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


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When the RWA has been applied in other contexts, there have been questions as to its validity...in particular in regards to its ability to measure "authoritarianism." This study looked at its validity in South Africa finding no correlation with authoritarian behaviors and only some correlation with conservatism. As previously mentioned, John Ray found the similar results....with RWA failing to correlate with an independent measure of authoritarianism, but correlating with conservatism. This further shows that the RWA is really just a test of certain types of conservatism and not an actual test of authoritarianism.

http://www.academia.edu/3982325/An_Investigation_of_the_Validity_and_Reliability_of_Measures_of_Right-Wing_Authoritarianism_in_South_Africa


Have you read or do you intend to read Altemeyer's book?

 

You really are married to this red herring. Yes.

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Have you read or do you intend to read Altemeyer's book?

 

I have read it. So do you mind actually addressing the arguments made? Or are you going to launch into another fallacious argument?

 

As a reminder, the relevant arguments are:

 

1) RWA fails to correlate with alternative measures of authoritarianism, but does correlate with alternative measures of conservatism. Logically, one must conclude that RWA does not measure authoritarianism and is simply another measure of conservatism.

 

2) The language used in the RWA (the actual questions used being referenced) inherently presume an association of right-wing beliefs with authoritarianism. This is reflected in the absence of non-authoritarian right wing beliefs in the questionairre or corresponding authoritarian left-wing beliefs.

 

3) The questions in the RWA are exclusively focused on a very narrow set of right wing beliefs of a particular moral/social nature.

 

4) The RWA does not correlate with other tests that you have proposed, such as the SDO.

 

5) The meta-analysis conlfates multiple measures that are not all equivalent (F-scale, C-scale, RWA, voting records).

 

6) Many of the reported associations (particularly in the meta-analysis) have small effect sizes.

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

The paper in reference here...the meta study makes some pretty outrageous and outright false claims from a historic and political perspective. Consider the following:

 

 

"There are also cases of left-wing ideologues who, once they are in power, steadfastly resist change, allegedly in the name of egalitarianism, such as Stalin or Khrushchev or Castro (see J. Martin, Scully, & Levitt, 1990). It is reasonable to suggest that some of these historical figures may be considered politically conservative"

 

The idea that clearly authoritarian politicians like Stalin or Castro who ideologically were far to the left and also oversaw some of the most radical changes in the history of their nations were "politically conservative" is to defy all common sense. It calls into question the validity of the claims being made. In particular, when they use scales like the RWA or political voting records which measure traits very different politically and also which fail to actually measure authoritarianism. It is further evidence of how the authors of this study equivocate between very different measures in a manner which can only be described as fallacious.

Why exactly have you avoided answering such a simple question?

 

Because its a red herring and I am not one to let people get away with such obvious logical fallacies.

 

Let me reiterate yet again the arguments to be addressed:

 

1) RWA fails to correlate with alternative measures of authoritarianism, but does correlate with alternative measures of conservatism. Logically, one must conclude that RWA does not measure authoritarianism and is simply another measure of conservatism.

 

2) The language used in the RWA (the actual questions used being referenced) inherently presume an association of right-wing beliefs with authoritarianism. This is reflected in the absence of non-authoritarian right wing beliefs in the questionairre or corresponding authoritarian left-wing beliefs.

 

3) The questions in the RWA are exclusively focused on a very narrow set of right wing beliefs of a particular moral/social nature.

 

4) The RWA does not correlate with other tests that you have proposed, such as the SDO.

 

5) The meta-analysis conlfates multiple measures that are not all equivalent (F-scale, C-scale, RWA, voting records).

 

6) Many of the reported associations (particularly in the meta-analysis) have small effect sizes.

 

Please address the actual arguments without further use of logical fallacies.

Let me add a 7th argument to the list.

 

7) Altemeyer himself admits that "right-wing authoritarians" as described by his RWA scale do not show any particular preference for a particular political party. He states as much in his book "Enemies of Freedom". John Ray has argued many times that the RWA scale does seem to measure "conservatism"....but only a certain type of conservatism, namely one that is associated with a narrow set of traditional moral values. This is unsurprising if you actually read the nature of the questions in Altemeyer's RWA scale. This also reemphasizes the earlier point I have made regarding the meta-analysis and how it equivocates different measures...including voting records, with various psychological tests.

