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Keywords:

  • values;
  • value violation;
  • abstract values;
  • value judgment;
  • welfare;
  • gay marriage

Values are proposed to have an influence on politics via multiple expressions, and two such value expressions are explored in this manuscript: abstract value expressions and judgmental value expressions. In particular, it is believed that judgmental value expressions (or perceptions of value violations) will have a particularly strong influence in determining attitudes toward policies designed to help specific groups in society. This study analyzed data from two samples regarding attitudes toward welfare and marriage rights for gays. It was found that perceptions that each group violates a specific value played a more important role in predicting political attitudes than abstract value expressions, general negative affect directed toward the group, and political ideology. The results are contextualized in a discussion of the role values play in the politics of intergroup relations.