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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Are moral foundations heritable? Probably

by Jonathan Haidt
The Righteous Mind Blog
Originally posted April 11, 2016

Are moral foundation scores heritable? A new paper by Kevin Smith et al. has tested moral foundations theory in a sample of Australian twins and found that moral foundations are neither heritable nor stable over time. The authors summarized MFT fairly, and they used a research design that is appropriate for the questions they asked, but with one major flaw: They improvised an ultra-short measure of moral foundations (around 2008) that was so poor that they essentially have no measure of moral foundations at time 1. Then at time 2 (around 2010) they used a better measure, the MFQ20. As I show below, nothing can be concluded about heritability or stability from their data.

The blog post is here.