Moral foundations tracked over 200 years of lexicographic data, and their predictors
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona, Department of Psychology
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherLodz University Press
CitationWoodley of Menie, M. A., Figueredo, A. J., Peñaherrera-Aguirre, M., Jurgenssen, J., & Sarraf, M. A. (2022). Moral foundations tracked over 200 years of lexicographic data, and their predictors. Anthropological Review, 85(2), 79–102.
RightsCopyright © by the author, licensee Polish Anthropological Association and University of Lodz, Poland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
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AbstractThe prediction that reduction of negative selection decreases group-level competitiveness, as reflected in increased individual-focused and diminished group-focused moral foundations, is tested. To measure this hypothesized shift in moral foundations, we conduct a culturomic analysis of the utilization frequencies of items sourced from the moral foundations item pool, tracked among Britannic populations from 1800 to 1999 using Google Ngram Viewer. The resultant higher-order factor, which tracks increasing individualizing values and decreasing binding values, is termed Asabiyyah (capturing social cohesion and collective purpose). Two predictors of this factor are examined: change in the strength of intergroup competition and change in levels of indicators of developmental instability. Both the strength of intergroup competition and levels of developmental instability associate with Asabiyyah. Rising developmental instability mediates the impact of inter-group competition, indicating that reduced between-group competition might have relaxed negative selection against mutations, which might reduce Asabiyyah via their effects on inter-genomic transactions. These results must be interpreted carefully, given the clear real-world evidence that explicit commitment to group-oriented values often features in harmful and maladaptive social and political ideologies of an extreme character. © by the author.
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VersionFinal published version
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © by the author, licensee Polish Anthropological Association and University of Lodz, Poland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).