Essay on The Moral Foundations Theory ( Mft )

823 Words Sep 13th, 2015 4 Pages
The Moral Foundations Theory (MFT); is a psychological theory to help explain why morality can vary across different cultures, and how people can still be classified under the same set of similar constructs. Although the importance placed on certain foundations may vary to the morals of the community. Developed by Jonathan Haidt, Jesse Graham and Brian A. Nosek (2009), it is understood that the individualizing foundations (Harm/Care and Fairness/Reciprocity) were derived from the evolution of empathy, and were captivating to people due to its strong ‘emphasis on the rights and welfare of the individuals’ (Haidt et al, 2009). Haidt et al. (2009) conclude that the binding foundations (Ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect and purity/sanctity) evolved from the evolution of hierarchy and the respect and obedience for authoritative figures, who displayed leadership and protection to their community.

There are five moral foundations in the psychological systems of morality: harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, Ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect and purity/sanctity. Haidt and Graham (2007) further expand on their explanation of these groups: Harm/care indicates that the brain has slowly developed the ability to feel compassion for those who are suffering, while protecting those they can. Fairness/reciprocity indicates that a shared interaction between cooperating persons has begun to lead to emotions and justice in regards to common rules. Ingroup/loyalty has suggested that people feel a…

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