My Moral Profile

I have taken many of the tests that are offered at YourMorals.Org. What follows is a selection of results from those tests that are especially revealing of my beliefs and personality.

THE BIG 5 PERSONALITY INVENTORY AND LIFE SATISFACTION

I first took the “Big 5″ personality test on 05/28/2009, with this result (details here):

My scores are in green; the average scores of all other test-takers are in purple. The five traits are defined as follows:

1. Openness to experience: High scorers are described as “Open to new experiences. You have broad interests and are very imaginative.” Low scorers are described as “Down-to-earth, practical, traditional, and pretty much set in your ways.” This is the sub-scale that shows the strongest relationship to politics: liberals generally score high on this trait; they like change and variety, sometimes just for the sake of change and variety. Conservatives generally score lower on this trait. (Just think about the kinds of foods likely to be served at very liberal or very conservative social events.)

2. Conscientiousness: High scorers are described as “conscientious and well organized. They have high standards and always strive to achieve their goals. They sometimes seem uptight. Low scorers are easy going, not very well organized and sometimes rather careless. They prefer not to make plans if they can help it.”

3. Extraversion: High scorers are described as “Extraverted, outgoing, active, and high-spirited. You prefer to be around people most of the time.” Low scorers are described as “Introverted, reserved, and serious. You prefer to be alone or with a few close friends.” Extraverts are, on average, happier than introverts.

4. Agreeableness: High scorers are described as “Compassionate, good-natured, and eager to cooperate and avoid conflict.” Low scorers are described as “Hardheaded, skeptical, proud, and competitive. You tend to express your anger directly.”

5. Neuroticism: High scorers are described as “Sensitive, emotional, and prone to experience feelings that are upsetting.” Low scorers are described as “Secure, hardy, and generally relaxed even under stressful conditions.”

I took a similar test on 10/02/14, with this result:

Normalized to the mean scores of all other test-takers, here are my scores in 2009 and 2014 (listed in that order for each trait):

Openness: 1.25, 1.25

Conscientiousness: 1.47, 1.33

Extraversion: 0.71, 0.21

Agreeableness: 1.06, 0.54

Neuroticism: 0.66, 0.42

The differences may not be significant, but it seems that I remain very open to new experiences, am perhaps a bit more relaxed about meeting goals (a perquisite of age), and have become more introverted, hard-headed, and secure in myself.

A strong sense of security is consistent with this result (from the test taken on 10/02/14):

MORAL MOTIVATION SCALE

The scale is a measure of the degree to which people are motivated to act morally by internal and external factors. An example of an internal motivational factor is the drive to achieve (or maintain) one’s happiness through acting morally. An example of an external motivational factor is the drive to act morally in order to improve (or maintain) relationships.

The idea behind the scale is that people vary on the degree to which they experience internal and external moral motivations. Though we suspect that some people are more internally (rather than externally) motivated to act morally, we suspect that everyone is motivated to act morally by internal and external factors. We expect that internal vs. external motivation might relate to who gives to charity in a more public vs. a more private way or who is more likely to be honest when in a group setting vs. a private setting. As well, some national surveys have shown that women make harsher moral judgments than men, and we expect that that might reflect higher moral motivations.

Your Score (in green):

BUSINESS ETHICS QUESTIONNAIRE

The scale is a measure of statements describing behaviors relevant to five categories of business ethics: (a) usurpation of company resources (e.g. using company time/products), (b) corporate gamesmanship (politics), (c) cheating customers, (d) concealment of misconduct, and (e) offering kickbacks/gifts.

The idea behind the scale is that there is very little systematic research on everyday ethical issues in business. This measure has been tested cross-culturally to show relevance for participants from Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan. Specifically, a values structure highlighting the importance of self-transcendence values correlates with more ethical behavioral orientations, while a values structure highlighting the importance of the self-enhancement dimension of values correlates with less ethical behavioral orientations. Further, we are interested in what behaviors are seen as unethical as while all individuals espouse ethicality, different types of behavior are often seen as being more or less relevant to ethics, depending on one’s culture. In previous research, women have reported being more ethical than men.

The graph below shows how often people say that they find various everyday ethical situations to be acceptable in everyday life. This business ethics questionnaire includes 5 categories: Usurpation of company resources, Offering kickbacks, Corporate gamesmanship, Concealment of misconduct, & Cheating Customers. Higher scores indicate greater acceptance of these behaviors.

