Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The "Righteousness" of Conservatives and Liberals

Yesterday, I heard a fascinating discussion on KUER Radio West with Doug Fabrizio discussing the moral basis of politics with Social Psychologist, Jonathan Haidt. It was not in any sense a discussion of Right vs. Wrong but a social scientist's approach to understanding the differences. His thesis is that different groups have different value systems and speak different languages that mean different things to each other. While he conceded that much of it was in broad generalities, he concluded it was very important for a society to include both conservative and liberal groups and mindsets. The important thing is we have to learn to understand each other better. It was amazing - and right up my passionate moderate alleyway.

On the KUER webpage, there is a link to the program and additional information including a survey test to see where you come out on the values of morality tending to indicate a general political worldview, some of which we may not recognize on the surface. So here are my test results:

In the graph below, your scores on each foundation are shown in green (the 1st bar in each set of 3 bars). The scores of all liberals who have taken it on our site are shown in blue (the 2nd bar), and the scores of all conservatives are shown in red (3rd bar). Scores run from 0 (the lowest possible score, you completely reject that foundation) to 5 (the highest possible score, you very strongly endorse that foundation and build much of your morality on top of it).

This is very interesting. And it seems to match up with passionate moderation pretty well. I am stronger than the liberals in concern about Harm and Fairness. I'm more conservative than liberal on Loyalty and Authority but don't quite match the conservatives. And I'm dead on with the conservatives on "Purity." (Darn that Galahad and Parsifal!)

Take the test and analyze your results. Perhaps not a bad exercise on a New Years Day full of self-contemplation and resolutions (if you're in to that sort of thing).  I may link on Facebook to see if any of my friends there are willing to share. And I guess it's best to take if you're sober and not recovering from a hangover (darn that Galahad thing again.)

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