Your Morals (sort of)

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    This one isn't as simple as the Belief-o-matic or Political Compass.

    First, the background. From the New York Times:

    The article also explores potential political correlations, which leads to the issue at hand:

    Haidt's work does have its detractors, including Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker and Emory University primatologist Dr. Frans de Waal. The latter pointed out that many animals show empathy and altruistic behavior despite lacking any moral system: "“For me, the moral system is one that resolves the tension between individual and group interests in a way that seems best for the most members of the group, hence promotes a give and take."

    Dr. John T. Jost, a New York University political psychologist, says he admires Haidt as interesting and creative, and sees a useful element in drawing attention to the relationship between politics and morality, but takes issue with the asserted five moral components. The difference between liberals and conservative perceptions of the components, according to Jost, "suggests to me that they are not general moral virtues but specific ideological commitments or values".

    • • •​

    All of that said, I would invite you all to participate in the various surveys at There are fifteen surveys, to be completed at your leisure; the site does require a free registration, and you will be asked to review and accept a notice of informed consent.

    I've only taken one survey so far, the Moral Foundations Questionnaire.

    • • •​

    Having attempted to link to the image describing the results of that questionnaire, I can now say I've witnessed the most insane hyperlink I've ever seen. And, of course, it won't display. No surprise there. I'll try a couple of things; if unsuccessful, I'll figure out a way to describe what they say.

    Go. Learn. Think. But most of all, enjoy.


    ERRATUM: Previously, the free registration was described as being based solely on your e-mail address. This is incorrect. Other data is requested in order to categorize and contextualize the results. This is my error, and I do apologize.

    Wade, Nicholas. "Is 'Do Unto Others' Written Into Our Genes?", September 18, 2007. See

    See Also:
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
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  3. shichimenshyo Caught in the machine Registered Senior Member

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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Survey says ....

    A brief excerpt from the explanation of the graph; you'll get the same explanation when you take the survey:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    The authority one is what gets me. Of course, I think I get it, after a fashion. It'll take some reading to make sure I'm looking at it correctly. The statistical relationship will, of course, change over time.

    Interestingly, four times more self-identified liberals have taken the survey than self-identified conservatives. It would be too simple to point out that "conservative" includes the anti-evolutionists, so perhaps it has something to do with exposure, channels of exposure, sentiments about psychology ... hell, I don't know.

    • • •​

    Technical Notes: The image is a .PNG, all of 8 kilobytes. Because the graph is created and displayed behind password protection, it will not display using the IMG tag to refer to its online location. In the end, I simply pulled the image to my desktop, uploaded it to my blog, and am serving it from there. Yes, that's a bit much to ask of everybody, but if you're so inclined, and have online drive space, it's only a few kilobytes. Otherwise, if you would like to post your results (which, I suppose, I'm encouraging), just list out the categories with the scores in order (self/liberal/conservative), e.g.,

    Harm: 3.9/3.8/3.2
    Fairness: 4.5/3.8/3.0
    Loyalty: 1.9/2.0/2.9
    Authority: 3.0/2.2/3.3
    Purity: 1.3/1.6/2.9 ​

    If it's not too much to ask, could you please include your political identification? I mean, who doesn't already think I'm a liberal? But not everyone likes to admit, reveal, or suggest their self-classification.

    • • •​

    I'll post other results for discussion as I go through those surveys.

    • • •​

    Update: I had suggested earlier that we lay out our scores in order as regards the comparison to liberal and conservative identities. You know, the baseline for this topic (my results are from Sept. 20, 2007) isn't going to change rapidly. Include those numbers if you're inclined, and please do so if they've changed. But compared to, say, 10,000 fellow liberals, my one drop, or the next person's, won't change the numbers in and of themselves, and there's no need to clutter up the results with extraneous repetition.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
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  7. maxg Registered Senior Member

    Harm - 4.4
    Fairness - 4.1
    Loyalty - 2.1
    Authority - 1.3
    Purity - .3

    I was going to take the Presidential survey but they didn't include Mike Gravel. I know he doesn't stand a snowball's chance but I like him.
  8. Xev Registered Senior Member

    Xev, aka Gothic Llama:

    Two things (maybe more tomorrow)

    1: My mother's family is extremely deranged, so you'd get very different loyalty scores if you substitute "loved one" or "friend" for family.

    2: Purity -- I'd probably score higher had I not assumed that the "impure substance" referred to :m:
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Harm 3.5
    Fairness 4.1
    Loyalty 1.8
    Authority 2.4
    Purity 1.3
  10. peta9 Registered Senior Member

  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Harm 4.5
    Fairness 4.3
    Loyalty 2.5
    Authority 2.1
    Purity 2.5
  12. mountainhare Banned Banned

    Harm = 2.5
    Fairness = 1.9
    Loyalty = 3.5
    Authority = 2.1
    Purity = 1.4

    I'm closer the Liberals regarding Authority and Purity, but closer to the Conservatives regarding Harm, Fairness and Loyalty. Go figure.
  13. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    • Harm: 2.9
    • Fairness: 2.6
    • Loyalty 3.8
    • Authority 3.9
    • Purity 2.3
    In case anyone wasn't sure, conservative. I agree with the Loyalty being so high. What is worse than a traitor? I'm not sure I'm quite that authoritarian, though.
  14. mountainhare Banned Banned

    IMHO, you come off as very authoritarian. The three examples that stick in my mind are your views on disciplining children, and your obedience to law enforcers and government (even when they may be in the wrong).
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Presidential survey

    Posting the presidential results will be an interesting exercise. Even more so for the sacredness questionnaire.

