Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Down the Morality Rabbit Hole

No time to write much tonight because I've fallen down the rabbit hole called

It's a site full of questionnaires used by social psychologists, including Jonathan Haidt, in their research. You start off by creating an account and self-identifying your political leanings. Then when you complete the various surveys, your results are graphed compared to liberals, conservatives, and sometimes libertarians.

The first quiz I took got at what I hold sacred by asking which transgressions I would commit for money, ranging from $10 to $1 million, and which I wouldn't do for any price. The questions were designed to get at moral questions related to the primary bases of morality that Haidt discusses:

  • Harm (compassion)
  • Fairness
  • Loyalty (ingroup)
  • Authority
  • Purity
 Here are my results (green), compared to liberals (blue) and conservatives (red):

It doesn't surprise me that I'm a bit of a moral absolutist in most areas compared to both liberals and conservatives. Except purity. I'm not too concerned about that, I guess.

It's funny that I rated "ingroup" very highly, while liberals generally have a big dropoff on that. 

I also found out that my political reasoning was pretty good, at least compared to the average liberal, libertarian, and particularly, conservative:

Although I only got 87 percent, so that's not exactly A work.

That quiz also correlates your wrong answers against your opinions, looking for bias. If I'm reading the following graph right, it appears that liberals fall for liberal questions and conservatives for conservative ones, but the conservatives fall harder, and I am resistant to both.

Go, me!

One questionnaire that I started but couldn't even begin to complete was called Political Party Judgments. It consisted of eight statements about a hypothetical person, and I was supposed to decide whether the person was more likely to be a Democrat or a Republican. Those were the only two choices. (Example: "Someone who is very honest and has strong integrity.") Sorry, but I can't bring myself to answer those questions.

Time to get back to it. Maybe I'll do the one that's described as "Are you a moral relativist or absolutist? Can the ends justify the means?"

1 comment:

Ms Sparrow said...

Wow, interesting study. I'd kinda like to try it but I'm not sure I want to know how I'd stack up.