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Discussions on Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition. (Split requested by Phi for All)


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Is Political Conservatism a Mild Form of Insanity? Death Fear (among other unsavory attributes) Predicts Republicanism

 

[bolding mine]

 

A few years ago I was standing on the deck of a beach house on the 4th of July and a person who had obviously drunk too much told me, The secret of my life is that I always need someone to hate.

 

I was reminded of this exchange while watching the stupendously ruthless Republican National Convention over the last several days. Is there anything that conservatives do not hate? Maybe drilling. In fact, they appear utterly phallically obsessed with drilling (a practice that, in about 10 years or so, might reduce gas prices by 2 or 3 cents per gallon). But otherwise, what we learned from the recent hatefest is that Republicans hate community organizers, liberals (surprise!), Madonna, the east coast elite, the angry left media, trial lawyers, people who are too smart, people who are cosmopolitanthe list goes on into eternity.

...

Here are the facts. A meta-analysis culled from 88 samples in 12 countries, and with an N of 22,818, revealed that several psychological variables predicted political conservatism. Which variables exactly? In order of predictive power: Death anxiety, system instability, dogmatism/intolerance of ambiguity, closed-mindedness, low tolerance of uncertainty, high needs for order, structure, and closure, low integrative complexity, fear of threat and loss, and low self-esteem. The researchers conclude, a little chillingly, that the core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and a justification of inequality.

...

Further reading on the study: Researchers help define what makes a political conservative @ UC Berkeley

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You should start another thread based on this study, one that can explore more than just the homophobic angle of this thread. It's totally on-topic here, but I see a lot of tangents coming off this conversation. I, myself, would probably create most of them. :embarass:

 

Conservatism is becoming more pervasive as people start labeling themselves and not their stances (some people call themselves liberals too; it's weird to me, I take a different perspective on just about every issue). I think people who call themselves "a conservative" tend to make conservative choices even if a liberal one is better in context (again, weird).

 

WRT homosexuality, intolerance like that insures that gay people will always be "wrong" instead of "different". And everything they do will be labeled wrong as well.

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You should start another thread based on this study, one that can explore more than just the homophobic angle of this thread. It's totally on-topic here, but I see a lot of tangents coming off this conversation. I, myself, would probably create most of them. :embarass:

...

I can think of several threads where it's on topic. I knew I had read some study or other that addressed the psychology of many conservative beliefs and this one happens to be a mega-study that hits more bases than the anti-gay meme. By all means take my ball and roll with it. Oh the insanity! ;)

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Come on now...

Isn't it the mantra of the 'labelers' that it is the 'conservatives' who are intolerant of other's ideas and who call others names..

It doesn't become progressive 'liberals' such as yourselves.

 

We've had this discussion before, not all conservatives and their ideas are bad, and not all liberals and their ideas are good,

You can't generalize about race, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Why is it OK to generalize about ideology ? Its just another personal belief.

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Come on now...

Isn't it the mantra of the 'labelers' that it is the 'conservatives' who are intolerant of other's ideas and who call others names..

It doesn't become progressive 'liberals' such as yourselves.

 

We've had this discussion before, not all conservatives and their ideas are bad, and not all liberals and their ideas are good,

You can't generalize about race, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Why is it OK to generalize about ideology ? Its just another personal belief.

 

 

Whilst I do agree that neither side has the higher moral ground by default, I do have to conclude that tolerance is more often correct than a strict adherence to the traditional intolerant stance of the natural conservative; both views have merit and are necessary in a balanced society but a little more tolerance does go a long way in keeping the peace and lessoning extremes of attitude.

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!

Moderator Note

Can we ensure we keep this discussion fairly dispassionate and disinterested? It has the potential to descend into a morass of gross stereotyping and bigotry; any hint of an "us v them" slanging match will be frowned upon.

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I don't think Political Conservatism is a form of insanity. Rather, it's a rational consideration - that it's probably best to keep the existing system, until there are good reasons to change it.

 

And the "good reasons" should be rational ones. Not ones based on appeals to emotion, or loaded language. The use of of loaded language is startlingly apparent in the quote from William Todd Schultz, in the OP's #1. In the short quoted passage, we see the following terms applied to views which Schultz didn't like:

 

"Obviously drunk....hate....stupendously ruthless....hate....phallically obsessed....hatefest.....hate....death anxiety....dogmatism....close-mindedness....fear of threat....low self-esteem...."

 

I mean really! Doesn't that kind of language repel anyone who wants to take a rational approach to political issues. But sadly, it does seem to be typical of some "Liberals". They denounce anyone who doesn't agree with them as "insane". Perhaps they think that Republican voters (about 50% of the US electorate) should be put in psychiatric hospitals to be cured of insanity?

 

No - of course I know they wouldn't go that far. But there are some worrying aspects of the language used by Liberals. Especially - this is something everyone notices - their propensity to use the word "hate".

As in this completely hypothetical, but probably representative, dialogue:

 

REPUBLICAN: "I think it would be wise for the US to control the flow of immigrants into our country, so that our welfare services can cope, and our industries can make the best use of their talents"

 

LIBERAL: "Why do you hate immigrants?"

 

I'm not trying to start a slanging match, only observing an interesting linguistic phenomenon.

Edited by Dekan
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@ Dekan, I am far more cynical about what motivates Conservatives than you are. Concerns over welfare have little to do with immigration policy IMO. The United States like most other wealthy countries use a steady flow of immigrant works to supplement industry with wages low workers. Immigration policy in a sense, IMO, is a form of corporate welfare. In wealthy middle east countries like UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia supplement their work force with immigrants from places Pakistan and India. In the United States we supplement the labor force with people from Central and South America. Disenfranchising immigrants by Keeping them from having citizenship or worker visa. It prevents them from having the rights or protection under law.

Conservatism is really just a form or corperatism. They hide behind false debates as a means of pushing their own agendas. For example; Everyone knows climate change is real. United States, Russia, Canada, China, and so on are all battle for rights to the resources becoming availible in the north as a result of climate change. While battle over rights, moving assets north, and fielding contracts and bids from corperations Conservative politicians take to the podium and claim climate science in incomplete. They bold face lie because there is too much profit in maintaining the status qou.

I don't think conservatism is a mild form of insanity. However I do think it is driven by anger and greed. Two things which history has proven to be very strong motivators.

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REPUBLICAN: "I think it would be wise for the US to control the flow of immigrants into our country, so that our welfare services can cope, and our industries can make the best use of their talents"

 

LIBERAL: "Why do you hate immigrants?"

 

I'm not trying to start a slanging match, only observing an interesting linguistic phenomenon.

 

Are those actual quotes, or even close paraphrases? Because I've missed those kinds of exchanges. The liberal response you've given has been, from y observation, in response to a much baser statement of protest. (I especially like the protesters whose signs imply that Jesus would deport children)

 

So, absent any evidence, I am just going to provisionally assume this is a straw man argument.

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Are those actual quotes, or even close paraphrases? Because I've missed those kinds of exchanges. The liberal response you've given has been, from y observation, in response to a much baser statement of protest. (I especially like the protesters whose signs imply that Jesus would deport children)

 

So, absent any evidence, I am just going to provisionally assume this is a straw man argument.

No, they're not actual quotes! I said they're "a completely hypothetical, but probably, representative, dialogue".

 

We all notice that Liberals are fond of the word "hate" As I think the OP's quote demonstrates. Sorry if that wasn't quite clear.

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"Is Political Conservatism a mild form of Insanity?"

Define "mild"

Once it starts leading to perfectly predictable deaths, I don't think you can call it "mild" any more.

I think it should lead to them being kept away from circumstances where they can harm themselves or others.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/10/bedroom-tax-exemptions-stephanie-bottrill

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/fuel-poverty-deaths-three-times-higher-than-government-estimates-7462426.html

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-slammed-brushing-off-3928427

Edited by John Cuthber
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@ Dekan, I am far more cynical about what motivates Conservatives than you are. Concerns over welfare have little to do with immigration policy IMO. The United States like most other wealthy countries use a steady flow of immigrant works to supplement industry with wages low workers. Immigration policy in a sense, IMO, is a form of corporate welfare. In wealthy middle east countries like UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia supplement their work force with immigrants from places Pakistan and India. In the United States we supplement the labor force with people from Central and South America. Disenfranchising immigrants by Keeping them from having citizenship or worker visa. It prevents them from having the rights or protection under law.

