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Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and Paul Krugman need to get out of Maslow’s Basement.

Losing an election is tough and I have immense empathy for those who have a heartfelt vision for their country that was not fulfilled on election day.  Most people who care deeply about the election, Democrats and Republicans, do so out of a real desire for the country to do better and it’s unfortunate that [...]

In Defense of Akin: Moral Coherence is common.

Recently, some of my collaborators (Brittany Liu and Pete Ditto) published a paper on moral coherence, which is when people fit their factual beliefs to their moral beliefs.  It is a phenomenon very similar to what I’ve called moral confabulation (I like their term better, so have adopted it).  It is a specific example of [...]

How Coherence Defines Conservatism

One of the pitfalls in doing political psychology research is that it is tempting to define an ideology using the perspective of whatever you study.  Researchers necessarily (and I’m sure I do this too) talk about the novelty and uniqueness of their findings in order to convince editors of journals of the objective importance of [...]

Which undecided voters use the internet to figure out who they should vote for?

In 2008, I co-founded as a way to help people with the question “Who should I vote for?”  In 2008, it served over 500,000 people, but we didn’t get any demographic information at the time, so, while valuable, I couldn’t answer many of the questions I wanted to answer about the use of “candidate [...]

New Research on the Moral Psychology of Libertarians

While some followers of this blog may be familiar with some of the ideas in this paper, the final version of our publication about libertarian morality has just been published in PLOS One.  You can read the full paper here.  In addition, in the spirit of the Khan Academy, I created the below video summary [...]

Where to live? Liberal, conservative, & libertarian criteria differ.

In a line of research led by Matt Motyl, at the University of Virginia, we’ve been exploring ideological differences in preferences for where one lives.  This project is informed by a few ideas already out there. The observation that cities are getting more and more partisan, as depicted in the Big Sort. Richard Florida’s ideas about [...]

The Moral Foundations of ThinkProgress, Alternet, Daily Kos, & the NY Times

Over the past couple years, Jon Haidt has had press articles from various liberal leaning press organizations, including these articles from ThinkProgress,

Liberals place more value on being funny than conservatives and libertarians.

I’ve been watching a lot of comedy central lately and have been wondering why there does not appear to be a conservative equivalent, just as there is no popular liberal equivalent to conservative AM talk radio.  Perhaps liberals value being funny more than conservatives? To test this idea, I thought I’d look at the data [...]

Separating Attitudes Toward War from Attitudes Toward Soldiers on Veteran’s Day

Today is Veteran’s Day and I would like to express my profound thanks for the sacrifices that soldier’s make in service to our nation.  I may not agree with the decision to go to war in some cases or with the utility of war in general, but soldiers do not make those decisions.  Politicians do. [...]

Is belief in the Protestant Work Ethic related to attitudes toward rich and poor?

Recently, a call went out to people who study social psychology to examine the relationships between belief in the protestant work ethic (e.g. “I feel uneasy when there is little work for me to do.”) and measures of prejudice or political attitudes regarding poverty or HIV/AIDS. Researchers from Stony Brook University wanted to aggregate the [...]