Incorporating the Measurement of Moral Foundations Theory into Analyzing Stances on Controversial Topics

Rezvaneh Rezapour, Ly Dinh, Jana Diesner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper investigates the correlation between moral foundations and the expression of opinions in the form of stance on different issues of public interest. This work is based on the assumption that the formation of values (personal and societal) and language are interrelated, and that we can observe differences in points of view in user-generated text data. We leverage the Moral Foundations Theory to expand the scope of stance analysis by examining the narratives in favor or against several topics. Applying an expanded version of the Moral Foundations Dictionary to a benchmark dataset for stance analysis, we capture and analyze the relationships between moral values and polarized online discussions. Using this enhanced methodology, we find that each social issue has different "moral and lexical profiles."While some social issues project more authority related words (Donald Trump), others consists of words related to care and purity (abortion and feminism). Our correlation analysis of stance and morality revealed notable associations between stances on social issues and various types of morality, such as care, fairness, and loyalty, hence demonstrating that there are certain morality types that are more attributed to stance classification than others. Overall, our analysis highlights the usefulness of considering morality when studying stance. The differences observed in various viewpoints and stances highlights linguistic variation in discourse, which may assist in analyzing cultural values and biases in society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHT 2021 - Proceedings of the 32nd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages177-188
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450385510
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 30 2021
Event32nd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, HT 2021 - Virtual, Online, Ireland
Duration: Aug 30 2021Sep 2 2021

Publication series

NameHT 2021 - Proceedings of the 32nd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media

Conference

Conference32nd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, HT 2021
Country/TerritoryIreland
CityVirtual, Online
Period8/30/219/2/21

Keywords

  • controversial topics
  • moral foundations theory
  • social media
  • stance analysis
  • text analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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