I recently stumbled this article. While the whole thing might seem to be innocent enough and not a direct attack, it’s pretty obvious to anyone who is paying attention that there are a lot more insidious motives involved in the “research” in this article. This is not true research, nor is it a true study, this is pop psychology teaming up with political correctness designed to destroy an opposing ideology. Psychology has been used for years as a bludgeon by the left to attack anything they dislike so this was inevitable. For those who think this is harmless, I would like to remind them that both Stalin and Hitler labeled their political opponents as insane and mentally deficient. It is a long used tactic of the left to discredit and imprison those who disagree. This is a vital step in their drive to impose their views on the rest of us.
Psychologists Discover the Striking Difference Between Conservative and Liberal Brains
By Tom McKay July 30, 2014
Psychologists Discover the Striking Difference Between Conservative and Liberal Brains
The news: Are conservatives and liberals really all that different? New scientific research says they are, and it’s all in their heads.
A growing consensus is emerging among political scientists and psychologists that differences between liberal and conservative ideology may actually be hardwired in our brains. Recent research from political scientist John Hibbing at the University of Nebraska and colleagues published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences argue that right-wingers possess what’s called a strong “negativity bias,” or physiological fixation on negative stimuli in their environments.
According to the study, conservatives have a more threat-oriented and reactionary mindset than liberals. If true, then differences between left and right may be just as physiological as they are psychological.
The studies: Hibbings and his colleagues published a comprehensive review of the evidence for their approach in the journal and invited feedback from 26 individual scholars or teams. Here are some of their findings:
– Multiple studies finding that non-political authoritarian parenting styles seem to be significantly linked with political conservatism.
– Evidence showing that the Big Five personality traits (conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to new experiences, extraversion and emotional stability) are correlated with political orientation. Specifically, liberals tend to score higher on experiential openness while conservatives tend to be strongly conscientious. Other evidence links politeness with conservatism and empathy with liberalism. Hibbings says these findings might indicate that liberals and conservatives “construct and occupy different individual and social environments.”
– NYU professor Jon Haidt found that conservatives emphasize moral purity, authority and in/out-group status while making moral judgements, whereas liberals consider equality and harm avoidance. Hibbings’ team also pointed to studies which have found conservatives to own more cleaning supplies and prefer different cuisine and art. Conservatives, he argues, tend not to enjoy the unfamiliar.
– Conservatives have stronger implicit attachment to traditional values and are more likely to see the world in strongly defined categories.
– Highly experimental but initially promising research linked complex neurological behavior to political ideologies. One paper even found evidence that neural structures may differ between young liberals and conservatives.
– A dramatic 2008 paper by Douglas R. Oxley that found contemporary American political conservatives react much more quickly and defensively to threatening stimuli. Those stimuli included “a very large spider on the face of a frightened person, a dazed individual with a bloody face, and an open wound with maggots in it.”
What does this all mean? The researchers stopped short of saying that conservatives and liberals have fundamentally different kinds of brains and admit ideology is far too messy to categorize into neat labels. But they are confident there’s a link between strong negativity biases and political conservatism and that both are associated with a wide range of subconscious, psychological and possibly neurological factors. Tellingly, just three of the 26 responses by critics rejected the idea entirely.
A “negativity bias” may sound like a bad thing, but Hibbings and his team noted it’s associated with higher levels of satisfaction and life happiness. But Salon’s Paul Rosenberg noted that the study shows conservatism is clearly unsuited for the modern era and its “negatives clearly seem to be growing beyond all control.”
Hibbing is more optimistic, arguing that by acknowledging the cognitive factors involved in the formation of our ideologies, we can move towards a more realistic and functional form of politics.
More realistic and functional politics? Wouldn’t that be nice.
This is evil at work. And it just keeps going. Here’s a new one I found the next day.
Soap, Sex and the Dirty Liberal
April 5, 2011 dj Leave a comment Go to comments
Do you find Rush Limbaugh more palatable after vs. before taking a bath? Might you be more inclined to linger on the Bill O’Reilly Show while channel flipping in a recently-mopped and cleaned room compared to a dirty and disheveled one?
