The Effect of Political Ideology on Moral Judgments of Minority Group Members
AdvisorEllard, John H.
AuthorParker, Daniel J.
Committee MemberMacInnis, Cara C.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThere is evidence liberals are more likely to perceive minority group members as victims of racial discrimination and unfair treatment compared to conservatives. We examined whether perceived victim status affects people's moral judgments towards minority groups by exploring the effect of political ideology on people's moral judgments of crimes committed by minority group members. A sample of white University undergraduates (N = 365; 299 women; 65 men; 1 non-binary, Mage = 20.96, SD = 8.16) were assessed on their political orientation, completed relevant individual difference measures, and then read a fabricated news article describing an identical looting and assault committed by either a white man, a Muslim man, or an unidentified man. Overall participants were less morally outraged and less punitive towards the Muslim perpetrator compared to the white perpetrator and this relationship was further moderated by political ideology. The findings suggest that not only was liberalism associated with being less morally outraged and less punitive towards a minority group member compared to a white ingroup member but also more outraged and more punitive towards a white person compared to an unidentified person. This study was limited by its use of an all white undergraduate sample with overall ideological orientation skewed towards liberalism. Future research should explore this phenomenon using a non-student sample, should include other minority groups as targets, and test more thoroughly for the ways granting victim status can affect moral judgments.
CitationParker, D. J. (2019). The Effect of Political Ideology on Moral Judgments of Minority Group Members (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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