 

And an 8th:

 

8) There are also contradictions of the Jost meta-analysis with other findings, including direct contradictions with findings from NORC General Social Survey. For instance, the Jost meta-analysis claims that conservatives tend to fearful, angry, unhappy. Years of data from the GSS actually show the exact opposite, with higher reports of happiness from extreme conservatives, less reports of feeling angry from conservatives, etc. http://sda.berkeley.edu/archive.htm

 

 

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The paper in reference here...the meta study makes some pretty outrageous and outright false claims from a historic and political perspective. Consider the following:

No. That paper started the discussion. What we are now discussing -and reading- is Altemeyer's book which is referenced in the meta-study. Whether or not you -or anyone else- has read Altemeyer's book is relevant because that is what we are currently discussing. So far you have not referenced the book directly other than to list a single questionnaire, rather you have been referencing what others say about it.

 

 

"There are also cases of left-wing ideologues who, once they are in power, steadfastly resist change, allegedly in the name of egalitarianism, such as Stalin or Khrushchev or Castro (see J. Martin, Scully, & Levitt, 1990). It is reasonable to suggest that some of these historical figures may be considered politically conservative"

Altemeyer says as much in the book, so why not quote him since it is his book we are currently discussing?

 

The idea that clearly authoritarian politicians like Stalin or Castro who ideologically were far to the left and also oversaw some of the most radical changes in the history of their nations were "politically conservative" is to defy all common sense.

No it doesn't. Political conservatism is relevant to specific venues and again Altemeyer makes that clear in his book.

 

It calls into question the validity of the claims being made. In particular, when they use scales like the RWA or political voting records which measure traits very different politically and also which fail to actually measure authoritarianism. It is further evidence of how the authors of this study equivocate between very different measures in a manner which can only be described as fallacious.

Altemeyer -in his book- acknowledges different scales and qualifies them in relation to his own. You read the book so you know that already.

 

 

Let me reiterate yet again the arguments to be addressed:

 

1) RWA fails to correlate with alternative measures of authoritarianism, but does correlate with alternative measures of conservatism. Logically, one must conclude that RWA does not measure authoritarianism and is simply another measure of conservatism.

Just because there are alternate measures does not mean a particular measure is invalid. Again, Altemeyer discusses different measures in the book and delineates differences and likenesses to his measures. Taking different measures is a hallmark of science isn't it? Getting different perspectives to better understand the situation under study and all that.

 

2) The language used in the RWA (the actual questions used being referenced) inherently presume an association of right-wing beliefs with authoritarianism. This is reflected in the absence of non-authoritarian right wing beliefs in the questionairre or corresponding authoritarian left-wing beliefs.

Again, Altemeyer discusses the language used and its evolution in the book. You've read it so you know that and so I don't understand why you don't refer to it from the book.

 

3) The questions in the RWA are exclusively focused on a very narrow set of right wing beliefs of a particular moral/social nature.

So what. Don't alternate studies take a narrow/specific focus, albeit different from others?

 

4) The RWA does not correlate with other tests that you have proposed, such as the SDO.

The quote I gave about SDO was from Altemeyer's book and since you read the book you might have recognized it. Again, he was juxtaposing different results from different approaches in order to broaden the perspective.

 

5) The meta-analysis conlfates multiple measures that are not all equivalent (F-scale, C-scale, RWA, voting records).

Isn't giving the scales acknowledging non-equivalence? They report the scales so the reader can take into account differences.

 

6) Many of the reported associations (particularly in the meta-analysis) have small effect sizes.

So what? No one is claiming conservatives are stark raving mad (ike your Ray fella does about liberals), rather as the title says they are mildly insane. Small effect, but an effect.

 

Please address the actual arguments without further use of logical fallacies.

Let me add a 7th argument to the list.

 

7) Altemeyer himself admits that "right-wing authoritarians" as described by his RWA scale do not show any particular preference for a particular political party. He states as much in his book "Enemies of Freedom". John Ray has argued many times that the RWA scale does seem to measure "conservatism"....but only a certain type of conservatism, namely one that is associated with a narrow set of traditional moral values. This is unsurprising if you actually read the nature of the questions in Altemeyer's RWA scale. This also reemphasizes the earlier point I have made regarding the meta-analysis and how it equivocates different measures...including voting records, with various psychological tests.

So? I have been saying all along that Altemeyer is straight up about deficiencies. Of course again we are currently discussing his book The Authoritarians.

 

Every time you bring up Ray I will favor the board with one of the quotes from his page. I challenge you to find anything of similar flavor in The Authoritarians. Bias is as bias does.

 

Leftists think that utopia can be coerced into existence -- so no dishonesty or brutality is beyond them in pursuit of that "noble" goal. source

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No. That paper started the discussion. What we are now discussing -and reading- is Altemeyer's book which is referenced in the meta-study. Whether or not you -or anyone else- has read Altemeyer's book is relevant because that is what we are currently discussing. So far you have not referenced the book directly other than to list a single questionnaire, rather you have been referencing what others say about it

 

1) No, we are discussing both the meta-study and Altemeyers book. The meta-study is in fact what started the discussion and you still have never fully addressed the arguments I made against it.

 

2) No its not relevant. I do not need to quote Altemeyer's book to address the RWA scale or its validity. In particular, the validity of the RWA is something that requires independent testing apart from the views of its own creator. That is what the studies I present from John Ray, the South African study, and others do. They show that the RWA scale is not predictive of authoritarianism. Insisting that I quote from the book is a red herring fallacy.

 

chadn737, on 12 Dec 2014 - 12:11 AM, said:snapback.png

"There are also cases of left-wing ideologues who, once they are in power, steadfastly resist change, allegedly in the name of egalitarianism, such as Stalin or Khrushchev or Castro (see J. Martin, Scully, & Levitt, 1990). It is reasonable to suggest that some of these historical figures may be considered politically conservative"

Altemeyer says as much in the book, so why not quote him since it is his book we are currently discussing?

 

Because here I am addressing the meta-study and not Altemeyer....which makes your argument a straw man. Do you acknowledge that the Jost meta-study defies historical and political common sense by calling Castro and Stalin "politically conservative"?

 

 

 

The idea that clearly authoritarian politicians like Stalin or Castro who ideologically were far to the left and also oversaw some of the most radical changes in the history of their nations were "politically conservative" is to defy all common sense.

No it doesn't. Political conservatism is relevant to specific venues and again Altemeyer makes that clear in his book.

 

 

 

 

Again....I am discussing the Jost meta-study. So this is your second strawman.

 

 

It calls into question the validity of the claims being made. In particular, when they use scales like the RWA or political voting records which measure traits very different politically and also which fail to actually measure authoritarianism. It is further evidence of how the authors of this study equivocate between very different measures in a manner which can only be described as fallacious.

Altemeyer -in his book- acknowledges different scales and qualifies them in relation to his own. You read the book so you know that already.

 

 

I'm still talking about the Jost meta-study here.....which makes this your third strawman.

 

 

Let me reiterate yet again the arguments to be addressed:

 

1) RWA fails to correlate with alternative measures of authoritarianism, but does correlate with alternative measures of conservatism. Logically, one must conclude that RWA does not measure authoritarianism and is simply another measure of conservatism.

Just because there are alternate measures does not mean a particular measure is invalid. Again, Altemeyer discusses different measures in the book and delineates differences and likenesses to his measures. Taking different measures is a hallmark of science isn't it? Getting different perspectives to better understand the situation under study and all that.

 

Indeed, but when Altemeyer's RWA correlates highly with scales designed to measure BOTH non-authoritarian and authoritarian attitudes of conservatism but fails to correlate with altermative measures of "authoritarianism" that are not biased by politics, that tells you what the RWA measures and what it does not. Namely, it tells you that the RWA is a measure of certain "conservative" views, but not a measure of authoritarianism. If RWA did indeed measure authoritarianism, then it should correlate at least to some degree with alternative measures of such.

