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Deep Alignment with Country Shrinks the Moral Gap Between Conservatives and Liberals


Political Psychology

Published online on


--- - |2 Moral foundations theory suggests that relative to liberals, conservatives care more about values that are believed to bind group members together: loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and purity/degradation. In contrast, we propose that individuals who are deeply aligned (“fused”) with their group should display elevated commitment to group‐oriented moral values, regardless of their political orientation. The results of three studies supported this hypothesis. The tendency for conservatives to endorse the binding foundations more than liberals only emerged among weakly and moderately fused Americans. In fact, liberals strongly fused with the United States endorsed “binding” foundations more than average conservatives and to the same extent as strongly fused conservatives. These results indicate that to fully understand moral prerogatives, one must consider the nature of the connections people form to the group, as well as their political orientation. - Political Psychology, EarlyView.