Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Trump and Clinton Supporters Agree on Relative Morality ... Mostly

When looking at the endless scandals swirling around the heads of the two rival candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, it can seem like the two candidates are equally tainted. Many people throw up their hands pleading for some other option.

How can we evaluate the alleged actions of these two candidates?

Is there some kind of objective way to do so?

And how does the decision to support a candidate affect the perception of an offense?

In order to attempt to address these questions I recruited 137 submissions on Amazon Mechanical Turk who submitted around 1100 five way "relative offense" rankings of five randomly matched actions from a list of 150. 46 submissions  were from individuals supporting Clinton, 37 from individuals supporting Trump, and 54 other or not supplied. Ranking was from 1 "Least Offensive" to 5 "Most Offensive".

Within any item set of five actions only one action could be matched with an individual ranking.
 For each action the mean number of times that action was classified under each ranking was calculated. That value was multiplied by the action ranking and summed across all levels to create an index.

The smallest index are the least offensive to non-offensive actions while the highest rankings are those actions respondents considered the most offensive.

Table 1: This table shows all 150 actions ranked from least offensive on average to most offensive as rated by all respondents. The Trump, Clinton, and Other columns are how each of these respective supporters rank the actions. A .5 means that two actions were ranked the same. The Trump_Clinton column is calculated by taking the rankings of Trump supporters for an action and subtracting the rank for those actions for Clinton supporters. Values in which Trump supporters and Clinton supporters diverge by more than 30 ranks are highlighted.
1522.53Eating meat.
21215-1Posting a much younger picture of yourself on a dating website.
36.55.581Not wearing your seat belt when driving.
415.52613.5Dating someone of a different race.
52.5152.5-12.5Donald TrumpSwearing in public.
68.5172.5-8.5Offering to pay someone 10 cents for every paper they deliver.
76.51217.5-5.5Stealing candy from a baby.
8122510-13Jumping in line in front of someone else when waiting for customer service.
92.52721-24.5Not tipping a waiter after average service.
1041433.5-10Hoard the armrest when sitting next to a stranger on a plane or movie theater.
1160.55.5555Having sex with someone of the same gender.
122783819Trey RadelBuying illegal drugs for personal consumption.
1325.51128.514.5Using toilet paper to vandalizing a stranger's house.
1437132524Taking the cab hailed for someone else.
152927122Leaving chewing gum under a public table.
161357.520-44.5Exaggerating the size of your penis in order to convince someone to have sex with you.
1725.544521.5Illegally copying copyrighted music.
181816322Not voting.
192294813Illegally streaming copyrighted videos.
201721.530.5-4.5Publishing with permission a different person's work as your own.
213051.512-21.5Hunting a wild animal.
228.52045-11.5Using a bad or ineffective preparedness test to screen potential students.
2357.536.51221Sticking gum in someone's hair.
244340.5222.5Having sex with your landlord to pay the rent.
2520750.513Not flushing a public toilet after pooping.
2646.536.51410Hillary ClintonContinuing to stay married to your spouse after that person had multiple affairs.
27.53233.519-1.5Paying a prostitute for sex.
27.510.51827-7.5Spending money on something you do not need such as entertainment when you know there are people dying of hunger next door.
2915.5669-50.5Donald TrumpEarning 1000 times more money per hour as your lowest paid full-time employees.
3046.53977.5Voting illegally twice.
3110.52940.5-18.5IRSUsing public funds to pay for professional development conferences which may not be very productive.
32212726-6Hillary ClintonRefusing to release the transcripts of paid speeches you gave.
33286117.5-33Earning 1000 times more money per hour as your lowest paid contractor.
343440.523-6.5Lying about damages in order to keep a tenant's security deposit.
3563642.5-1FBISelling guns with GPS trackers in them to a dangerous illegal organization with the intention of using the data to prosecute the organization.
361919650Urinating on a toilet seat and not cleaning it.
3774.5612413.5Donald TrumpMisrepresenting your success to convince others to invest in you.
386551.528.513.5Donald TrumpReposting images from a white supremacist group.
3923.55440.5-30.5Writing false review's on a business's website because you are angry with them.
4049.531.530.518Sneaking out of a resturant without paying for a meal.
411421.581-7.5Copying a fellow student's homework.
423557.539-22.5Hillary ClintonA politician lying or falsely representing one quarter (25%) of his/her public statements.
433236.558-4.5Stealing products from a convenience store. (Shoplifting)
445577.542.5-22.5Donald TrumpFalsely reporting the magnitude of your donations to charities to make yourself look better.
45.552.545.5527Donald TrumpPublicly shaming someone for being fat or ugly.
45.581.5691612.5Refusing to renounce the endorsement of a white supremacist group.
4723.54372-19.5Speeding through a school zone.
4852.549453.5Promising special interest groups to vote for them if they donate to your campaign.
4979245355Masturbating in a public bathroom.
5057.56136-3.5Donald TrumpLying about the number of floors in a building you own in order to charge higher rent.
51417160-30Using spray paint to vandalize a stranger's car.
524136.5684.5Smoking in an area around non-smokers where "no smoking" signs are posted.
5374.5424832.5Spitting in someone's soup when they are not looking.
54416455.5-23Publishing without permission a different person's work as your own.
554411250.5-68Publicly renouncing homosexuality while secretly having sex with gay prostitutes.
5674.5484826.5Publicizing false claims about a person because you are angry with that person.
5766.54755.519.5Chris ChristieUsing your position to control how public funds are used in to punish a political rival.
583251.563-19.5Providing alcohol to minors (a person less than 18 years old).
5992443548A public official hiring a less qualified friend over a well qualified stranger.
6074.55642.518.5A fully mobile person refusing to give up a seat to a disabled or infirm person.
6146.59333.5-46.5Publicizing someone's address in an attempt to intimidate someone else.
6239108929Donald TrumpJudging a person on their appearance.
6352.56861-15.5Selling illegal drugs.
6474.531.57543Hillary ClintonImproperly storing national secrets.
6552.56477.5-11.5Donald TrumpA politician lying or falsely representing three quarters (75%) of his/her public statements.
6681.5307051.5Donald TrumpEnjoying firing people from their occupation.
676886.554-18.5Stealing large sums of money from a company you work for.
6846.510057-53.5Donald TrumpEarning over 10 million dollars in a year and not paying any federal income taxes.
6960.58964-28.5Donald TrumpFiling bankruptcy in order to avoid paying the people who worked for you.
