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Evolutionary Psychological Science

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 44–57 | Cite as

Mapping Ideology: Combining the Schwartz Value Circumplex with Evolutionary Theory to Explain Ideological Differences

  • Jeffrey S. SinnEmail author
Theoretical Article

Abstract

Schwartz Value Theory (SVT; Schwartz in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 25, 1–65, 1992) offers a coherent and well-organized framework for describing and explaining ideological differences. Though not developed within SVT, the pattern of tradeoffs among different values suggests adaption to an interacting set of selection pressures. The present project combines SVT with a variety of evolutionary theories to build a richer nomological network for explaining ideological differences. The paper first draws on evolutionary-coalitional theory (ECT; Sinn and Hayes in Political Psychology, 38, 1043–1064, 2017, in Political Psychology, 2018) to explain key strategic tradeoffs captured by SVT. ECT argues that coalitional conflict in the ancestral environment helped produce three distinct ideological orientations: Right Wing Authoritarianism/Binding, Social Dominance Orientation/Exploiting, and Universalizing/Liberating. Each orientation represents a specific strategic gambit for enhancing reproductive fitness with distinct costs and benefits. The paper then suggests how SVT can potentially offer an even more comprehensive framework for explaining ideological differences by drawing upon evolutionary theories related to life-history, signaling, parent-offspring conflict, and ethnic nepotism.

Keywords

Ideology Right Wing Authoritarianism Social Dominance Orientation Evolutionary Coalitional Theory Schwartz Value Theory 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWinthrop UniversityRock HillUSA

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