Moral Basis for Ethnic Tolerance

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The article deals with the relation between ethnic tolerance and the moral sphere features on the basis of Moral Foundations Theory by J. Haidt. As a result of theoretical analysis we put forward a hypothesis that ethnic tolerance is entirely compatible with individualizing moral foundations (caring/not doing harm and fairness) but contradicts the binding moral foundations (loyalty, authority, sanctity). To test this hypothesis the research was carried out on a sample of 340 university students. The participants completed a questionnaire packet containing the “Tolerance index” questionnaire by G.U. Soldatova et al. and the “Moral foundations questionnaire” by J. Graham et al. The correlations between variables showed that ethnic tolerance was positively correlated with moral foundations ‘Care’ and ‘Fairness’ and negatively correlated with moral foundation ‘Authority’. Using path analysis we showed that ethnic tolerance is positively correlated with individualizing moral foundations and negatively correlated with binding moral foundations under the control of tolerance as a trait, gender and age. Our results also revealed unsatisfactory reliability of the “Social tolerance” scale of the “Tolerance index” questionnaire indicating the need for further investigation of the psychometric properties of this questionnaire. Our results support the hypothesis that ethnic tolerance is compatible with individualizing moral foundations, but contradicts the binding moral foundations. This fact demonstrates the moral inconsistencies of ethnic tolerance in the context of the individualizing and binding moral foundations.

About the authors

Irina N Protasova

Shukshin Altai State University for Humanities and Pedagogy

Author for correspondence.

Ph.D. in Psychology, is Associate Professor, Associate Professor of Chair of Pedagogy and Psychology

55 Korolenko St., Biysk, 659333, Russian Federation

Oleg A Sychev

Shukshin Altai State University for Humanities and Pedagogy


Ph.D. in Psychology, is Research Fellow

55 Korolenko St., Biysk, 659333, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2019 Protasova I.N., Sychev O.A.

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