Perhaps you just might. At least, that’s what recent research from Cornell’s Erik Helzer and David Pizarro suggests. Their just published study showed that reminding people of physical cleanliness made them report being more politically conservative and also led them to make harsher moral judgments when considering mildly perverted sex acts.
The study builds upon work showing links between moral judgment and the subjective experiences of bodily purity and visceral disgust. Recent studies have shown that individuals who experienced disgust in response to foul odors or by sitting at a dirty desk, judged the moral transgressions of others far more harshly compared to controls. The general idea behind these and other studies is that moral judgments are in part based on emotional responses which originally evolved for other purposes. For example, visceral disgust — say, the kind one might experience when smelling rotten meat — likely evolved as a means of detecting and avoiding harmful pathogens. The argument, as it goes, suggests that self-reported moral disgust responses to, for example, a visible display of homosexual affection (two men kissing) could be subserved by the same system from which “visceral disgust” responses emerge. The current study builds on this work with a crafty two-part experiment.
In the first study, participants were approached in the hallway of a campus building and asked to complete a questionnaire, which asked three questions about political orientation. Participants were instructed to stand either near a hand sanitizing station (the experimental condition) or step over to a wall where there was no hand sanitizer nearby (the control condition) to complete the questionnaire. Those who stood near the hand sanitizing station rated themselves as being more conservative than the control group.
In the second study a wall sign commanding researchers to “use hand wipes” before typing at a computer served as a reminder of cleanliness. Additionally, while the moral judgement task was introduced, participants were asked to use a hand wipe before starting. In the control condition, there was no sign and subjects weren’t asked to wipe their hands. First, participants filled out the political orientation questionnaire from experiment 1. As in the first study, participants in the cleanliness condition rated themselves as more conservative. Then participants engaged in the moral judgment task in which they were asked to rate their moral approval of sex-related items, such as:
“A woman enjoys masturbating while cuddling with her favorite teddy bear”
“After a late-term miscarriage, a woman asks her doctors to take a picture of her cradling the miscarried fetus.” (phew!)
Participants who received the cleanliness reminder issued harsher moral judgments of sexual acts than the control group. As a within-group control, both groups were also asked to rate their level of approval of non-sexual but purity related items such as “As a practical joke, a man unwraps his office mate’s lunch and places it in a sterilized bed pan” and non-sexual, non-purity related items that described people lying on their taxes, or forging a reference letter. For these latter two groups of items, there was no difference between control and experimental groups. Only the sexual items were rated more harshly by those in the “cleanliness” condition. In sum, reminders to maintain cleanliness led to increased conservativeness and harsher moral judgments for sexual violations of purity but not for non-sexual and/or non-purity related violations.
The paper adds to the growing body of work supporting the idea that moral condemnation may have evolved by piggybacking onto evolutionarily older systems originally dedicated mainly to survival via “literal” pathogen avoidance and concern with personal cleanliness and only later being adapted for a more uniquely human purpose. One big question that emerges from this work is: what comes first? The cognitive disposition or the ideology? The author’s suggest that the evidence supports a bidirectional explanation. Beyond that it’s mostly speculation.
Also unclear is the question of the relationship between moral condemnation and moral behavior. Does one predict the other? Conservatives often describe themselves as adhering to higher moral standards when it comes to sex than liberals. And they tend not to be supportive of “alternative” lifestyles, especially romantic relationships between homosexuals. Conversely, most liberals take pride in their embrace of a wider range of lifestyle choices and more progressive sexual attitudes. But, this is not to suggest that either conservatives’ or liberals’ attitudes necessarily maps directly on to their behavior. People sometimes say the wrong thing and do the right thing. Or, conversely, say the right thing and do the wrong thing.
Helzer EG, & Pizarro DA (2011). Dirty Liberals!: Reminders of Physical Cleanliness Influence Moral and Political Attitudes. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS PMID: 21421934
Don’t let yourselves be fooled. This is an attempt to make normal, historically accepted behavior deviant. And make deviancy normal. Very soon, conservative thought and opinion will be either a mental health or criminal situation.