706351.583.511.5Sabotaging a competitors work.
7181.573738.5Setting up fake accounts for your customers in order to increase profits.
7281.5239358.5Publicly exposing yourself.
73100.510137-0.5Donald TrumpEnter the occupied changing room of members of the opposite sex without consent.
7449.58377.5-33.5Clinton/TrumpA politician accepting money from special interest groups.
75377499-37A police officer accepting a bribe in exchange for not writing a ticket.
76106.5816725.5Stealing someone's car.
Driving drunk or high.
7866.577.580-11IRSUsing public funds designated for tax collection to produce a parody video.
Using racial epitaphs.
8057.533.59424Cheating on a test.
8190597431Not giving food to a starving person in front of you.
82638562-22A politician lying or falsely representing half (50%) of his/her public statements.
83957286.523Anthony WeinerA married person sending photographs of his/her genitalia to someone who is not that person's spouse.
84111.5678244.5Giving a blind person inaccurate change because they cannot tell the difference.
85106.5847122.5Urging someone who is attempting to remain sober to take a drink.
86937083.523Without authorization setting up and using a credit card in another person's name.
87100.545.510655Masturbating in public.
8884.586.577.5-2Using public resources entrusted to your care to enrich yourself.
89108756933Mocking a disabled person for a physical handicap.
9084.577.5857Bribing a public official to enrich oneself.
91109105.5593.5Donald TrumpSetting up a fake educational institution in order to enrich yourself.
923794111.5-57Torturing criminals as punishment for crimes.
939088952Bill ClintonCheating on your wife/husband.
9469.510291-32.5Stalking someone you know in order to intimidate that person.
958855111.533Doctor KevorkianKilling someone who is in pain and going to die within the next six months and wants help dying.
969890.586.57.5Tonya HardingHiring someone to break the leg of a rival athlete.
9774.590.5101-16Using threats of lawsuits to silence a woman who claims to have been assaulted by you.
98114829832 Hillary ClintonUsing a private email server resulting in the risk of compromised national security.
998797107.5-10Writing laws to prevent people who do not support you from voting.
10074.5107105-32.5Requiring a starving person attend your religious gathering before providing giving food.
1019798.5104-1.5Donald TrumpUsing your superior physical strength to force a person to kiss you.
10286103.5107.5-17.5Stealing someone's identity in order to commit a crime.
10310380113.523Burning down your house to claim the insurance money.
104111.511490-2.5Using public resources entrusted to your care to enrich an ally or friend.
105100.511597-14.5Preventing someone from registering their child in your school because of that person's skin color.
1061161091007Adolf HitlerEncouraging racially motivated violence to promote your political aspirations.
107104120102-16Bribing a public official to protect oneself.
10874.5118115-43.5Rejecting someone's rental application because of that person's skin color.
10990124.5109-34.5Bill CosbySneaking a drug into someone's food or drink in order to force that person to have sex with you.
11011912888-9Killing a healthy and well behaved pet for because you don't have to the time to take care of it.
111100.5105.5110-5Stealing someone's needed pain medication for personal use.
112139.51239616.5Killing a healthy and well behaved pet because you find the animal annoying.
113143103.59239.5Edward SnowdenPublicizing national security secrets which might result in lives being lost.
11411495.5121.518.5Donald TrumpThreatening to sue someone in order to keep them from telling the truth.
115132124.51037.5A person of influence encouraging a crowd to physically attack someone or a group of people he/she does not like.
11669.5117127-47.5George W BushTorturing terrorists with the hope of gathering information about future terrorist plots.
11712177.5143.543.5Ordering the assassination of a dictator.
118105120126-15Recording someone having sex without their knowledge.
119114122121.5-8Restricting the use of life saving technology in order to increase profits.
120136108116.528Misrepresenting the effectiveness of a life saving drug in order to increase profits.
12113398.513134.5Killing someone who is in pain and going to die within the next six months but does not want to die.
122117110146.57Not reporting an instance of known child abuse when you are legally mandated to report.
123130.5136.5113.5-6Physically abusing your spouse.
124128.511212516.5Sending someone's spouse to the front line to die in order to marry the surviving window.
125122135120-13Hiding information about the health risks of deadly product you sell.
126124.5134123.5-9.5Stealing large sums of money from a mentally infirm client.
127110144135-34A medical doctor refusing to treat a patient who needs urgent care because they are unable to pay.
128119129123.5-10Significantly raising the price of a life saving drug in order to increase profits.
129139.5131116.58.5Viewing child pornography.
130141.51381183.5Killing a healthy and well behaved pet for fun.
131119143128-24Someone with a known dangerous sexually transmitted disease having unprotected sex with someone who is unaware of the condition.
132123133131-10Using your superior physical strength to hold an unwilling person while you grabbed their genitalia.
133128.511613112.5Brock TurnerTaking and sharing naked pictures of a person who is unconscious.
134124.5131136.5-6.5Brock TurnerHave involuntary sex with a person you find unconscious.
135.5130.5112136.518.5Vladimir PutinAssassinating a political rival.
135.5127145129-18Physically forcing your spouse to have sex with you.
13795149.5141.5-54.5Harry S TrumanDropping an atomic bomb on a civilian city controlled by a rival nation
138148.51391199.5Allowing the executing of a convict if you have secret knowledge of the person's innocence.
139.513812014918A 40 year old having sex with a fifteen year old.
139.5148.5136.514812Using your power to pressure an employee to have sex with you.
141137140141.5-3Not reporting an instance of known child sexual abuse.
142148.512613822.5Killing innocent people to further your political agenda.
143144.5142139.52.5Adolf HitlerEncouraging people who follow you to attack and kill people you do not like.
144144.5127139.517.5Killing your spouse to claim the life insurance premium.
145134.5141146.5-6.5Killing someone for their money.
146126131145-5George WashingtonPossessing a personal slave who has no human rights.
147134.5147134-12.5Donald TrumpGroping without warning the genitalia of someone else.
148148.51461332.5Making child pornography.
149141.5148143.5-6.5Killing innocent people for personal reasons such as curiosity or entertainment.
150146149.5150-3.5Killing somebody to protect your reputation.
* Please note that I am making no claim to the veracity of the scandal.
** Upon viewing this list I realize that there are a number of scandals I forgot to include related to Hillary. I am unconvinced that any of them would have been ranked very high on the list. However they should have been included. Sorry team Trump.

