Comments On: The Motivated Use of Moral Principles


The Motivated Use of Moral Principles was an open study of community respondents and college students across three campuses. I really enjoyed the paper and I think it’s a great read for general philosophers.

Campus locations:
Northwestern University – Illinois – Red State
Cornell University – New York – Blue State
UC Irvine – California – Blue State

The reason I list the states generic political affiliation is because the study provides statistically significant results in relation to moral actions within a political belief system. While the methods, study, analysis and results are described over a short 11 pages, the material itself is very tight. I had to re-read sections around the methods for the study to remember how the scoring was done while also looking at the visualizations below.

I found the following to be an interesting conclusion:
“Specifically, liberals (defined as 1 SD below the mean; Aiken & West, 1991) were more likely to endorse a consequentialist justification when the victim had a stereotypically White name than when the victim had a stereotypically Black name,b =−.40, SE =.12, t = 3.27, p= .002.” – pg4

When I think about media ecology and influence of the media. It would be interesting to see this study revisited and if the conclusions still hold.

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