How the other side thinks

Moral Foundations Theory holds that people have 6 fundamental principles (or “foundations”) which they use to support their moral beliefs:

  1. Care for others
  2. Fairness
  3. Liberty
  4. Loyalty to your group
  5. Obedience to authority
  6. Moral sanctity or purity

Conservatives tend to believe in 5 or more pillars, but are particularly strong in their belief in loyalty, obedience and moral purity. Liberals (like me) tend to have little or no belief in obedience or sanctity, and very little concern for loyalty. So in a way, conservatives are right when they see us as the morally defective ones. This leads to many unproductive conversations, where one side is literally unable to understand what the other side is even talking about.

Now, new research suggests that strong belief in loyalty, obedience and purity — known as the “binding values” — is associated with a tendency to blame the victim. And counterintuitively, the more you talk about events from the victim’s point of view, the more proponents of binding values are likely to blame the victim