ERIC Number: EJ1024006
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Understanding the Role of Dispositional and Situational Threat Sensitivity in Our Moral Judgments
Wright, Jennifer Cole; Baril, Galen L.
Journal of Moral Education, v42 n3 p383-397 2013
Previous research has identified different moral judgments in liberals and conservatives. While both care about harm/fairness ("individualizing" foundations), conservatives emphasize in-group/authority/purity ("binding" foundations) more than liberals. Thus, some argue that conservatives have a more complex morality. We suggest an alternative view--that consistent with conservatism as "motivated social cognition", binding foundation activation satisfies psychological needs for social structure/security/certainty. Accordingly, we found that students who were dispositionally threat-sensitive showed stronger binding foundation activation, and that conservatives are more dispositionally threat-sensitive than liberals. We also found that in a heightened threat situation liberals (especially social liberals) showed increased binding foundation activation. These results support the view that the binding foundations function differently in our moral cognition than the individualizing foundations.
Descriptors: Role, Moral Values, Social Cognition, Social Structure, Political Affiliation, Political Attitudes, Security (Psychology), Psychological Needs, College Students, Questionnaires, Student Attitudes, Public Policy, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina