6 Moral Taste Buds That Shape Our Morality


Dear soulsister,

Have you ever wondered why everyone has a different point of view or belief about what is right and what is wrong?

Well apparently, according to moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt in The Righteous Mind, there are 6 different moral taste buds that we have. In his recent blog, Steven Handel at The Emotion Machine (link below) summarises them as follows.

  1. Care/Harm

We’ve evolved to experience sympathy toward individuals who are in harm or suffering, and we are often driven to care for those in need.

  1. Fairness/Cheating

Fairness follows the simple principle “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” We build relationships on this law of reciprocity – and we usually continue to work with people who follow this rule.

  1. Loyalty/Betrayal

This is motivated by our need to belong in a group, whether it’s based on our nationality, culture, religion, politics, or whatever.

This instinct helps us to form strong relationships and see beyond ourselves as just individuals. When a group is centered around a common cause, it can accomplish a lot more than a group which is less uniform and cohesive.

  1. Authority/Subversion

This is our desire for social order and hierarchy. In certain situations, we like for people to have more authority than others – and this tends to benefit everyone, especially when this authority is based on knowledge, experience, and merit.

  1. Sanctity/Degradation

This is our instinct to keep certain things pure and sacred. Religions often find sanctity in certain objects (Cross, Star of David, the Quran) and places (church, synagogue, mosque). While governments may find sanctity in the form of flags, national monuments, historical sites, and museums.

  1. Liberty/Oppression

This is our instinct for autonomy and freedom. It’s a strong drive to overthrow bullies and tyrants who try to exercise too much authority over individuals.

To read the full article and do a test to see what ‘moral taste buds you have, and in what degrees’ visit Steve at The Emotion Machine.


much love,

Rebecca Signature


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