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How Are Moral Foundations Associated with Climate-Friendly Consumption?

Abstract

We examined whether differences in climate-friendly choices between the supporters of left-wing and right-wing ideologies are based on different moral foundations. Moreover, we compared general and issue-specific endorsement of moral foundations applied to climate change. Study 1 examined the endorsement of general moral foundations of university students living in Finland (N = 272). Individualizing foundations were associated with increased climate-friendly choices and binding foundations were associated with decreased climate-friendly choices; the endorsement of moral foundations made the effect of political orientation disappear. In Study 2 we developed and tested an issue-specific measure of moral foundations (N = 350). The issue-specific endorsement of both types of foundations was directly associated with increased climate-friendly consumption. Binding foundations were associated with the avoidance of climate-friendly choices through right-wing orientation. These findings increase our understanding of differences between general and issue-specific moral concerns and their association to political orientation and pro-environmental behavior.

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Notes

  1. The current version of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire measures five foundations. http://www.moralfoundations.org/questionnaires.

  2. In Study 1, MFQ was not adjusted to the climate change context. The goal of the translation was to be faithful to the original MFQ and, at the same time, be meaningful in the Finnish context.

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Correspondence to Annukka Vainio.

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Vainio, A., Mäkiniemi, JP. How Are Moral Foundations Associated with Climate-Friendly Consumption?. J Agric Environ Ethics 29, 265–283 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10806-016-9601-3

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Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Moral foundations
  • Moral relevance
  • Political orientation
  • Consumption
  • Finland