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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Myth of the Harmless Wrong

By Kurt Gray and Chelsea Schein
The New York Times Sunday Review
Originally published January 30, 2015

Here is two excerpts:

The technical name for this psychological link between judgments of immorality and perceptions of harm is “dyadic completion.” Whether liberal or conservative, people understand immorality though a universal template — a dyad of perpetrator and victim. Most immoral acts have a “complete” dyad, such as murder (murderer and murdered), theft (thief and thieved) and abuse (abuser and abused). But with many morally controversial acts, such as those involving adult pornography, prostitution, drugs or homosexuality, the victims seem less obvious or absent altogether.


Liberals and conservatives may disagree on specific issues, but fundamentally they have the same moral mind. Both demonstrate dyadic completion. Conservatives may see immorality and harm in homosexuality and gun control, and liberals may see immorality and harm in religion in schools and genetically modified foods.

The entire article is here.