haidt.graham.in-press.above-and-below-left-right.pub070-as-Word.doc

Mft sheds new theoretical light on these dimensional

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much ideological variety the moral foundations can reveal within a single modern capitalist culture. MFT sheds new theoretical light on these dimensional groupings with its bases in anthropological and evolutionary thought, and we think the foundations offer the most useful way to conceptualize and understand ideology from a moral perspective. Nevertheless, these cluster analyses are meant to be illustrative, not definitive. We present them to show how Moral Foundations Theory can be used to categorize people into groups and then help us make predictions about the moral values and ideals shared within those groups. But to understand the ideologies of these groups, we must go beyond the networks of correlated traits and adaptations that describe our clusters. We must move up to McAdams’ level 3 and try to find stories that our participants themselves would endorse. Ideological Narratives Life stories, according to McAdams (2001, p. 101), are "psychosocial constructions, coauthored by the person himself or herself and the cultural context within which the person's life is embedded and given meaning." McAdams et al. (2008) collected such life stories from 128 highly religious adults and
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Ideology and moral foundations -- 8 used them to test Moral Foundations Theory. They developed an extensive coding scheme to link themes and topics in the interviews to each of the five foundations, and then examined the frequency with which liberals and conservatives relied upon each of the foundations when narrating their lives. They replicated the basic pattern we have repeatedly found using the MFQ: self-ratings of politics (on a scale of 1= very liberal and 5 = very conservative) correlated negatively with use of the Harm/care (r = -.33) and Fairness/reciprocity (r = -.27) foundations, and it correlated positively with use of the Ingroup/loyalty (r = .35), Authority/respect (r = .43), and Purity/sanctity (r = .39) foundations. (All correlations were significant at p < .01, as were the standardized betas in regression analyses controlling for other demographic factors). McAdams et al. (2008, p. 987) help us to imagine how their subjects think about their own morality by summarizing the differences in this way: When asked to describe in detail the most important episodes in their self-defining life narratives, conservatives told stories in which authorities enforce strict rules and protagonists learn the value of self-discipline and personal responsibility, whereas liberals recalled autobiographical scenes in which main characters develop empathy and learn to open themselves up to new people and foreign perspectives. When asked to account for the development of their own religious faith and moral beliefs, conservatives underscored deep feelings about respect for authority, allegiance to one's group, and purity of the self, whereas liberals emphasized their deep feelings regarding human suffering and social fairness.
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