Developing critical research methodologies, critical thinking, and psychology report writing skills

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The study aims to find a link between moral foundation and political inclination. The study was designed as a descriptive study, with data collected using the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ). Following their agreement, a total of 227 participants were included in the study. Throughout the investigation, research ethics were taken into account. A seven-point Likert Scale was used to assess political leaning. Among the sixteen moral relevance factors used in the study were caring, in-group authority, respect, and purity. To determine the findings and establish the correlation between the independent and dependent variables, the mean and standard deviation were determined. The study found a positive correlation between moral foundation and political orientation and recommended more studies to be done to ascertain the findings.

Research Methods

Research Design

Psychological research is imperative in determining human behavior. There are many research methods used in psychological studies. The study adopted a descriptive research design where a survey was taken to establish the findings. The psychological research methods used robust and replicable methodology to investigate human behavior (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009). The study adopted a descriptive research method that involved correlation techniques to ascertain the findings. The study carried out an online survey to assess the moral foundation. The descriptive research design used in the study was so accurate in establishing the relationship between political orientation and moral foundation. The study used a Likert scale questionnaire and the political foundation was measured using single item on a seven-scale. The Likert scale ran from 1 to 7 starting from strongly liberal to strongly conservative (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009).

Study population

The study population was randomly selected. The targeted population were supposed to respond to queries answering whether they think themselves are conservatives or liberals. A total of 59 men were of age between 23 to 42 years old were incorporated into the study. There were 168 women with a mean age of 21 to 41 years. The male respondents mean age was slightly higher than the female respondents (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009).

Pilot study

The study carried out a pilot study to test the research tools. The Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) tools were tested before the actual studies to avoid research errors. The validity and reliability of the study was taken into consideration.

Data collection

Data collection was done through an online survey where participants were requested to respond to the questionnaires. Data was collected using Moral Foundations Questionnaire as stated by (Graham and Nosek et al, 2011). The MFG had two major parts namely moral relevance and moral judgments. Before issuing the questionnaires, an interview was carried during pilot study through an interview where both structured and unstructured interviews were used.

Data analysis

Data analysis was done using SPSS and all the statistical measures of the variables were taken into consideration. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Correlation was done and both mean and standard deviation was calculated to establish the findings of the study. The Likert scale data was analyzed and all the deliverable of the study was taken into consideration. Hypothesis was tested and the correlation between political orientation and moral foundation established.

Ethical consideration

Ethical consideration of research was taken into account and all the participants in the study were requested politely to participate. Participation was voluntary and participants consent was considered. Confidentiality and privacy of the participants was taken into consideration.


The result of the data established a correlation between the political orientation and moral foundation. The established a strong correlation between the political orientation and moral foundation. The fractional score for each respondent was about 4.33 while the standard deviation varied. The total number of respondents that took part in the study was two hundred and twenty seven. Five sets of moral intuition were used and included fairness, in-group, purity, harm and authority. The study found that liberal and conservatives depends on the moral foundation. The study used a Likert scale of 1-7 and had the following variables to test the hypothesis (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009).

Strongly liberal

Moderately liberal

Slightly liberal


Slightly conservative

Moderately conservative

Strongly conservative

The results indicated that the average response based on the seven items plotted against political foundation showed a significant effect. Liberal consistently indicated great endorsement in relation to harm, in-group and fairness to the rest of the foundation (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009). Consequently, conservatives endorsed the foundation deliverables equally. The validity of the study asserted that moral concerns predict the personality features while the group attitudes related to social are morally relevant. Moral foundation was found to be critical and imperative in both the society and political perspectives (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009).

The standard deviation reduced significantly showing a deviation from foundation to political orientation. The mean showed that most respondents are moderately and slightly liberal while their deviation to political orientation increased significantly (Turiel, 2006). Majority of the respondents were moderately liberal while only eight responded as strongly liberal in relation to moral foundation. The negative and reduction in fairness in an individual indicates that conservatives are less relevant to political orientation. Consequently, positive increment across authority, purity and in-group shows more relevancy towards political orientation (Graham, Haidt & Nosek, 2009).

The correlation between political orientation and moral foundation is overestimated looking at the results in fairness and loyalty. According to (Graham et al, 2009), moral foundation is directly related to political orientation and the study findings ascertained the fact. Higher liberalism is predicted by care and fairness while sanctity is predicted by conservatism Turiel, E. (2006).


