- E2/P2: Video Lecture by
- Moral Attitude: Meaning
- Moral Attitude: Implications of
- Role of Social Media in Moral Attitude
- Political Attitude and ideologies
- Factors affecting Political attitude
- Role of Social Media in Political Attitude
- Strength of Attitude
- Accessibility of Attitude
- Milgram Experiment
In the previous part (E2/P1), we understood the meaning, structure and function of attitude. Now we’ll see the moral and political attitudes, for UPSC General studies paper 4 (GS4)
Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/1oUiCAN3IT0
- Not all attitudes are concerned with Morality. E.g. My attitude towards snakes has nothing to do with morality. But my attitude towards democracy will have moral undertones.
- So, Moral attitudes are based on moral convictions of what is “Right” and what is “wrong”.
- Moral attitudes are stronger than moral beliefs.
- Family, society, religion and education play important role in framing those moral convictions.
|Positive Implications||Negative Implications|
|Tied up with strong emotions. Hence prevents deviant behaviors among normal folks due to fear of social Osctricization e.g. child molestation, incest.||
|Motivates a person towards Altruism, volunteerism, social service.||Motivates a person towards riots, genocide and terrorism.|
- Through facebook, whatsapp etc. youngsters are exposed to vulgar jokes, MMS, porn every day.
- This Adolescent curiosity about sex/porn vs. moral lesson to respect women = cognitive dissonance.
- According to studies, such boys have less empathy towards rape victims, aggressive behavioral tendencies, increased interest in coercing partners towards unwanted sex and so on.
- Bad/careless parenting + indifferent attitude of teachers + Peer pressure + exposure on TV/internet = A Teenager’s moral compass doesn’t point to straight north.
- Such teenagers feel attracted towards doing ‘wrong’ things through internet, because internet gives them following advantages
|1.Anonymity||You can remain unknown / untraceable by police.|
|2.Action at distance||You don’t need to come near the victim.|
|3.Automation||Through computer scripts, you can circulate same message/photos on thousands of online groups within few keystrokes.|
|4.Accessibility||Dataplans getting cheap everyday|
|5.Perpetuity||Text-images will multiply and exist indefinitely. So, even if say an MMS is removed from one web-portal by court order, it’ll continue to circulate among others.|
|1.Hacking||Unauthorized access to system to acquire information|
|4.Harassment||Through persistence calls, messages, emails|
Cyber-violence against women, is prevalent in all types of countries
- First world: pornography, and sites such as Ashley Madison that help married people to cheat on their partners.
- Developing countries: ~2 lakh children are kidnapped and sold every year in China through online portal (2014 UN Gender report)
- Least Developed countries: Currently mobile phones are most commonly used tools for cyber violence in Nigeria, Kenya – such as Viral rape videos/MMS.
It defines your like or dislike for a political person, party or ideology.
|Liberal/Moderate||They support basic ideas of liberty, equality and democracy but want reforms in the system albeit not in extreme/violent manner but through constitutional / legal means.|
|Conservative||Want Status quo. They believe changes or reforms will not improve the situation.|
|Residence||“Local” unemployed youth more likely to align with party that promises “action” against the migrants or reservation based on region.|
|Family||Children more likely to espouse the political ideology of their parents.|
|Race||If a race feels they’re deprived of opportunities because of other races, then more likely to lean towards a party offering radical solutions against other races. E.g. German “Aryans” joining Nazi party.|
|Gender||Females more likely to lean towards liberal ideology.|
|Education||School syllabus plays an important role. A Chinese may find Indian democracy as repulsive, because he has been taught that Mao’s Communist ideology is best.|
|Conception about human nature||
|Social media||The information processed and shared on social media, molds a person’s political views. Social media has played big role in swinging the opinion of youth towards Modi/BJP during 2014 General elections.|
Keep in mind that a person’s political attitude is shaped not by any single, but complex combination of all above factors. E.g. A “Poor” Muslim youth may be pro-Congress/SP but a Rich Dawoodi Bohra Muslim may be pro-Modi.
- In 2014 general election, ~16 crore voters were 18-24 age group first time voters. In such demographic composition, social media/internet plays huge role in shaping political attitude.
- Social media has helped both Modi and Kejriwal to reach surprise victories in election.
- Social media is full of both Hindu vs. Muslim, India vs Pakistan, Shia vs. A teenager exposed to such groups, is likely to develop extreme radical or reactionary political views.
- ISIS is using social media to recruit soldiers for their war.
- Muzaffarnagar riots were a result of a viral video about eve teasing. Here moral attitude (about dignity of women) + Religion + politics created a deadly stew.
- Whatsapp has become an App for activism and empowerment- for coordination of political and violent agitation. During recent Paatidar agitation in Gujarat, mobile internet was banned to prevent perpetrators from coordinating their attacks/spreading false rumors.
- Self-Study: Section 66A and freedom of speech
Government of Maharashtra has imposed beef ban in the states. How do you feel about this?
|Strength of attitude||Result?|
|Strong||You’ll go out in dharnaa-Pradarshan for/against meat-ban|
|Neutral||You’ll not say /do anything thinking “this doesn’t concern me at personal level”.|
|Mild||You may murmur about it to your family members while watching news.|
In short, we can ‘predict’ behavior by measuring strength of the attitude.
|Conscious||You’re aware. Those “C-A-B” components immediately light in your brain.|
|Hidden (unconscious)||You’re unaware. “C-A-B” won’t immediately reflect in your thoughts.|
Study: Participants were asked “will you vote for Obama?”
- Those who immediately raised hands (conscious), they’ll go for voting on the election date.
- Those who raise hands after few minutes – they did not go to voting.
- Hitler was an evil dictator. But even ordinary Germans participated in atrocities against Jews. Why?
- Prof. Stanley Milgram of Yale University (1961) began experiment to study it.
- The participant (teacher) would ask a series of questions to another “participant” (learner).
- The teachers were instructed to shock the learners whenever an incorrect answer was given.
- The learner was not a participant at all but actually an actor who would pretend to be hurt by the shocks and yell out in pain when the button was pushed.
- 2/3rd of the participants gave shocks upto fatal level (450 volts).
- Because behind participant, there was a doctor, he’ll keep saying “go on…increase the voltage, person will not die.”
Moral of the story
- Lack of accountability, overwrites your conscience: Doctor is the authoritarian figure. Individual participant’s conscience is overpowered, when participant thinks “it’s not my responsibility, I’m only following orders”.
- Authoritarian figure can overwrite your conscience: Hitler was a great orator; he could sway the crowd in his favor just by a speech.
- Peer-pressure is stronger than obedience: If there are two participants, second participants refuses to give shock to the subject and storms out of the room, then first participant may also walk away
- Thus, Strength wise: peer-pressure (Conformity) > obedience > conscience.
This can explain
|Nuremberg trials||German officers justified their actions saying we were just following orders (obedience).|
|Peer-pressure. You’ve to participate, if others are participating. (conformity). Examples of Mass-Hysteria- “Ganpati drinking milk”|
In the next part (E2/P3) we’ll see the factors responsible for attitude formation, prejudice, discrimination and how to change behavior of people? And finally (E2/P4), we’ll see the case studies and questions related to this topic.
Visit Mrunal.org/Ethics for more study material on Ethics.