Donald Trump supporters think about morality differently than other voters. Here’s how.
— February 5, 2016
By Jonathan Haidt and Emily Ekins
Political scientists and commentators have a standard toolbox they use to explain elections, including variables such as the state of the economy, changing demographics, and incumbency fatigue. But this year, the standard tools are proving inadequate. Experts are increasingly turning to psychology for help. A recent article in Politico was titled "The One Weird Trait that Predicts Whether You're a Trump Supporter." It argued that the psychological trait undergirding Trump's popularity is authoritarianism — a personality style characterizing people who are particularly sensitive to signs that the moral order is falling apart. When they perceive that the world as they know it is descending into chaos, they glorify their in-group, become highly intolerant of those who are different, and feel drawn to strong leaders who promise to fix things, and who do not seem shy about using force to do so.
But now that Trump has lost in Iowa, there is increasing interest in the moral and psychological profiles of those who support other candidates. Iowa entrance polls showed that Cruz took the lion's share of voters who said it was most important to elect a candidate who shares their values. But what are those values, exactly? Is that just code for "evangelical Christian?"
Read full article as published on Vox.com.
Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership.