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Haidt's Moral Foundation Theory

Skepsikyma
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9/9/2015 1:53:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Haidt, a social psychologist, theorized that there are six moral paradigms which, through both societal and selective pressure, humans have been wired to see the world, and that political differences are manifestations of different prioritizations of these paradigms.

Care/Harm
Associated Emotion: Compassion
Origin: The drive to nurture and protect the vulnerable, particularly children.
Trigger: Suffering of the vulnerable in society.
Sensitivity: Common

Liberty/Oppression
Associated Emotions: Resentment and hatred
Origin: To prevent the domination of the group by those who are not authorized by the group to do so.
Trigger: Unsanctioned attempts at control.
Sensitivity: Common, but scales reversely with the Authority/Subversion paradigm.

Fairness/Cheating
Associated Emotions: Anger, gratitude, and guilt.
Origin: To protect ingroup altruism from the free rider problem.
Trigger: Receiving collective benefits which one does not deserve (anger from society, guilt from perpetrator) and contributing more to society than one takes (gratitude).
Sensitivity: More common among conservatives, but still fairly ubiquitous.

Loyalty/Betrayal
Associated Emotions: Pride and hatred.
Origin: To form cohesive social bonds and compete on a collective basis.
Trigger: Loyalty and sacrifice (pride) and betrayal (hatred)
Sensitivity: More common among conservatives.

Authority/Subversion
Associated Emotions: Fear and respect.
Origin: To establish hierarchies and social order, thus increasing efficiency.
Trigger: Subversion and rebellion against legitimate authorities (fear), superior authority or deference to a superior authority (respect).
Sensitivity: More common among conservatives.

Sanctity/Degradation
Associated Emotions: Disgust and revulsion.
Origin: To avoid rotten food and parasites (this foundation has been expanded to encompass everything from religious symbols to flags and even tax increases)
Trigger: The degradation of that which has been deemed sacred.
Sensitivity: More common among conservatives.

Haidt theorized that the vast majority of people vote not according to their financial interests, but according to their morality, and that the rather steep divide in the US between conservatives and liberals at the moment explains the huge swathes of impoverished people who vote for Republicans, despite it being explicitly against their self interest: they share moral values with the Republicans which the Democrats have all abandoned.

Thoughts on this theory? Which foundations are most important to you?

http://politicsofthemind.com...
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -