Relation between Social Conservatism, Moral Competence, Moral Orientations, and the Importance of Moral Foundations

Ingrida Trups-Kalne, Girts Dimdins


This paper examines the relation between moral competence, moral orientations, importance of moral foundations, and political orientation, by combining two theoretical approaches in moral psychology--the cognitive perspective and social-intuitionist perspective. The participants (Study 1 N=348, aged 18 to 67, and Study 2 N = 361, aged 16 to 74) completed the Moral Competence Test (formerly Moral Judgment Test, Lind, 1978, 2008), the 30-Item Full Version of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2008), and measurements of political orientation (a seven-point self-evaluation scale in study 1 and an 8-item social conservatism scale in Study 2). There was a negative correlation between moral competence on the one hand and conservative political orientation and binding moral foundations on the other hand. The overall correlation pattern between the scores of moral orientation and moral competence, and importance of moral foundations and political orientation was relatively weak and only partially consistent with the theoretical predictions. The results suggest that constructs used in the cognitive and social-intuitionist perspectives on moral judgment are conceptually different, and integrating the two approaches may be a challenging task.

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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