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Title: Mapping moral motives : Approach, avoidance, and political orientation
Authors: Janoff-Bulman, Ronnie
Sheikh, Sana
Baldacci, Kate
Keywords: Moral psychology
Contemporary culture
Moral motives
Self restraint
Social order
Self reliance
Social justice
Political orientation
Political conservatism
Political groups
BF Psychology
Issue Date: Jul-2008
Citation: Janoff-Bulman , R , Sheikh , S & Baldacci , K 2008 , ' Mapping moral motives : Approach, avoidance, and political orientation ' Journal of Experimental Social Psychology , vol 44 , no. 4 , pp. 1091-1099 . , 10.1016/j.jesp.2007.11.003
Abstract: Recent critiques of moral psychology and the contemporary culture wars highlight the need for a better understanding of diverse moral perspectives. A model of moral motives is proposed. The fundamental approach-avoidance distinction in motivation is crossed with self-other focus to create four moral motives: Self-Restraint (avoidance-self), Social Order (avoidance-other), Self-Reliance (approach-self), and Social Justice (approach-other). Three studies explored these motives in the context of political orientation. Overall, political conservatism was associated with avoidance motives and liberalism with approach motives. Approach-avoidance motives were also associated with distinct patterns of results regarding authoritarianism, social dominance, and positions on contemporary social issues. Responses of campus political groups demonstrated the utility of the moral motives in providing a more nuanced view of politics that also takes into account the model's second dimension, for an emphasis on Self focus (personality responsibility) versus Other focus (social responsibility) further distinguished between conservative groups. Moral and political implications are discussed.
Version: Postprint
Status: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0022-1031
Type: Journal article
Rights: (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. This is an author version of an article published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 44(4), available at
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Psychology & Neuroscience Research

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