The Effects of the Spatial Distribution of Moral Profiles in New Zealand on Community Cohesion and Civic Participation
There is substantial evidence that individuals who share ideological beliefs tend to become geographically clustered in space (see Bishop, 2009; Haidt, 2012). The present studies were the first to assess the spatial distributions of people who share the same moral profiles in a New Zealand (NZ) general population sample. Geographic visualisation analysis was used to map the distributions of moral profiles and identify patterns of spatial clustering of these profiles. High Moralists were found to be overrepresented in rural electorates whereas Individuators were more visible in urban electorates. The spatial patterns of Moderates were less clear and require further studies. We also tested the effects of different distributions of moral profiles within NZ general electorates and our hypotheses that more clustered electorates would exhibit higher feelings of sense of community, group-based political participation, trust in community members, satisfaction with life, and desire to move, were generally not supported. At the individual level, when Moderates were in the majority in their electorates they had higher sense of community scores, and the moral profile that was in the outright minority had lower perceptions that their neighbours shared their values and beliefs. Implications for community cohesion and political conflict are discussed along with suggestions for future research in the area of space and social psychology.