Usually, ‘virtue signaling’ has a negative meaning (even if there are a few situations where it is likely to lead to meaningful positive outcomes).
This behavior is generally defined as being mainly driven by the desire to signal your good moral values, regardless of whether it leads to a meaningful outcome or not.
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Virtue signaling means speaking or behaving in a way that’s meant to prove a person's good moral values.
If a person affirms on social media that they fully support a specific cause, just because they want to show others how caring they are, that person is virtue signaling.
Individuals can engage in virtue signaling, as can groups, companies, or governments.
Someone might even engage in virtue signaling in private, by saying things that are meant to convince themselves of their own good character.
It means speaking or acting in a way that’s meant to demonstrate one’s allegedly negative moral values.
If a person widely states how much they don’t care about a specific societal issue, that person can generally be said to be vice signaling.
It means supporting a cause in a way that requires little action or commitment, and which therefore has little impact.
Sharing a post about a social issue is a form of slacktivism, if that’s the only thing that the person does in support of that cause.
FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) techniques use various belief patterns and cognitive biases already present in people.
The way we process and make decisions depends on our current mental state.
When we are angry, we struggle to understand the perception of someone who doesn't care about the same thing because we are in a different mental state than they are. Empathy gaps toward people in one's outgroup can be because of a need to form boundaries around one's social group.