Discussion about the Public Opinion

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt theorizes that a person’s position on the political spectrum is a reflection of his or her moral matrix. The same moral foundations guide us all, he posits, but we weigh different ones differently. Liberals value compassion, or care, over all else, while conservatives assign equal weight to values including care, liberty, fairness, loyalty, authority and sanctity. It’s not that liberals don’t believe in the others, but when faced with a moral dilemma, care (or avoidance of harm) trumps everything else.
Your Moral Matrix:
1. First, help advance academic research by taking this Moral Foundations Questionaire: https://www.yourmorals.org/express_welcome_mfq.php (Links to an external site.) and share what you have found as you complete the assignment.Moral Foundation Theory:Utilizing Jonathan Haidt’s TED talk, my corresponding Zoom lecture, and other helpful source material (all below):
2. Describe the main divisions in our society. Why are we so divided now? Explain using contemporary political example(s)
3. How can we bridge these divisions? Are we forever fated to remain polarized and divided?
Moving Forward:Haidt is offering us a choice: take the blue pill and remain happily delusional about your worldview, or take the red pill, and, “learn some moral psychology and step outside your moral matrix.”
4. Share with each other your honest thoughts and ideas about stepping outside your moral matrix.
5. Make sure to respond, thoughtfully, to at least two of your comrades.
Source Material:
– Public Opinion Zoom Lecture https://cccconfer.zoom.us/rec/play/u8Isc-_5-D83Hd2c4wSDBPB5W9S4Kfis1CIZ-aFZz060ACULO1CiYrUWMbHmnwNfDEG4GWLkZX8KJIxS?continueMode=true (Links to an external site.) here is a link to the Jonathan Haidt TED Talk examined in the Zoom lecture: https://embed.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_can_a_divided_america_heal (Links to an external site.).
– Open to Debate e-text: Chapter Six Public Opinion and Power-point lecture outlines (in the Chapter 6 Canvas Module
– American Government Examined e-reader:
Chapter Six: Haidt, “What Makes People Vote Republican”
Chapter Six: Lakoff “Don’t Underestimate Trump”

– Other online resources:
Life Examined Podcast: The Psychology of Critical Thinking and Disinformation: https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/life-examined/ration-reason-facts-evolution-of-thought/steven-pinker-rationality-logic-fake-new (Links to an external site.)
“Not Even Coronavirus Will Unite America” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/not-even-coronavirus-will-unite-america/608698/ (Links to an external site.)
“In a Pandemic, Political Polarization Could Kill People” https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/03/23/coronavirus-polarization-political-exaggeration/ (Links to an external site.)
“Even the Coronavirus Can’t Bridge America’s Partisan Divide” https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-03-20/coronavirus-crisis-cant-bridge-partisan-divide (Links to an external site.)

Open to Debate:
– Chapter 6, Public Opinion
American Government Examined: Reader:
– Chapter 6: – Haidt – Lakoff
– Chapter 10: – Mill
– An interactive precinct by precinct map of the 2016 election: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/upshot/election-2016-voting-precinct-maps.html#5.74/46.20/-94.76/67701 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)
– http://www.kpbs.org/news/2018/mar/01/how-home-reagan-turned-trump-resistance/ (Links to an external site.)
Jonathan Haidt TED Talk: – https://embed.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_can_a_divided_america_heal (Links to an external site.)
Orwell v. Huxley (who was right? Can you give examples?) -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eeHuVyHKOU (Links to an external site.)

Tips for Success:
I will be looking for direct references to the assigned material, particularly the ideas of Jonathan Haidt. Again, this is an assignment in which I am looking for your ability to display your knowledge of course materials!
Grading Rubric:
Your Moral Matrix
4 points
Moral Foundation Theory
10 points
Moving Forward:
4 points
Writing Mechanics:
2 points
Total possible:
20 points