Research by Graham and Haidt (2010) suggests that beliefs, rituals, and other social aspects of religion establish moral communities. As such, they suggest religion is most strongly associated with the group-focused “binding” moral foundations of ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity. Two studies tested this hypothesis, investigating the role of political orientation in these relationships. These studies supported our hypothesis that general religiosity is positively associated with each of the group-focused moral foundations, even when controlling for the role of political orientation. Further, we find religious and political orientations interact such that low-religious political liberals are least likely to endorse group-focused moral intuitions. Results are discussed in a moral foundations framework and consider the role of religiosity’s association with political orientation and group-focused moral foundations.
AtranS. (2006). The cognitive and evolutionary roots of religion. In P.McNamara (Ed.) Where God and science meet: How brain and evolutionary studies alter our understanding of religion (Vols. 1-3Vol. 1 pp. 194-220). Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.
CohenA. B.HallD. E.KoenigH. G. & MeadorK. G. (2005). Social versus individual motivation: Implications for normative definitions of religious orientation. Personality and Social Psychology Review948-61.
DavisD. E.DooleyM. T.HookJ. N.ChoeE. & McElroyS. E. (2017). The purity/sanctity subscale of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire does not work similarly for religious versus non-religious individuals. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality9124-130.
HallD. L.MatzD. C. & WoodW. (2010). Why don’t we practice what we preach? A meta-analytic review of religious racism. Personality and Social Psychology Review14(1) 126-139. doi:10.1177/1088868309352179.
HillE. D.CohenA. B.TerrellH. K. & NagoshiC. T. (2010). The role of social cognition in the religious fundamentalism-prejudice relationship. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion49(4) 724-739. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5906.2010.01542.x.
JohnsonK. A.HookJ. N.DavisD. E.Van TongerenD. R.SandageS. J. & CrabtreeS. A. (2016). Moral foundation priorities reflect U.S. Christians’ individual differences in religiosity. Personality and Individual Differences10056-61.
JohnsonM. K.LaBouffJ. P.RowattW. C.Patock-PeckhamJ. A. & CarlisleR. D. (2012). Facets of right-wing authoritarianism mediate the relationship between religious fundamentalism and attitudes toward Arabs and African Americans. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion51(1) 128-142. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5906.2011.01622.x.
JohnsonM. K.RowattW. C.Barnard-BrakL. M.Patock-PeckhamJ. A.LaBouffJ. P. & CarlisleR. D. (2011). A mediational analysis of the role of right-wing authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism in the religiosity–prejudice link. Personality and Individual Differences50(6) 851-856. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.01.010.
JohnsonM. K.RowattW. C. & LaBouffJ. P. (2012). Religiosity and prejudice revisited: In-group favoritism, out-group derogation, or both?Psychology of Religion and Spirituality4(2) 154-168. doi:10.1037/a0025107.
JostJ. T.HawkinsC. B.NosekB. A.HennesE. P.SternC.GoslingS. D. & GrahamJ. (2013). Belief in a just god (and a just society): A system justification perspective on religious ideology. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology3456-81. doi:10.1037/a0033220.
LaBouffJ. P.RowattW. C.JohnsonM. K. & FinkleC. (2012). Differences in attitudes toward outgroups in religious and nonreligious contexts in a multinational sample: A situational context priming study. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion22(1) 1-9.
MavorK. I.MacleodC. J.BoalM. J. & LouisW. R. (2009). Right-wing authoritarianism, fundamentalism and prejudice revisited: Removing suppression and statistical artefact. Personality and Individual Differences46(5-6) 592-597.
PrattoF.SidaniusJ.StallworthL. M. & MalleB. F. (1994). Social dominance orientation: A personality variable predicting social and political attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology67(4) 741-763.
RowattW. C.LaBouffJ.JohnsonM.FroeseP. & TsangJ.-A. (2009). Associations among religiousness, social attitudes, and prejudice in a national random sample of American adults. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality1(1) 14-24. doi:10.1037/a0014989.
Van CappellenP.CorneilleO.ColsS. & SaroglouV. (2011). Beyond mere compliance to authoritative figures: Religious priming increases conformity to informational influence among submissive people. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion2197-105.