Self Responses:

MARLOWE-CROWNE SOCIAL DESIRABILITY SCALE

The scale you just completed was the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, developed by Douglas Crowne and David Marlowe (1960). This scale measures social desirability concern, which is people’s tendency to portray themselves favorably during social interaction. Each of the 33 true-false items that you just filled out describes a behavior that is either socially acceptable but unlikely, or socially unacceptable but likely. As a result, people who receive high scores on this measure may be more likely to respond to surveys in a self-promoting fashion.

We are interested in examining how liberals and conservatives score on this scale. Although previous research has investigated how these groups can be biased when evaluating political information, little is known about the relationship between political attitudes and social desirability concern.

The graph below shows your score on this scale. The scores range from 0% to 100% and represent the proportion of answers that indicated socially desirable responding. Thus, higher scores correspond with higher degrees of socially desirable responding. Your score is shown in green (1st bar). The score of the average liberal respondent is shown in light blue and the score of the average strong liberal is shown in dark blue. The average conservative score is shown in light red and the score of the average strong conservative is shown in dark red.

FREE WILL AND DETERMINISM SCALE

Liberals and conservatives seem to disagree in their basic understandings of the causes of human action, particularly of immoral action. Liberals are more likely to believe that social forces, poverty, childhood trauma, or mental illness can serve as valid excuses. Conservatives are more likely to reject such excuses and want to hold people accountable for their actions, including a preference for harsher punishments. At least, that is the way things play out in many disputes in the legal world. We want to see if we can look at this stereotypical difference in more detail. We want to find out WHICH kinds of free will and determinism show a correlation with politics, and with other psychological variables.

The Paulhus scale measures people’s attitudes about four constructs related to freedom vs. determinism, which we have graphed for you in the four green bars below.

The first graph shows your score on two measures of belief in determinism:

  • Fate: the belief that individuals cannot control their own destinies
  • Scientific causation: the belief that people’s actions are fully explained by a combination of biological and environmental forces

The second graph shows your score on two subscales about belief in NON-determinism, or freedom:

  • Randomness: the belief that some events are truly random, that chance plays a role in human affairs
  • Free Will: the degree to which people can truly decide upon their behaviors and are personally responsible for their outcomes.

In the graphs below, your score is shown in green (the first bar in each cluster). The scores of all people who have taken the scale on our site and who described themselves during registration as politically liberal are shown in the blue bars. The scores of people who described themselves as politically conservative are in red. Scores run from 1 (the lowest possible score, least belief in that construct) to 5 (the highest possible score).

TRAIT RATINGS

The graph below shows your scores separately for self-evaluations on three of the traits: Happy, Laziness, and being a Good driver. The scores range from -2 to +2. Positive scores indicate that you rated yourself as more likely than the average person to possess that kind of trait, and negative scores indicate that you rated yourself as less likely to possess that kind of trait. Your score is shown in green (1st bar). The score of the average liberal respondent is shown in blue and the score of the average conservative is shown in red. (Note, for scores of zero, you will not see a bar at all.)

SATISFACTION WITH LIFE SCALE

The scale is a measureof your general happiness level. Despite its simplicity, the scale has been found to do a good job of measuring people’s general state of “subjective well-being.” It is widely used, in many nations.

We are interested in measuring happiness on this site because many studies have found that religious people are happier than non-believers, and some have found that politcally conservative people are slightly happier than are political liberals, even after controlling statistically for religiosity. A recent Gallup survey found that religiosity was associated with better mental health for Republicans, but it didn’t make a difference for Democrats. We want to investigate these complex relationships among happiness, morality, religion, and ideology.

In the graph below, your score is shown in green. The scores of all people who have taken the scale on our site and who say that they go to religious services never, or just a few times a year, are shown in blue. The scores of all people who have taken the scale on our site and who said (during registration) that they go to religious services a few times a month or more are shown in red. Scores run from 1 (the lowest possible score, least happy) to 7 (the highest possible score, most happy).

In addition, we asked you some questions on the second page about your mental health. That recent Gallup poll showed that conservatives and religious people report having better mental health when asked using a single question (“how would you rate your mental health?”). We want to see if their finding holds up using a more specific scale, so we asked you to report on a variety of symptoms related to depression and anxiety, which are the most common kinds of mental health symptoms that people report. In the graph below, your score is shown in green. High scores mean MORE mental health complaints. Scores run from 1 (the lowest possible score, no symptoms at all) to 5 (the highest possible score, people who responded “extremely” to all items). As before, the blue bar shows the score of the less religious people; the red bar shows the average score of the most religious people.