The findings ascertain the relationship between moral foundation and political societies. The findings further established the vital role of moral judgment based on morality assumption. According to (Haidt & Graham, 2007), morality is treating people fairly without any harm and is important when making social order. The correlation between morality and politics is as diverse as people are expected to exercise fairness in order to enhance equality. Loyalty, purity and authority deviates to political orientation as compared to openness and conformity (Haidt, & Graham, 2007).

Among the moral foundations, care and fairness was found to promote and enhance justice by protecting the vulnerable based on empathy. They focus on protecting individual’s rights from violations (Haidt, & Graham, 2007). Contrary, the remaining three foundations namely: loyalty, respect and purity do not focus much on individualistic protection but maintenance of communal order are termed as the binding foundation. Besides, in-group and authority builds group or communal solidarity and affects political societies. They tend to support self-sacrifice towards legitimate authority. Community unity and ethics is vital and have both negative and positive impacts of political orientation (Haidt, & Graham, 2007).

Besides, purity was found to be related to religion and condemns uncleanliness. The society is expected to practice moral virtues and promote morality within a society. However, the five foundations differ from one person to the other. Political orientation was also found to be varying according to an individual perspective. Conservatives were found to be relevant to authority, in-group and moral purity. Political orientation and moral foundation are vital for any development within a society (Haidt, & Graham, 2007).

Voting preference is basically correlated to political orientation and influence political agendas and ideologies. Voters are influenced by varieties of social and emotional forces such as candidate’s appearance, race, religion and many more. Voters may vote against their own self-interest but for the benefit of the society thus affecting their moral foundation positively. Continuum has a predictive influence on the validity which influences voting behavior and opinions. The first two foundations that contribute individualism which include care and fairness are aimed to reduce human suffering on the planet Earth and promote equality and inclusivity. Besides, care and fairness is also believed to combat unfair treatment and duplicitous or dishonesty. The two foundations are further related to cognitive development and ethical justice. Moral foundation theory proponents focus on maintaining people’s rights through binding as one of the foundations. The five foundations are correlated and contribute to unique variance.

The survey conducted validity and relevancy in the sixteen items use ad deliverables in the study. According to the moral foundations theory, all the five foundations are essential in developing moral intuition. Harm and fairness are related to individualism while in-group, authority and loyalty are connected to communal bonds. Social political effects and attitudes as well beliefs have impacts on moral foundation. According to Graham’s argument, binding perspectives is associated with bonding in a group, authority and respect while individualism is concerned with protecting people from any arm. The research findings and the literature reviews from previous studies have ascertained the argument. Moral foundation theory states the importance of individualism and binding concerns in relation to politics.

The relationship between moral foundation and political orientation is based on conceptualization of political views. In political aspect, liberalism is associated mostly with harm while conservatism is strongly with loyalty leading political perspectives (Haidt, & Graham, 2007).

The study confirmed Graham and Haidt’s findings on the relationship between moral foundation and political orientation. Individualizing foundation was found to be more associated with fairness and harm while conservatives were found to be more liberal and related to in-group, authority and purity. The findings further established that in-group, purity and authority are attributed to higher level of political orientation and may be linked to unfairness while other variables are negatively affected. The study found a strong correlation between political orientation and moral foundation which affects the society positively or negatively depending on individual perspectives (Haidt, & Graham, 2007). However, individual political orientation is likely to influence a group or a society leading to leadership position and unequal distribution of resources based on power and preference.


Graham, J., Haidt, J., & Nosek, B. (2009). Liberals and conservatives use different sets of moral foundations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 1029-1046.

Haidt, J., & Graham, J. (2007). When morality opposes justice: Emotions and intuitions related to in groups, hierarchy, and purity. Social Justice Research, 20, 98-116.

Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 25, 1‑65.

Shweder, R. A., Much, N. C., Mahapatra, M., & Park, L. (1997). The “big three” of morality (autonomy, community, and divinity), and the “big three” explanations of suffering morality and health. New York,NY: Routledge.

Turiel, E. (2006). The development of morality. In. N. Eisenberg, W. Damon, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology. (Vol. 3) (pp. 789-858). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

April 26, 2023

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