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How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided by P

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  • How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided by P

    I recently read The Righteous Mind - Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt

    This is one of those books which I believe could radically change the way people perceive the core differences that define us both personally and socially on several levels (cultural, religious, and political) in a way that could make it possible for people of very different belief systems to sit down and talk, even about religion or politics, without it becoming the verbal war we regularly see in politics, in the media, or on the forum. And yes, I acknowledge I am guilty of verbal warfare.

    Through his empirical research in moral psychology Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues found that there are six foundations of morality, but that not all people recognize or are informed (or influenced) by all of them.

    The six foundations (or modules or matrixes) of morality according to Moral Foundation Theory
    Care/harm
    Liberty/oppression
    Fairness/cheating
    Loyalty/betrayal
    Authority/subversion
    Sanctity/degradation

    Liberals tend to focus on the moral foundations of care first, liberty second, and fairness third while rejecting the moral foundations of loyalty, authority, and sanctity as moral concerns. Libertarians tend to focus more on the moral foundations of liberty first, fairness second and care third and also rejecting loyalty, authority, and sanctity as moral concerns. Conservatives tend to recognize and are informed by all six moral foundations. One of the many things revealed through Haidt’s research is how we perceive each other and how accurate or inaccurate that perception is depending on where in the political spectrum we place ourselves. Haidt writes:

    “In a study I did with Jesse Graham and Brian Nosek, we tested how well liberals and conservatives could understand each other. We asked more than two thousand American visitors to fill out the Moral Foundations Questionnaire [edit: found here: Morality Quiz/Test your Morals, Values & Ethics - Your Morals.Org ]. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out as they think a “typical liberal” would respond. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out as a “typical conservative” would respond. This design allowed us to examine the stereotypes that each side held about the other. More important, it allowed us to assess how accurate they were by comparing people’s expectations about “typical” partisans to the actual response from partisans on the left and the right. 32 Who was best able to pretend to be the other?

    The results were clear and consistent. Moderates and conservatives were most accurate in their predictions, whether they were pretending to be liberals or conservatives. Liberals were the least accurate, especially those who described themselves as “very liberal.” The biggest errors in the whole study came when liberals answered the Care and Fairness questions while pretending to be conservatives. When faced with questions such as “One of the worst things a person could do is hurt a defenseless animal: or “Justice is the most important requirement for a society,” liberals assumed that conservatives would disagree. If you have a moral matrix built primarily on intuitions about care and fairness (as equality), and you listen to the Reagan narrative [edit: as liberals perceive it], what else could you think? Reagan seems completely unconcerned about the welfare of drug addicts, poor, and gay people. He’s more interested in fighting wars and telling people how to run their sex lives.

    If you don’t see that Reagan is pursuing positive values of Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity, you almost have to conclude that Republicans see no positive value in Care and Fairness. You might even go as far as Michael Feingold, a theater critic for the liberal newspaper the Village Voice
    Republicans don’t believe in the imagination, partly because few of them have one, but mostly because it gets in the way of their chosen work, which is to destroy the human race and the planet. Human beings, who have imagination, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don’t give a hoot about human beings, either can’t or won’t. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm. 33

    One of the many ironies in this quotation is that it shows the inability of a theater critic -- who skillfully enters fantastical imaginary worlds for a living -- to imagine that Republicans act within a moral matrix that differs from his own. Morality binds and blinds.” Page 288

    Sadly I regularly see examples on the forum of some characterizing their political opponents in such an inaccurate manner as Feingold above. I know of no Republican (or Conservative) who either believes what Feingold claims they do or lives their lives in a manner which would lead any rational person to believe that they do.

    Do you think that such misperceptions would lend itself to a rational dialogue? Do you believe the kind of characterizations and rhetoric that Feingold engages above would engender Republicans to listen to him respectfully or seriously? Other questions may follow.