COMPREHENSIVE JUSTICE SCALE

The scale is a measure of your attitudes toward crime and punishment. Some of the items reflected a “progressive” and less punitive attitude toward criminals (for example agreeing with the statement that “punishment should be designed to rehabilitate offenders,” and being opposed to the death penalty). Other items reflected a more “traditional” attitude, including a willingness to use traditional forms of punishment, such as shaming or flogging. We grouped these two kinds of items together to give you a “progressive” and a “traditional” score in the first graph below. We call this the “comprehensive” justice scale because research on justice and punishment has usually taken either a liberal or conservative approach. We are trying to examine the broadest possible range of ideas and intuitions about what you think should happen to the offender, and the victim. Disagreements about crime and punishment have long been at the heart of the “culture war.” By linking your responses here to the information you gave us when you registered, or when you took other surveys, we hope to shed light on what kinds of people (not just liberals and conservatives) endorse what kinds of responses to crime, and why.

The graph below shows your scores (in green) on the items from the first page, compared to those of the average liberal (in blue) and the average conservative (in red) visitor to this website. The scale runs from 1 (lowest score) to 7 (highest score).

The second graph shows your results from the items on page 2, where we asked about “alternatives to prison.” This page should produce similar results to what you see from Page 1. We expect liberals to favor the more lenient and rehabilitative alternatives, and conservatives to favor the more punitive options. We are trying out various ways of asking these questions to see which format, or combination of formats, produces the best measurement of people’s attitudes.

CULTURAL THOUGHT STYLES

The graph below shows your percentage of intuitive pairings (in green) compared to those of the average liberal (in blue), the average moderate (in purple), the average conservative (in red), and the average libertarian (in gold) visitor to this website.

Low = formal; high = intuitive reasoning. Also, scores of zero are common. It simply means you chose all formal reasoning options.

Lest you conclude that intuitiveness precludes knowledge and sound reasoning, look at the next three results.

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

Your score on the OCT is calcuated by taking into account your familiarity with the real items (e.g., Bill Clinton) and subtracting how familiar you rated the false/fake items to be (e.g., Fred Gruneberg — my next door neighbor). Also, familiarity ratings of 1 to 4 are treated the same. So if you rated your familiarity with “Bill Clinton” as 1, 2, 3, or 4 then you scored a +1 for that item. And if you rated your familiarity with “Fred Gruneberg” as 1, 2, 3, or 4 then you scored a -1 for that item. If you were unfamiliar with any real or false items, your scores for those items are 0. A perfect score would be identifying all real items and not recognizing any of the false items.

The graph below shows your score on the OCT as it compares to others who have taken this survey on our website. Scores range from 0%-100% and higher values correspond to more correct responses to the OCT. Your score is shown in green, scores of the average liberal are in blue, and scores of the average conservative are in red.

SCIENCE AND RESEARCH KNOWLEDGE

The scales you completed were designed to assess your familiarity with scientific research processes and your comfort with working with numerical information. The order in which you received them was randomized.

One scale uses questions from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2010 Science and Engineering Indicators, which is an effort to track public knowledge and attitudes toward science and technology trends in the U.S. and other countries. For this survey, the items pertaining to understanding statistics, how to read data charts, and conducting an experiment were used.

The other scale is the Subjective Numeracy Scale by Angela Fagerlin and colleagues, which measures individuals’ preference for numerical information. Numeracy (adapted from the term ‘literacy’) represents individuals’ ability to comprehend and use probabilities, ratios, and fractions. Traditional measures of numeracy ask people to perform mathematical operations, such as ‘If person A’s risk of getting a disease is 1% in 10 years, and person B’s risk is double that of A’s, what is B’s risk?’ However, some participants find these types of problems stressful and unpleasant, plus they are difficult to score in online studies. Subjective numeracy measures (like the scale you just took) are shown to be equally good measures of numeracy, without burdening participants.

U.S. POLITICAL KNOWLEDGE TEST

The scale you completed was a General Political Knowledge scale for American politics that we developed and is based on work by Michael Delli Carpini, Scott Keeter, Milton Lodge, and Charles Taber.

