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Relationship between Moral Foundations and Political Orientation in Australia

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Added on  2023-06-16

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This study explores the relationship between moral foundations and political orientation in Australia. The study uses the Moral Foundation Questionnaire and Political Orientation Question to collect data from 227 respondents. The results show that care and fairness were the two most voted moral foundations in all political orientations. The study aims to inform election candidates on the strategies they ought to use to gain more votes.

Relationship between Moral Foundations and Political Orientation in Australia

   Added on 2023-06-16

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Running head: PSYCHOLOGY
Psychology Report
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Relationship between Moral Foundations and Political Orientation in Australia_1
The study is based on the it was hypothesized that those with a liberal orientation will rate harm
and fair foundations as more relevant for making moral decisions than the in-group, authority
and foundations. The second hypothesis is that those with a conservative political orientation will
rate all five foundations as being (approximately) equally relevant. This study uses Moral
Foundation Questionnaire (MFQ) and Political Orientation Question. This study includes 59 men
and 168 women. The mean age of the men were 23.42 years and the standard deviation is 7.60.
Whereas, the mean age of the women were 21.41 years and with a standard deviation of 5.47.
Model Foundation questionnaire were provided to all the respondents and the data collected were
plotted with political orientation as a function. The data revealed that care and fairness were the
two most voted moral Foundation in the moderately conservative, slightly conservative, neutral
or moderate, strongly liberal, moderate liberal, slightly liberal. However, the authority moral
Foundation is seen to be having the third highest choices of respondents within the moderate or
neutral, moderately conservative, slightly conservative political orientation. Whereas, the
ingroup has accumulated the third largest choices of the respondents in the slightly liberal,
moderately liberal and strongly liberal political orientation.
Relationship between Moral Foundations and Political Orientation in Australia_2
Background of the study.
Moral Foundations Theory was originally developed to describe moral differences across
cultures (Haidt & Joseph, 2004).The five foundations were ; harm/care, fairness/reciprocity,
ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect and purity/sanctity (Graham, J.; Haidt, J., 2007) .The degree to
which virtues were based on these foundations vary across cultures (Graham, J.; Haidt, J., 2007),
(Skitka, Morgan, & Wisneski, 2014).
According to Haidt and Graham (2007), political liberals values virtues based on the first two
foundations while the political conservatives values virtues based on all the foundations
(Graham, J.; Haidt, J.; Nosek, A., 2009). Although many studies were based in five moral
foundations, (Graham, Haidt, Motyl, & Meindl P., 2017) mentions that liberty/oppression
equity/deservingness and honesty/lying were other moral foundations that were under
Literature review
Conservatives have traditionally believed that people need the constraints of authority,
institutions and traditions to live civilly with each other while the liberals believe on personal
freedom. (Graham, J.; Haidt, J.; Nosek, A., 2009)
Moral politics theory indicates that both conservatives and liberals have political attitudes rooted
in moral concerns (Skitka, Morgan, & Wisneski, 2014) however, conservatives have moral
concerns that the liberals do not recognize (Graham, J.; Haidt, J., 2007).This is the reason they
have different opinions based on moral judgement (Graham, J.; Haidt, J.; Nosek, A., 2009).
Relationship between Moral Foundations and Political Orientation in Australia_3
The ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals’ perceptions and decisions differ and it is evident even in their
voting preferences. In the 2004 U.S exit polls for example ,it indicated that most voters
considered moral values as the most important factor (Skitka, Morgan, & Wisneski, 2014)while
casting their votes especially for the conservatives.
There was no correlation between political orientation and the participants’ general tendency to
moralize political issues (Skitka, Morgan, & Wisneski, 2014).However; the degree to which they
saw their most important issues in a moral light, the liberals felt stronger moral conviction for
their least important issues.
Moral convictions motivates both liberals and conservatives to show up at the polls on election
day(Stitka &Bauman,2008) and the degree to which voters attach moral significance to
candidates or issues motivates political engagement (Skitka, Morgan, & Wisneski, 2014).
From self-reported political meta-analysis along other demographic factors that included age,
gender, education level and income level, it was found that political identity was a significant
predictor variable across all five foundations (Graham, J.; Haidt, J.; Nosek, A., 2009) .The
effects of politics on foundation relevance scores were consistent across nations under study
(Graham, J.; Haidt, J.; Nosek, A.;, 2009).
From the literatures, it is clear that Meta-analysis method was employed determine whether there
was any relationship between politics and moral convictions (Graham, J.; Haidt, J.; Nosek, A.,
2009).Demographic factors were incorporated for better description and understanding of the
population. Political identity was the dependent variable and demographic factors and the moral
convictions were considered the independent variables.
Relationship between Moral Foundations and Political Orientation in Australia_4

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