How social science can help us understand moral tribalism in politics
The Guardian - 03/27/2018
In one study, for instance, researchers at Northeastern University recruited a group of volunteers and, on the basis of responses they had given to some questions, informed them they were either habitual “overestimators” or “underestimators.” (In reality, the feedback was fake).
Next they introduced the volunteers to another person, who, unbeknownst to them, was cooperating with the experimenters. Half the volunteers learned this person had the same estimation style as them; half learned different. They then had a chance to observe this person cheat on a simple task.
Finally, volunteers were asked to rate how fairly this person had acted. Results showed that people who had the same estimation style as the research confederate were significantly more likely to forgive this person’s actions. By contrast, those with a different estimation style rated the person’s behavior far more harshly.