The scale measures the factual knowledge people possess about politics. We used questions about three broad topics: 1) civics and what the government is and does (e.g. who has the final responsibility to decide if a law is constitutional or not?); 2) public officials or leaders (e.g. who is the current Speaker of the House?); and 3) political parties (e.g. which party is more conservative on a national scale?).

The idea behind this scale is that objective factual knowledge may be an important factor in studies about political issues and reasoning. It may be that people who are more informed about politics (whether they’re liberal or conservative) think and reason differently about moral or political issues than people who are less informed. For instance, are people who are more informed more or less likely to objectively evaluate political arguments? We suspect that, ironically, people with more political knowledge may be less objective when it comes to a number of information processes (see recommended reading below).

The graphs below show your scores (in green) compared to those of the average liberal (in blue), the average conservative (in red), and the average libertarian (in orange) visitor to this website. The first graph shows your score on the political knowledge scale in comparison to other liberals and conservatives and scores run from 0% (the lowest possible score) to 100% (the highest possible score*).

*Note: As of April 19, 2012 there is a new short version of this survey, so it may take a couple of weeks before there are enough participants to display mean scores for ‘liberals’, ‘conservatives’, and ‘libertarians’. However, the count that appears at the top of each graph cannot be reset.
If you took the survey before April 19, a third graph shows your score out of 20 points.

The graph below illustrates the amount of media exposure to news event you have in comparison to other liberals and conservatives and is calculated by averaging the number of days spent watching, listening, or reading about news and politics. The scores range from 0 (least exposure to news media) to 7 (maximum exposure to news media).

The graph below displays results for individuals who took the longer version of the survey before April 19, 2012. Everyone will have a score, but this graph is only valid for those who took the survey before April 19, 2012. Ignore the purple bar since it will incorporate averages from the short and long version of the survey.

NEED TO BELONG SCALE

The scale is a measure of how much people need to affiliate with and feel connected to other people. As social beings, people generally benefit from forming and maintaining social bonds. Not all people, however, have as strong of a need to be accepted by others and to feel support from others. People higher in this need to belong will often act in ways to promote the relationships around them and seem to be more likely to avoid conflict.

In the graph below, your scores are shown in green (first bar). Scores run from 1 (meaning you have a lower “need to belong”) to 5 (meaning that you have a higher “need to belong”). The scores of all men and women who have taken this survey are also provided as comparison points.

BELIEFS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS

The scale is a measure of the tendency to hold a romantic ideal about love and relationships. This ideal includes the beliefs that love conquers all, that love is the primary basis for choosing a partner, that love at first sight is possible, that love lasts forever, and that each person has only one true love.

The graph below shows your average romanticism score (in green) compared to those of the average Liberal (in blue) and the average Conservative (in red) visitor to this website. The scale runs from 1 (lowest possible score) to 7 (highest possible score).

IMPLICIT RACIAL PREFERENCES

The study you just completed is an Implicit Association Test (IAT) that compares the strength of automatic mental associations. In this version of the IAT, we investigated positive and negative associations with the categories of “African Americans” and “European Americans”.

The idea behind the IAT is that concepts with very closely related (vs. unrelated) mental representations are more easily and quickly responded to as a single unit. For example, if “European American” and “good” are strongly associated in one’s mind, it should be relatively easy to respond quickly to this pairing by pressing the “E” or “I” key. If “European American” and “good” are NOT strongly associated, it should be more difficult to respond quickly to this pairing. By comparing reaction times on this test, the IAT gives a relative measure of how strongly associated the two categories (European Americans, African Americans) are to mental representations of “good” and “bad”. Each participant receives a single score, and your score appears below.

Your score on the IAT was 0.07.

Positive scores indicate a greater implicit preference for European Americans relative to African Americans, and negative scores indicate an implicit preference for African Americans relative to European Americans.

Your score appears in the graph below in green. The score of the average Liberal visitor to this site is shown in blue and the average Conservative visitor’s score is shown in red.

It should be noted that my slightly positive score probably was influenced by the order in which choices were presented to me. Initially, pleasant concepts were associated with photos of European-Americans. I became used to that association, and so found that it affected my reaction time when I was faced with pairings of pleasant concepts and photos of African-Americans. The bottom line: My slight preference for European-Americans probably is an artifact of test design.