    The two footnotes from the above excerpt are:
    32. Graham, Nosek, and Haidt 2011. We used several baselines to measure the reality. One was our own data collected in this study, using self-described liberals and conservatives. Another was this same data set but limited to those who called themselves “very liberal” or “very conservative.” A third baseline was obtained from a nationally representative dataset using the MFQ. In all analyses, conservatives were more accurate than liberals.
    33. M. Feingold, “Foreman’s Wake-Up Call,” 2004, retrieved March 28, 2011, from http://www.villagevoice.com/2004-01-...-wake-up-call/. I assume the last line is not serious, but I could find no sign in the essay that Feingold was engaging in parody or was speaking as someone else.

    tashi deleks,

    M
    Last edited by Mahasattva; 10-19-2012, 09:11 PM.

  • #2
    Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

    Tell me, does the book find ANYTHING that is good about liberals?

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

      What a tremendous hunk of self-serving bullshit.
      I know Conservatives face-to-face who don't give a fuck what they have to do to make a buck; and that includes ACTIVELY ruining the lives of others.
      I don't know too many Liberals who want to ACTIVELY ruin the lives of others and most of the Liberals I know are partial idiots.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

        Interesting article. Personally I thing that Conservatives think more about things and Liberals feel more about things. That would explain a lot of what he said in your post about Conservatives responding to all six measurements. It would also explain the two responses above.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

          Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
          Interesting article. Personally I thing that Conservatives think more about things and Liberals feel more about things. That would explain a lot of what he said in your post about Conservatives responding to all six measurements. It would also explain the two responses above.
          Conservatives DO think...about themselves and how everybody else is out to screw them.
          You really do have to get out and meet some of them.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

            Originally posted by USCitizen View Post
            Conservatives DO think...about themselves and how everybody else is out to screw them.
            You really do have to get out and meet some of them.
            Another poor me emotional response.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #7
              Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

              About the author of the booK:

              Jonathan Haidt (born October 19, 1963) in Scarsdale, New York[1] is a professor at New York University Stern School of Business. For 16 years he taught psychology at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the psychological bases of morality across different cultures and political ideologies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology in 2001.[2] His book The Happiness Hypothesis examines ten "great ideas" dating from antiquity and their continued relevance to the happy life. Part of his research focused on the emotion of elevation.

              Jonathan Haidt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #8
                Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

                Originally posted by USCitizen
                Actually, another "good for me" that I'm not all fucked up full of myself posting.
                I have never met such selfish ignorant assholes as the Conservatives I encounter.
                The biggest problem with Cons is that they "think" they are logical when they have no answers to any question deeper than the last Limbaugh/FoxNews sound-bite.
                Really?

                מה מכילות החדשות?


                • #9
                  Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

                  Originally posted by USCitizen
                  How do posters constantly address liberals as ranting idiots and remain on the forum?
                  I don't know! They shouldn't. But vulgarity in an insult should be completely over the line.
                  How does a poster supposedly win an exchange by claiming he/she earns more money than the other posters adding a "Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah" as their chain of logic remain on the forum?
                  I don't recall anyone having done that, but it still isn't vulgarity.
                  How does one with an advanced degree in a particular professional offer an inconsequential, overview number such as GDP not become embarrassed when such becomes their entire arsenal?
                  I have also not witnessed that. I know I have personally presented link after link, and study after study supporting my assertions, and none of them seem to satisfy the opposition. But I still don't call them idiots, maybe ignorant of the subject.

                  I don't know, life is stranger and getting stranger with every post.

                  I meet self-absorbed individuals who make good money and yet suffer terribly knowing that someone out there wants to redistribute the wealth. What these people don't understand is that they are correct...some who earn less want them to pay higher taxes and some who earn the same or more want to crush their business and replace them.
                  I have also not made that observation. People who earn wages pay according to their rate brackets. People who earn through investments pay based on the laws regarding their income. People who don't make enough to pay income tax frequently get their pay roll deduction back in the form of EITC. The fact is, many people make a whole lot more than I do, and I don't envy them at all. More power to them. At the same time no one has the right to envy me for my income because I earned it based on the profits I make for my company.

                  I do not believe in conspiracy theories, I do not believe the government in general is out to get me. I do believe the current administration is not good for the prosperity of our country. And I know for a fact that if the rich don't make what they want to make, their workers won't get as much as they do now. Those are the facts that you may just have to learn to live with, OR, go out and prepare yourself for a higher paying job and move to where it is. If you don't do that all of your complaints will fall on deaf ears.

                  מה מכילות החדשות?


                  • #10
                    Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

                    It seems interesting that from the OP, Libertarians should have more in common with Liberals than with Conservatives.

                    Yet election after election Libertarians tend to side with the conservative party.

                    There might be something to the six foundations, three of which everyone seem to value, and three of which only a minority of the population seems to value. Personally I don't give a crap about sanctity, I care very little about loyalty (unless the loyalty is well-deserved), and only care about Authority to the point where I don't get myself in trouble unnecessarily. In other words, I don't know that I even begin to comprehend someone who worries about valuing those things.

                    מה מכילות החדשות?


                    • #11
                      Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

                      Originally posted by Disillusioned_1 View Post
                      It seems interesting that from the OP, Libertarians should have more in common with Liberals than with Conservatives.

                      Yet election after election Libertarians tend to side with the conservative party.

                      There might be something to the six foundations, three of which everyone seem to value, and three of which only a minority of the population seems to value. Personally I don't give a crap about sanctity, I care very little about loyalty (unless the loyalty is well-deserved), and only care about Authority to the point where I don't get myself in trouble unnecessarily. In other words, I don't know that I even begin to comprehend someone who worries about valuing those things.
                      Libertarians tend to think that people need freedom to do the right thing. Liberals tend to think that people need government (and a lawyer) to force people to do the right thing.

                      Liberals are disturbingly statist at times. Republicans seem to have taken up a number of libertarian policies, and oddly enough the Christian right has jumped on board. For example, imagine you don't like working with women. The liberals have created an environment where you must, otherwise one of their lawyers will sue you out of business. Libertarians say - my business, I shouldn't have to choose between hiring someone I don't like and getting sued. Social engineering through lawsuits..topic for another thread I suppose. Christian right - women's place is at home. Libertarian - I actually would hire a woman, but I shouldn't be forced to. Businessman - women are expensive. All want the same thing - to be allowed to not hire someone they don't like.

                      I want to keep the money that I make and spend it in any way I see fit as opposed to you can only keep this much, we need the rest to pay for the welfare mother's 5th bastard who we'll make sure can mug you in 16 years because we will be by later to confiscate the gun that we feel is unsafe for you to own.

                      That's why we won the Libertarian vote.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

                        Lurker, what you're saying is what the rightwing normally claims. However, its at odds with what the OP is saying.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

                          Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                          About the author of the booK:

                          Jonathan Haidt (born October 19, 1963) in Scarsdale, New York[1] is a professor at New York University Stern School of Business. For 16 years he taught psychology at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the psychological bases of morality across different cultures and political ideologies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology in 2001.[2] His book The Happiness Hypothesis examines ten "great ideas" dating from antiquity and their continued relevance to the happy life. Part of his research focused on the emotion of elevation.

                          Jonathan Haidt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                          Commendable achievements all. Please go look up the meaning of the term "ad authoritatem" if you are presenting this as relevant to the validity of his views.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

                            Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                            Interesting article. Personally I thing that Conservatives think more about things and Liberals feel more about things. That would explain a lot of what he said in your post about Conservatives responding to all six measurements. It would also explain the two responses above.
                            I fail to see how you come to any of those conclusions. Would you care to elaborate on your reasoning?

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                            • #15
                              Re: How Well We See Each Other, or Don't. The Righteous Mind -Why Good People Are Divided

                              Great, it appears we have another "study" designed to prop up one political ideology and trash another.

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