Conservatism is really just a form or corperatism. They hide behind false debates as a means of pushing their own agendas. For example; Everyone knows climate change is real. United States, Russia, Canada, China, and so on are all battle for rights to the resources becoming availible in the north as a result of climate change. While battle over rights, moving assets north, and fielding contracts and bids from corperations Conservative politicians take to the podium and claim climate science in incomplete. They bold face lie because there is too much profit in maintaining the status qou.

I don't think conservatism is a mild form of insanity. However I do think it is driven by anger and greed. Two things which history has proven to be very strong motivators.

 

Appreciate your reply. It shows the power of the Left-Wing media. They've apparently made some people think that all Conservatives, if not actually insane, are evil and driven by anger and greed.

 

Thankfully most people are sensible, and don't fall for the media guff. We can still smell a load of carp, when it's pushed in our nostrils!

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Appreciate your reply. It shows the power of the Left-Wing media. They've apparently made some people think that all Conservatives, if not actually insane, are evil and driven by anger and greed.

 

Thankfully most people are sensible, and don't fall for the media guff. We can still smell a load of carp, when it's pushed in our nostrils!

6 corporations own 90% of the media. Just 30 yrs ago it was 50 corporations. Media isn't just cable news either.

http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6

 

Left-wing media vs right-wing media is a fallacy. All of it is corporate media. As stated in my previous post, Conservatives are corporatists. By conservatives I mean Republicans. Moderate Democrats are as well. In my opinion there is actually no difference between the Democratic party today and the Republican of 30yrs ago. Policy wise Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford would be Democrats today. Even Bush 41 fits more in the Democratic mold.

 

Deregulation of banks the 80's, growing strength of the Federalist Society in our courts (corporations are people), and global free market economics have transformed the current Republican Party. Oddly the Libertarian wing which was once seen as the far right wing of the Republican Party has chosen to stay associated. The tent no longer seems to fit them. Libertarians with their legalize pot, anti world policy, aniti increased local police militarization, and anti lobbyist in Washington views are probably better fit into the left wing of the Democratic party today. The anti corporatists, environmentalists, and anti *nuclearist were driven out of the Democratic party by the Kennedy and Clinton Democrats years ago.

 

 

*Nuclearist is not a real word.

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... not all conservatives and their ideas are bad, and not all liberals and their ideas are good,

You can't generalize about race, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Why is it OK to generalize about ideology ? Its just another personal belief.

If you read the article(s) I posted, the not-all-good-or-bad issue is represented fairly. As the study is a mega-study, generalizing is what the conclusion does. It is not a belief, it is a study conclusion.

...We all notice that Liberals are fond of the word "hate" As I think the OP's quote demonstrates. Sorry if that wasn't quite clear.

The intitial use of the word 'hate' in my opening post quote is a quote from a [drunken] conservative. It was quite clear.

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Appreciate your reply. It shows the power of the Left-Wing media. They've apparently made some people think that all Conservatives, if not actually insane, are evil and driven by anger and greed.

 

Thankfully most people are sensible, and don't fall for the media guff. We can still smell a load of carp, when it's pushed in our nostrils!

 

I think we need to stop with the Left Wing/Right Wing labeling. Same with Conservative/Liberal. Nobody is always conservative or always liberal about everything. We do ourselves a disservice throwing a blanket over our political stances.

 

I'm not a Liberal. I can't be, not the way I feel about how my teenage daughter should dress.

 

I'm not a Conservative. I can't be, because I think government should work for all the People, not just the People who live the way I do.

