Soob said...

WS, I might have an opening for deputy dictator coming up...

Hah. Indeed. Just ask Ogedei. Any hope of seeing your own moral bar graph?