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Social Attitudes Group

The term ‘social attitudes’ refers to the way we perceive, value, assess, and treat each other. There is no need to emphasise how important these attitudes are on the collective as well as the individual level (e.g. in personal relationships). This group consists of the areas that are instrumental for these attitudes:

  • Moral sense is the root area of this group. It relates to the perception and assessment of an action, rather than the action itself (which is why it belongs to the existence mode). One can act immorally despite moral sense if other drives are sufficiently strong to override it, and vice versa. One can act morally without moral sense (e.g. because of fear of punishment or possible benefits). For instance, imagine that whatever you do, the police and the law cannot touch you. Would you behave differently? If you wouldn’t, your behaviour is based on moral sense rather than the fear of punishment.
  • Protection is about preventing or minimising undesirable effects of the environment and is one of the basic drives of all living organisms. Its purpose is simply preservation (physical and / or psychological). This means that protection is essentially reactive and, as in all the other areas in this group, it belongs to the existence mode.
  • Relating to others is the counterpart to Protection. Its focus is not on interactions with others, but on affirmative attitudes that enable contact and connection between individuals and groups (i.e. respect, acceptance, tolerance). Comparing ourselves with others, and the associated concepts of equality, superiority and inferiority will also be examined. This is because these hierarchical relations have deep roots in the human psyche, and affect the above mentioned attitudes.
  • Conflict resolution is the final area in this group as it is based on the others. Our sense of justice and fairness, the protection drive, as well as our attitudes and perceptions of others all play a part. Conflict resolution has some unique features though, which is why it is presented here as a discrete area.

Further connections between these areas will transpire below.