 

At this point I have cited actual results, showing that the RWA had absolutely no correlation with an alternative authoritarian measure (r=-0.049), but did correlate with two seperate measures of conservatism. You now have a burden of proof of presenting evidence to the contrary. Saying that Altemeyer discusses different measures does not address the specific arguments or evidence I have presented.

 

 

2) The language used in the RWA (the actual questions used being referenced) inherently presume an association of right-wing beliefs with authoritarianism. This is reflected in the absence of non-authoritarian right wing beliefs in the questionairre or corresponding authoritarian left-wing beliefs.

Again, Altemeyer discusses the language used and its evolution in the book. You've read it so you know that and so I don't understand why you don't refer to it from the book.

 

You are dodging and shifting the burden of proof. I reference directly the questions used in the RWA. I have previously pointed out how the specific wording used assumes a VERY narrow and particular segment of conservatism and how one can alter the language to present conservatism as "anti-authoritarian". You have at no point addressed these arguments. In fact, while Altemeyer admits that two different scholars have questioned what his RWA actually measures, he does not actually address them directly in his book.

 

 

 

 

3) The questions in the RWA are exclusively focused on a very narrow set of right wing beliefs of a particular moral/social nature.

So what. Don't alternate studies take a narrow/specific focus, albeit different from others?

 

I explained previously why this a problem and how it can bias results. Its because the narrow focus of the questions asked inherently assume that any right-wing answer to be authoritarian and any left-wing answer to be anti-authoritarian. It does this by focusing almost exclusively on the "traditional family values" and ignoring anti-authoritarian right-wing positions like free markets, small government, gun ownership, etc.

 

It is of course appropriate to use such a narrow focus if the conclusions one tries to draw are themselves restricted. It is inappropriate to attempt to extrapolate to the much larger whole based on such a narrowized focus. This is exactly what Altemeyer does in his book. He draws large conclusions regarding conservatives, in particular how this relates to American politics based on a scale that is focused exclusively on questions of traditional family morals.

 

 

 

4) The RWA does not correlate with other tests that you have proposed, such as the SDO.

The quote I gave about SDO was from Altemeyer's book and since you read the book you might have recognized it. Again, he was juxtaposing different results from different approaches in order to broaden the perspective.

 

 

 

That is not the argument you originally made, making this response a red herring. Originally you brought up the SDO proposing it as an politically unbiased measure of authoritarianism similar to the modified questions I had proposed. As I pointed out then, there is no correlation or actual interaction of scores on the SDO or RWA and that the SDO does not actually measure authoritarianism.

 

 

 

5) The meta-analysis conlfates multiple measures that are not all equivalent (F-scale, C-scale, RWA, voting records).

Isn't giving the scales acknowledging non-equivalence? They report the scales so the reader can take into account differences.

 

 

 

No, its not an acknowledgement of non-equivalence. Read the actual paper including the conclusions. They use these very different measures....voting records being a horrible predictor....to equivocate between the results.

 

 

6) Many of the reported associations (particularly in the meta-analysis) have small effect sizes.

So what? No one is claiming conservatives are stark raving mad (Like your Ray fella), rather as the title says they are mildly insane. Small effect, but an effect.

 

1) Yet again an ad hominem against Ray....you do realize that attacking the person and not the argument is blatant fallacy right?

 

2) "Mildly insane"? Based on what? You are calling these traits a form of "insanity" based on what? It does not appear to be based on any actual psychological understanding or definition of insanity. Calling them "insane" in any context is simply an insult rather than a scientifically based assertion. This is particularly true when you consider small effect sizes. This is particularly true when you are generalizing to a huge group of people. There is a reason why the effect sizes can be small....because most people are not actually that way.

 

References to "insanity" appear nowhere in the Jost metastudy (where the correlations I have talked about are mentioned) and in fact, the authors have this to say:

 

"An important conclusion that follows from our analysis is that

political attitudes and beliefs possess a strong motivational basis

(e.g., Duckitt, 2001; Dunning, 1999; Fiske & Taylor, 1991;

Kruglanski, 1996; Kunda, 1990). Conservative ideologies, like

virtually all other belief systems, are adopted in part because they

satisfy various psychological needs. To say that ideological belief

systems have a strong motivational basis is not to say that they are

unprincipled, unwarranted, or unresponsive to reason or evidence.

