The value balance model of political evaluations

Valerie Braithwaite*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    The value balance model posits two relatively independent value orientations, security and harmony, to explain individual differences in adaptation to adversarial left-right political institutions. Combining high and low scores on security and harmony produces four groups, described as security oriented, harmony oriented, dualists and moral relativists. Using data from student samples and a general population sample, this paper finds support for the consistency and strength of left-right policy preferences among the security- and harmony-oriented. In contrast, moral relativists and dualists adopt a mix of left and right views, supporting a compassionate and just society, but being wary of those unwilling to play by society's rules. Although moral relativists and dualists did not differ overall in their attitude positions, they engaged with the political process differently. Moral relativists were more wary of overarching principles, less willing to prioritize political values, spent less time thinking about their location on a left-right continuum and were more likely to support self-interest voting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223-247
    Number of pages25
    JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 1998


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