Relation between Social Conservatism, Moral Competence, Moral Orientations, and the Importance of Moral Foundations.

Ingrīda Trups-Kalne, Ģirts Dimdiņš

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This paper examines the relation between moral competence, moral orientations, importance of moral
foundations, and political orientation, by combining two theoretical approaches in moral psychology--the
cognitive perspective and social-intuitionist perspective. The participants (Study 1 N=348, aged 18 to 67,
and Study 2 N = 361, aged 16 to 74) completed the Moral Competence Test (formerly Moral Judgment
Test, Lind, 1978, 2008), the 30-Item Full Version of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (Graham,
Haidt & Nosek, 2008), and measurements of political orientation (a seven-point self-evaluation scale in
study 1 and an 8-item social conservatism scale in Study 2). There was a negative correlation between
moral competence on the one hand and conservative political orientation and binding moral foundations
on the other hand. The overall correlation pattern between the scores of moral orientation and moral
competence, and importance of moral foundations and political orientation was relatively weak and only
partially consistent with the theoretical predictions. The results suggest that constructs used in the
cognitive and social-intuitionist perspectives on moral judgment are conceptually different, and
integrating the two approaches may be a challenging task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalMediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 8
Issue number6 (November)
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Moral competence
  • moral foundations
  • conservatism
  • ideology
  • political orientation

Field of Science*

  • 6.3 Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
  • 5.1 Psychology

Publication Type*

  • 1.4. Reviewed scientific article published in Latvia or abroad in a scientific journal with an editorial board (including university editions)


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