 

That said, in my experience, there are more people calling themselves Conservatives. They don't say, "I'm pretty conservative", the way I hear people say "I'm pretty liberal". No, they say, "I'm a Conservative", like every decision has to be a conservative one. I think there are a lot of scared people out there who feel life is just moving too fast for them to keep up, and they have a dim view of all the progress happening because they just don't understand it. They label it "Liberal" so they can kick it to the gutter and denounce it as BAD.

 

Modern political conservatism seems to be the worst to me. I know many people who are mostly conservative when it comes to fiscal policy, and liberal on social policy. They recognize that we need to keep a close eye on the purse-strings, and also recognize that programs that benefit and strengthen the society as a whole are important as well. But modern political conservatism seems aimed in the opposite direction. Squash the social programs because not everyone is worthy, and let big business suck the coffers dry with a combination of lucrative government contracts and tax evasion.

 

Slavery sought to turn people into property, and now Corporate Personhood, a conservative agenda, is trying to turn property into people. I think real People are being tricked into thinking that being "A Conservative" means being cautious, thrifty, wise, and unwavering. This is exactly what the mega-corporations need to keep up the plunder of this country; people who don't want change, who will trust your judgement in money matters, who will ignore the bad things you do, and who can always be counted on to give up more of their freedom in order to be more patriotic.

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No, they're not actual quotes! I said they're "a completely hypothetical, but probably, representative, dialogue".

 

We all notice that Liberals are fond of the word "hate" As I think the OP's quote demonstrates. Sorry if that wasn't quite clear.

 

How would one show that it's representative? Otherwise it's simply, as you say, hypothetical. As in, a figment of your imagination.

 

How about some real quotes?

 

“Our schools cannot handle this influx, we don’t even know what all diseases they have” is from Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). That's rhetoric, not fact; the children are likely better-vaccinated than US kids.

 

http://time.com/2991764/myth-diseased-immigrant/

The fact is, children from Guatemala, where health care is fully subsidized by the government, have a better chance of being vaccinated than kids in Texas, where one in six people is uninsured. The fact is, in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala again, the vaccination rate for measles is 93%, compared to 92% in the U.S.—and it’s much lower in some poorly vaccinated pockets like New York City, where there has been a recent measles outbreak.

 

 

Phil Gingrey (R-GA) wrote a letter to the CDC, and said, “Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning.” Ebola comes from Africa, not South or Central America, and Gingrey is a doctor, so he should know better. That's simply scare tactics. Not measured debate.

 

Reasoned discussion can't include Fox News lying left and right. Reasoned discussion might include the House actually coming up with some kind of legislation, which it hasn't done.

 

So, how about we deal with facts rather than fantasy?

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"I'm not a Liberal. I can't be, not the way I feel about how my teenage daughter should dress."

Unless the way she dresses is a political statement, that's off topic.

 

There is a thread here

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/68375-has-the-republican-party-lost-its-collective-mind/?hl=batshit#entry697415

with ample evidence of lunacy among Rght wingers and relatively little among the Left.

If anyone wishes to add to it - giving examples of either side's daft behaviour that would help inform the debates.

Edited by John Cuthber
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Is Political Conservatism a mild form of Insanity?

No, of course not. It's clearly quite severe, and oftentimes wholly impervious to treatment or reason.

 

:lol: Just to clarify, the title was chosen by staff when they split this new thread from the other impervious to treatment or reason thread and said staff took this thread title from the title of one of the articles I cited. While those who label themselves conservatives may not be bat-shot whack, they do a fine job of impersonating that ilk.

 

Life has been gnashing at my knees this week but I hope to do some digging and root out more of the actual meta-study (I may have written "mega-study" earlier; sue me) as well as some of the studies the meta study studied. Have a nice -and if necessary, medicated- day. :)

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No, of course not. It's clearly quite severe, and oftentimes wholly impervious to treatment or reason.

I doubt you would get the ethics cttee to agree to it, but I think it's probably treatable.

The essential aspects are detailed here

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9964767/Iain-Duncan-Smith-I-could-live-on-53-per-week.html

The "patient" is suffering from the delusion that he could live on £53 per week. (strictly, he's just experiencing the delusion: he makes other suffer for it).