    • • •​

    Compared to the Democratic contenders:

    Candidate: self (liberal/conservative)

    Clinton: 5.0 (5.0/2.2)
    Edwards: 7.0 (5.3/2.1)
    Gore: 6.0 (5.8/2.2)
    Obama: 6.0 (5.9/3.3)
    Kucinich: 6.0 (4.9/1.7)
    Richardson: 6.0 (4.4/3.4)​

    And the GOP:

    Giuliani: 1.0 (2.3/0.0)
    McCain: 3.0 (3.0/4.3)
    Paul: 4.0 (3.7/3.6)
    Romney: 3.0 (2.0/4.0)
    Tancredo: 1.0 (2.1/3.5)
    Thompson: 1.0 (2.0/4.6)​

    Regarding the moral wrongness of issues:

    Abortion: 2.0 (2.1/3.9)
    Death Penalty: 5.0 (4.2/2.6)
    Stem-Cell Research: 1.0 (1.4/3.2)
    Pornography: 1.0 (2.1/3.2)
    Same-Sex Marriage: 1.0 (1.3/3.5)
    Gambling: 2.0 (2.2/2.5)
    Medical Testing on Animals: 3.0 (2.9/2.3)
    Casual Sex: 1.0 (1.4/2.8)
    Doctor-Assisted Suicide: 1.0 (2.0/3.5)
    Homosexuality: 1.0 (1.3/3.2)
    Being Unwed Parent: 2.0 (1.8/3.4)
    Cloning Animals: 2.0 (2.4/2.9)
    Burning a U.S. Flag: 1.0 (1.7/3.2)​

    The moral wrongness is an interesting portion of the result. For instance, I'm not happy with my outcome on abortion (2.0) or single parenthood (2.0). After all, I've been a party to an abortion of my potential offspring and am, to a degree, a single parent. I believe in either case I considered that circumstances do exist where I would disapprove, and thus disagree with the phrasing in the results: "Is it morally wrong (to) ...?" Because, really, I have a bigger moral issue with gambling than I do abortion or single parenthood, but such are my answers. Having seen the outcome and recognizing in part the relationship between the questions and the outcome, I am not planning to take the test again in order to get a different outcome; that would be deliberate manipulation, and I'm one who believes in and accepts the context of the moment. Whatever the hell I was thinking, that's what I was thinking.

    Of politics, I was both surprised and pleased to see that I attained a strong correlation with Edwards, who is my chosen candidate for the time being. I'm not surprised that Clinton is the weakest correlation among the Democrats. With the GOP candidates, though, I'm a little surprised to see McCain and Romney at 3.0. I'm not surprised that Ron Paul is the strongest correlation among the Republicans; he's likely the candidate that can give the best contest against Clinton, Edwards, or Obama. He could even win.

    I will also note that I am at once puzzled and amused that Giuliani scored a 0.0 with conservatives. I mean, you would think that out of 819 conservative responses to the survey, some would have scored at least a small correlation with Giuliani.
  16. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    My morals change with the drugs I used.
  17. Bells Staff Member

    Harm: 4.8
    Fairness: 4.4
    Loyalty: 2.4
    Authority: 2.6
    Purity: 2.1
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Bells, in what way does having kids affect your moral outlook? Do you see things differently?
  19. shichimenshyo Caught in the machine Registered Senior Member

    me too

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  20. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    My morals change whenever I feel like changing them. I don't need no stinkin' drugs or other excuses to change my morals.

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    Baron Max
  21. Bells Staff Member

    It has changed a lot of how I view people and the world in general.

    The sense of fairness I had in the past appears to have disappeared. For example, if someone appears to want to hurt or hurts either of my children, I could very well kill them without any sense of regret. And that scares me sometimes. I am a lot more protective now than I was in the past. I had to stop myself from slapping a man in the toy store yesterday after he followed us around and kept staring at my children like they were a hot buffet and then tried to touch my baby's foot (baby was strapped in the baby bjorn in front of me and 2 year old was in stroller), while telling me my baby was cute. I literally had to stop myself from hitting him. He was probably innocent and had no vile intentions in mind, but just the way he looked at my children made my blood run cold and when he tried to touch my son's foot, I actually wanted to cause him physical harm. In the past, I would have never reacted that way to someone. As far as I was concerned, the man was dangerous, when in the past I would not have been so wary or paranoid.:bawl:

    I grew up when I had my children. Sometime's it is a good thing, but other times it can have a negative affect. I am a lot more of an authoritarian than I have ever been in the past.

    I tend to look at strangers differently. I also find myself feeling violent towards others who pose a risk to my children. The only way I can explain it is that I now put my children's wellbeing (and husband) and their safety first above all else, regardless of the affect that may have on anyone else.
  22. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Guiliani rated a 7 on my test, and I rated myself as "very conservative". Also, when I look at the graph, Guiliani is rated at a 4.6 by Republicans, second only to Thompson at 4.8.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Maybe they had a data glitch when my result posted.

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