Although the (partial) causes of ideological beliefs may be motivational,

the reasons (and rationalizations) whereby individuals

justify those beliefs to themselves and others are assessed according

to informational criteria (Kruglanski, 1989, 1999)."

 

In other words, they argue that conservatism possesses a motivational basis like any belief. The references to them being a form of "insanity" are completely unfounded and only serve to reveal your own biases in this rather than an actual objective approach towards the data.

 

So? I have been saying all along that Altemeyer is straight up about deficiencies. Of course again we are currently discussing his book The Authoritarians.

 

1) No, we are discussing it all. At no point did I ever switch to discussing only Altemeyer's book The Authoritarians.

 

2) Saying that "Altemeyer is straight up about deficiencies" does not address the arguments I have made. Its an empty statement that does not present any actual argument against the inherent problems I have raised about the RWA.

 

Every time you bring up Ray I will favor the board with one of the quotes from his page. I challenge you to find anything of similar flavor in The Authoritarians. Bias is as bias does.

Leftists think that utopia can be coerced into existence -- so no dishonesty or brutality is beyond them in pursuit of that "noble" goal. source

 

This is still nothing more than a blatant ad hominem. To be quite honest, I'm a bit shocked that one would so proudly proclaim to use such a gross fallacy on a science forum.

 

John Ray is a known researcher in the field of consevatism and authoritarianism and was publishing on the subject at the same time Altemeyer was as well. Earlier I reference a published peer-review paper showing that the RWA is in reality just another measure of certain types of conservatism and not of authoritarianism. Attacking John Ray's character does not address these arguments in any way.

 

I challenge you to find anything of similar flavor in The Authoritarians.

 

 

Are you kidding me? The entire book is filled with politically motivated language and outright agendas. Take for example his preface...before the book has even technically started:

 

But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I=m going

to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy

today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the

nation.

 

Or take for example this small section from the end of the book which is an outright call to activism painting RWAs as evil and on a "crusade":

 

If the people who are not social dominators and right-wing authoritarians want

to have those same rights in the future, they, you, had better do those same things too,

now. You do have the right to remain silent, but you’ll do so at everyone’s peril. You

can’t sit these elections out and say “Politics is dirty; I’ll not be part of it,” or

“Nothing can change the way things are done now.”The social dominators want you

to be disgusted with politics, they want you to feel hopeless, they want you out of their

way. They want democracy to fail, they want your freedoms stricken, they want

equality destroyed as a value, they want to control everything and everybody, they

want it all. And they have an army of authoritarian followers marching with the

militancy of “that old-time religion” on a crusade that will make it happen, if you let

them.

 

I would recommend that you try reading Altemeyer's original work that introduced the RWA concept (Right-wing authoritarianism 1981)...as an academic work, its not plagued by the same sort of politicization.

 

Ultimately, the agenda of Altemeyer is irrelevant because what matters is the validity of the Research, not the personal views of the Altemeyer. Attacking the argument, methods, results as I have done is how one conducts a logical argument. Continually attacking the person while ignoring the arguments made, i.e. your response to John Ray, is nothing more than an ad hominem and should be rejected.

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...

John Ray is a known researcher in the field of consevatism and authoritarianism and was publishing on the subject at the same time Altemeyer was as well. Earlier I reference a published peer-review paper showing that the RWA is in reality just another measure of certain types of conservatism and not of authoritarianism. Attacking John Ray's character does not address these arguments in any way.

The paper is behind a pay-wall.

 

Leftists are classic weak characters. They dish out abuse by the bucketload but cannot take it when they get it back. Witness the Loughner hysteria.source

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How is this not a red herring?

Leftists are classic weak characters. They dish out abuse by the bucketload but cannot take it when they get it back. Witness the Loughner hysteria.source

 

Ad hominem. Please address the actual data showing that RWA does not correlate with other scales of authoritarianism.

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...

