What Motivates Moral Outrage?


When 109 travelers entering the United States were detained by an executive order blocking citizens from seven Muslim majority countries, tens of thousands of Americans gathered all over the country to voice their anger. The policy had little to no direct effect on the protesters themselves.

Similarly, more than four decades after Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized certain forms of abortion, people regularly gather to voice their anger at those providing abortion services.

Social psychologists refer to such displays of anger against a third party (such as a government) for perceived harm against someone as moral outrage.

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