General Differences
Looking at the table we can see that generally it agrees with out intuition with innocuous or generally non-offensive actions being ranked at the top, while actions that involve doing significant harm to others being ranked at the bottom.

Interestingly the rankings between Trump and Clinton supporters agree generally with a 84% correlation in ranking values.

From the differences in rankings of actions between Clinton and Trump supporters we start to get an idea on how these two different groups think. The largest difference is 68 ranks of difference with Trump supporters much more accepting than Clinton supporters of "Publicly renouncing homosexuality while secretly having sex with gay prostitutes". Clinton supporters seem less tolerant of deception in general with exaggerations of penis size and the writing of false reviews on business webpages being ranked much more offensive than their Trump counterparts.

Clinton supporters also find it generally more offensive to do harm to others such as dropping the atomic bomb on civilian populations and torturing terrorists or criminals.

The two camps have fiercely different perspectives on money. Clinton supporters are very concerned with the perceived injustices caused by unequal access to resources. These supporters are much more prone to rank as more offensive inequality in earnings as well as politicians accepting public donations. These supporters find it much more offensive for a doctor to refuse treatment on the basis of insufficient funds.

There also appears to be a difference in how concerned Trump supporters are with racial inequality with Trump supporters much less concerned with the act of rejecting an applicant due to the color of skin or minding the use of racial epitaphs.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for the largest scandals Trump supporters and Clinton supporters seem to disagree with how offensive the actions of their candidates are. Clinton supports find the surprise groping of genitalia one of the worse actions someone can take while Trump supporters place it a bit lower on the list. For Trump supporters, improperly storing national secrets and using a private email server are ranked as much more offensive than for Clinton supporters.

While Clinton and Trump supporters mostly agree in generally how they rank objectionable actions, they do seem to disagree in some areas that seem consistent with differences in popular representation. Clinton supporters being concerned with economic, social, and political justice. Trump supporters being concerned with protecting economic rights as well as individual freedoms such as the right to offend others through word or deed.

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