Standing up or giving up? Moral foundations mediate political differences in evaluations of Black Lives Matter and other protests

Isaac Richardson*, Paul Conway

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests challenge the existing social order, whereas other protests do not (e.g., gun rights protests) or even reinforce it (e.g., Blue Lives Matter protests). Protests challenging the social order align with the ‘individualizing’ moral foundations (e.g., fairness, harm/care) but undermine ‘binding’ moral foundations (e.g., loyalty, authority), which may partially explain political differences in approval of protesting. Four studies examined whether moral foundation endorsement mediated the effect of political orientation on protest evaluations. In Study 1, liberals rated BLM protests and general protesting as more moral than conservatives, partially due to increased individualizing and decreased binding endorsement. Studies 2–4 replicated this pattern for BLM and general protesting, but these effects disappeared for gun rights protests and largely reversed for Blue Lives Matter protests that uphold the status quo. These results suggest that protest evaluations partially reflect the moral values prioritized by different political groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 20 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • morality
  • collective action
  • moral foundations
  • political orientation
  • protesting

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Standing up or giving up? Moral foundations mediate political differences in evaluations of Black Lives Matter and other protests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this