I strongly suspect that after a few months trying to do so , he would come to realise that he was "confused" and that his "confusion" had led him to make grave errors.

(Even if it didn't, it might make good "reality TV")

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I remember a study conducted in the eighties that came to the conclision that kids were insane, by adult standards of course. It actually made a lor of sense and I presume, if the study had been done by kids on adults, they would have had similar results.

 

This study was presented on a radio station by a Doctor ( PhD ) whose name I don't recall. He had gotten his doctorate from a man named Bubba on Santa Monica beach. The host of the radio program was Dr. Johnny Fever.

The radio station was WKRP in Cincinnati.

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I remember a study conducted in the eighties that came to the conclision that kids were insane, by adult standards of course. It actually made a lor of sense and I presume, if the study had been done by kids on adults, they would have had similar results.

 

This study was presented on a radio station by a Doctor ( PhD ) whose name I don't recall. He had gotten his doctorate from a man named Bubba on Santa Monica beach. The host of the radio program was Dr. Johnny Fever.

The radio station was WKRP in Cincinnati.

:lol: Are you sure you're not thinking of the Wizard of OZ and Scarecrow (say Strawman)?

Cowardly Lion:

What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?

Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman: Courage!

source

 

Moving on to the second article that I linked to in the OP, we can investigate some of the facts of the matters at hand.

 

Full article: Researchers help define what makes a political conservative

 

 

BERKELEY Politically conservative agendas may range from supporting the Vietnam War to upholding traditional moral and religious values to opposing welfare. But are there consistent underlying motivations?

 

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

 

"From our perspective, these psychological factors are capable of contributing to the adoption of conservative ideological contents, either independently or in combination," the researchers wrote in an article, "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," recently published in the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin.

...

So now it is incumbent on we dear tender readers to pursue and read [in its entirety] the study Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition. As this paper runs 37 pages I think any comments on it must not appear before such time as is reasonable to accommodate its reading.

 

Here it is: >> Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition

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What ?

Nobody watched 'WKRP in Cincinnati' back in the early 80s. One of the funniest TV shows ever made.

Shall I take that to mean you have no intention of reading the study?

 

I'm only on page 8, but allow me to quote a bit.

 

The Theory of RWA [Right Wing Authoritarianism] pg.7

...

Scores on the RWA Scale have been found to predict a broad range of attitudes and behaviors related to social, economic, and political conservatism as defined in the general culture at the time. For instance, the scale has correlated reliably with political party affiliation; reactions to Watergate; pro-capitalist attitudes; severity of jury sentencing decisions; punishment of deviants; racial prejudice; homophobia; religious orthodoxy; victim blaming; and acceptance of covert governmental activities such as illegal bugging, political harassment, denial of the right to assemble, and illegal drug raids (Altemeyer, 1981, 1988, 1996, 1998). Peterson et al. (1993) reported correlational evidence linking authoritarianism to a wide variety of conservative attitudes, including opposition to environmentalism, abortion rights, diversity on university campuses, and services for AIDS patients and homeless people. Ray (1973), in questioning the discriminant validity of RWA, reported a correlation of .81 between the RWA Scale and his own conservatism scale. Altemeyer (1996, 1998) summarized the results of several studies of the attitudes of Canadian and U.S. legislators in which he found strong differences in RWA between conservative politicians and others and concluded that High RWA lawmakers also score higher in prejudice, and wish they could pass laws limiting the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right of assembly, and other freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. They want to impose strict limitations on abortion, they favor capital punishment, and they oppose tougher gun control laws. Finally, politicians answer the RWA Scale with such extraordinary levels of internal consistency, it appears the scale provides our most powerful measure of the liberalliberal-conservative dimension in politics. (Altemeyer, 1998, p. 53) Thus, a relatively strong relation has been established between RWA and political conservatism among political elites as well as the masses.

...

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What do you want me to say ?

I consider myself conservative in some aspects as that makes sense and works for me, and liberal in others for much the same reasons.

Would it make you happy if I said i was insane ?

 

Does other's opinion mean that little to you ?

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