What are trigger words for conservatives

Moral basics, theory and trigger word combinations

The theory of moral foundations divides morality into six categories. In his book The Righteous Mind Haidt mentioned that the sermons of the Southern Baptists, compared to the less conservative sermons of the Christian church, showed strong moral divisions into "conservative" and "liberal" mindsets defined by subsets of the six foundations, particularly those more frequently triggered in the texts . Specifically, this was done using a predefined list like this one and then doing a word count for each category, dividing the sermon into either way of thinking. Let's call such words "trigger words".

My question is as follows: Has work been done to examine combinations of these trigger words from different categories? Let me be more specific. Let's take the sentence:

"Hurting a dog is one of the worst things a person can do."

One such trigger word here is "hurt", which is a vice of the Care Foundation. This is something that the Care Foundation appeals and, statistically speaking, is very well accepted by the liberal mindset. Even from a conservative point of view, this will generally be less in agreement. Now what if we write the sentence as follows:

"We have to respect dogs."

"Respect" is a trigger for the conservative way of thinking. Also consider the sentence:

"Hurting dogs is one of the worst things a human can do. We must respect all animals, and those who harm them are bad, bad and sick."

I purposely overloaded the last sentence with trigger words for holiness and respect.

Question 1 : If you overload sentences as described above, does this trigger more positive responses from the conservative mindset?

Question 2 : If both liberal and conservative mindsets are asked to explain the above overloaded sentences, will they agree on a similar meaning ("Don't hurt dogs")?

Question 3 : In other words, is there any evidence of the ability to trigger low priority foundations by invoking high priority foundations for a particular mindset? I am relying here on the idea that words in general ambiguous and are contextual . I also assume that responses and the analyzing of meanings are instantaneous and the subject is not given time to think and analyze, that is, to intuition.

I am simplifying things a lot here, but I hope the general theme of these questions will lead to a nice discussion.

Sydney Maples

Hey Alex R.! I know you from Math.SE. :) Unfortunately, this question may not comply with the CogSci.SE regulations as it seems a bit vague for this forum. CogSci.SE is primarily research based and generally rejects hypotheses, discussions or opinion-based arguments. Since you seem to be asking about these things in your answer, you may have a better time with Philosophy.SE. Alternatively, you could formulate the question more precisely - that is, "What is the relationship between political inclination and the semantic interpretation of XYZ?"

Alex R.

@ SydneyMaples: Thanks for the advice! I was torn between the post of philosophy, mostly because I was hoping that this would be a graduate school in social psychology. I'm not very familiar with this area, but mainly hope that a recent study looked at these questions (I've listed a few to be more lucky). Perhaps this has been researched on www.YourMorals.com in particular? I'll try to edit for more directness.

Sydney Maples

It can be helpful to include one main question as you seem to be asking some of them in your post. Since this is more of a specific theory than a broad psychological phenomenon that you are asking about, there is less chance that it was studied academically outside of the original theorist in social psychology. For this reason, it may be more helpful to ask a more specific question about an overlying phenomenon than to ask about material taken directly from that theory. Really cool question - it makes me think. :) :)

Artem Kaznatcheev

This is a great question, very focused, detailed, and educational. Well done Alex. I'm not sure @SydneyMaples is talking about an earlier draft, but that question seems entirely thematic to me. Basic moral theory is a fairly popular topic in social psychology, so there are a lot more researchers than just Haidt looking at it. My only advice is that the length is likely to put people off. It may be better to move the first paragraph after the main question to a "Background" section. or at least add some section headings.

Artem Kaznatcheev

I also think that as you write you are asking a very specific question: "Has work been done to examine combinations of these trigger words from different categories [for the same query]?" You should stress this and belittle the three "questions" below. These are further examples of what such further work could look like.

Cameron Brick

I am a research psychologist working with theory and messaging of moral foundations and I have not seen these specific questions addressed. But you may be interested in seeing work that uses different framed messages with these "trigger words" in different populations (e.g. by political orientation) and measures outcomes, e.g.

The moral roots of environmental attitudes - Feinberg & Willer journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797612449177