The role of intuitive moral foundations in Britain's vote on EU membership

Harper, C.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3172-0129 and Hogue, T.E., 2019. The role of intuitive moral foundations in Britain's vote on EU membership. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 29 (2), pp. 90-103. ISSN 1052-9284

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Abstract

In June 2016, British voters took part in a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union (EU). By a margin of 52%:48%, they voted to leave. Studies have demonstrated that fixed demographic factors were the best predictors of voting intentions in either direction, or that 'Leave' voters were driven by perceived threats from immigration. In this paper, we examine the role of moral intuitions in referendum voting intentions. In Study 1, demographic variables did not predict voting intentions after adding psychological variables to our statistical model. Instead, voting 'Leave' was predicted by political conservatism, social change insecurities, and placing moral importance on personal liberty. In contrast, only an adherence to the care foundation of morality predicted 'Remain' voting. These findings were also reflected in linguistic analyses of campaign materials and news items (Study 2). We discuss these data in relation to common discourses around the Brexit vote.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Creators: Harper, C.A. and Hogue, T.E.
Publisher: John Wiley
Date: 4 March 2019
Volume: 29
Number: 2
ISSN: 1052-9284
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1002/casp.2386DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Sep 2018 13:38
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2019 03:00
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34554

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