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July 25, 2003

Conservative Psychology

There's a new study of the psychology behind political conservatism. A quick summary:

Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:
  • Fear and aggression
  • Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
  • Uncertainty avoidance
  • Need for cognitive closure
  • Terror management

It's all very interesting, but really not that earth-shattering. The full study is here (pdf).

This link comes via damnum absque injuria, which also points to comments on the study from The Angry Clam and Instapundit; in fact, you could probably spend all day following links around the right wing of the blogosphere on this study—they don't like it much, it seems. DAI also quotes President Clinton's remarks on the Bush yellowcake/SOTU imbroglio, which Clinton made the other night on Larry King when he was being interviewed about Bob Dole's b-day. Bloggers on the right are also having a field day with this because Clinton
basically said everybody makes mistakes so we can't really hold this against Yubbledew. And he'd probably be right if the Republicans hadn't spent the entire eight years of his own Presidency trying to impeach him for much smaller "mistakes"—like, um, "mistakes" that didn't lead to the deaths of thousands of people. For the record, Clinton also said:

I guess I sound like a card-carrying Republican tonight.

And that's true, which is why it's hard to take seriously the "centrists" at the DNC and the DLC who counseled Democratic candidates to be "Bush-lite," thereby making Democrats big losers in the 2002 election round.

And that's about all I'm going to say about that.

UPDATE: More thoughts on the conservative psychology study at The Yin Blog.

Posted 06:51 AM | Comments (3) | general politics

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