Department or Program



The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between endorsement of the moral foundation of ingroup/loyalty (Graham et al., 2011) and life satisfaction. Ingroup/loyalty endorsers are more likely to self-sacrifice for a group, and less likely to betray a group. It has been shown that conservatives tend to endorse ingroup/loyalty to a greater degree than liberals (Graham et al., 2009), and there is evidence showing that conservatives have greater life satisfaction than liberals, on average (Taylor et al., 2006; Napier & Jost, 2013; Jetten et al., 2013). Hence, this study explores another avenue by which conservatives may report greater life satisfaction: conservatism predicts ingroup/loyalty, which may in turn predict life satisfaction. The present model includes possible mediators of the effect of ingroup/loyalty on life satisfaction: belongingness and peer evaluations. First, if people feel more loyalty, they may feel more belongingness to a group on a purely intrapsychic level. Second, more loyal people may be evaluated more favorably by their peers in the group, which, along with belongingness, may lead to elevated life satisfaction. One study was run based on a pre-existing database from, which is a website that allows participants to complete surveys on moral foundations, along with constructs related to political ideology, belongingness, relationships, and life satisfaction. A second study involved the creation and distribution of a survey to college club and intramural athletes, where participants answered questions about the moral foundations, political ideology, belongingness, and life satisfaction, as well as evaluating their teammates. Analyses using the Hayes (2022) PROCESS macro, and an experiment in the Study 2 survey, inform conclusions about the relatedness of each of these variables, the support for this model, and the implications for the broader research literature.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Open Access After Expiration]

First Advisor

Sargent, Michael

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages