(STUDY FINDS) -- UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Are people drawn towards political ideologies due to their own morals, or does one’s political allegiances shape those morals? That’s the question political science researchers at Penn State University set out to answer in a recent study. While most would assume that morals develop before politics, the research team say it actually may be the other way around.
After tracking participants’ political attitudes and moral foundations, such as fairness and loyalty, over time, researchers found that while personal morals didn’t accurately predict a person’s future political leanings, the opposite actually held true. That is, that political beliefs were an accurate indicator of one’s morals.
The study’s authors say their findings may partially explain the “mental gymnastics” many people seem to engage in to justify their political party’s actions.
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