What is right is right: A three-part account of how ideology shapes factual belief

Cristián Guillermo Rodríguez Rodríguez, Peter Ditto, Megan Ringel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


In this chapter, the authors explore the causes and consequences of the factual divide between Red and Blue America. They propose a three-part account of how such differential beliefs arise or, more precisely, an account of how prescriptive beliefs shape descriptive ones. The authors discuss people’s tendency to selectively expose themselves to ideologically sympathetic people, groups, and media sources also plays a significant role in the development of political conflict. Politics is and in fact should be about moral vision: individuals and political parties offering their unique vision of what is right and wrong for the country and its citizens, and how to realize that vision through public policy. Issue moralization occurs when people connect broad moral values to specific political issues. Consider the contentious issue of abortion in the United States. Imbuing political issues with morality can fuel commitment and spur action in supporters, but its cost is the implication that the opposition is acting immorally.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationBelief Systems and the Perception of Reality
EditorsBastiaan Rutjens, Mark Brandt
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781315114903
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2018

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