Tools from moral psychology for measuring personal moral culture

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Moral culture can mean many things, but two major elements are a concern with moral goods and moral prohibitions. Moral psychologists have developed instruments for assessing both of these and such measures can be directly imported by sociologists. Work by Schwartz and his colleagues on values offers a well-established way of measuring moral goods, while researchers using Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory have developed validated measures of moral prohibitions. Both values and moral foundations are distributed across the social landscape in systematic, sociologically interesting ways. Although typically measured using questionnaires, we show that values and moral foundations also can be used to analyze interview, archival, or “big data.” Combining psychological and sociological tools and frameworks promises to clarify relations among existing sociological treatments of moral culture and to connect such treatments to a thriving conversation in moral psychology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Vaisey, S; Miles, A

Published Date

  • April 24, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 311 - 332

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-7853

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0304-2421

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11186-014-9221-8

Citation Source

  • Scopus