The Structure and Effects of Moral Predispositions in Contemporary American Politics


Herbert F. Weisberg ( is professor of political science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.


Moral values are frequently invoked in election campaigns. Some past studies have taken into account the effect of moral traditionalism on voting. However, a related moral predisposition—moral judgment—may have greater effects, and not taking moral judgment into account may lead to underestimation of the importance of moral values in affecting people's attitudes. Two statewide surveys are analyzed to determine the added effect of moral judgment. Moral judgment is found to have a greater impact that moral traditionalism on abortion views, some other cultural issues, and attitudes toward the Clinton impeachment.