When and why do liberals and conservatives think alike? An investigation into need for cognitive closure, the binding moral foundations, and political perception.

Research on moral foundations theory has found that liberals typically favor the individualizing foundations (i.e., concern for the individual) but typically oppose the binding foundations (i.e., concern for the group). We propose that need for cognitive closure (NFC) can explain when liberals will favor the binding foundations. In two studies, we found that liberals in Italy and the United States were more likely to endorse the binding foundations when they had high NFC. Overall, these results suggest that researchers should strive to understand the interaction between individuals’ epistemic goals and their political orientations in order to accurately predict how they will perceive political issues. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)