 

No, its not an acknowledgement of non-equivalence. Read the actual paper including the conclusions. They use these very different measures....voting records being a horrible predictor....to equivocate between the results.

Please point out where in the paper or conclusions that voting records or other measures are used to avoid making any specific statements about the results.

Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition

Abstract

Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism, dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure,

regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification). A meta-analysis (88 samples, 12 countries, 22,818 cases) confirms that several psychological

variables predict political conservatism: death anxiety (weighted mean r .50); system instability (.47); dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity (.34); openness to experience (–.32); uncertainty tolerance (–.27); needs for order, structure, and closure (.26); integrative complexity (–.20); fear of threat and loss (.18); nd self-esteem (–.09). The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat.

...

Concluding Remarks

We have argued that several specific motives relating to the management of fear and uncertainty are associated with the ideology of political conservatism. Our analysis in terms of motivated social cognition helps both to integrate seemingly unrelated hypotheses derived from the literature on personality and individual differences and social psychology and to expand on these hypotheses to further understand the role of situational factors in the vicissitudes of conservatism. By reviewing the results from many

different studies aggregated across various behavioral domains and contexts, we found that a moderate to strong relationship does exist between an interrelated set of epistemic, existential, and ideological

motives and the expression of political conservatism. In concluding, we consider issues that are deserving of future empirical attention and summarize what we have learned by viewing political conservatism through a motivated social–cognitive lens.

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Please point out where in the paper or conclusions that voting records or other measures are used to avoid making any specific statements about the results.

Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition

 

You should probably look at the actual data used before challenging me on this.....ALL the data used in making conclusions regarding "integrative complexity" are derived from voting records.

 

See table 3, http://psychoanalystsopposewar.org/resources_files/ConsevatismAsMotivatedSocialCognition.pdf

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...This is still nothing more than a blatant ad hominem. To be quite honest, I'm a bit shocked that one would so proudly proclaim to use such a gross fallacy on a science forum.

 

John Ray is a known researcher in the field of consevatism and authoritarianism and was publishing on the subject at the same time Altemeyer was as well. Earlier I reference a published peer-review paper showing that the RWA is in reality just another measure of certain types of conservatism and not of authoritarianism. Attacking John Ray's character does not address these arguments in any way.

 

 

Are you kidding me? The entire book is filled with politically motivated language and outright agendas. Take for example his preface...before the book has even technically started:

 

But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I'm going

to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy

today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the

nation.

 

Or take for example this small section from the end of the book which is an outright call to activism painting RWAs as evil and on a "crusade":

 

If the people who are not social dominators and right-wing authoritarians want

to have those same rights in the future, they, you, had better do those same things too,

now. You do have the right to remain silent, but you’ll do so at everyone’s peril. You

can’t sit these elections out and say “Politics is dirty; I’ll not be part of it,” or

“Nothing can change the way things are done now.”The social dominators want you

to be disgusted with politics, they want you to feel hopeless, they want you out of their

way. They want democracy to fail, they want your freedoms stricken, they want

equality destroyed as a value, they want to control everything and everybody, they

want it all. And they have an army of authoritarian followers marching with the

militancy of “that old-time religion” on a crusade that will make it happen, if you let

them.

 

I would recommend that you try reading Altemeyer's original work that introduced the RWA concept (Right-wing authoritarianism 1981)...as an academic work, its not plagued by the same sort of politicization.

So you decry my examples as shocking and fallacious but then go on to take the same course. :rolleyes:

 

I looked into the original but it was too expensive for me. I went with Altemeyer out of all the meta-study group because it was the first I found free online. My interest here is trying to get some understanding for the whacky behavior that comes to my attention by conservative politicians and their followers. Clearly the behavior has drawn the attention of more than the casual observer. As the authors in the meta-study say, "For more than half a century, psychologists have been tracking the hypothesis that different psychological motives and tendencies underlie ideological differences between the political left and the right."

I find it odd that you on the one hand declared you didn't buy into the division yet on the other hand argue with such gusto over the difference.

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In another study, absolutely no correlation was found between those with high-obedience and right wing conservatism. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1755-618X.1980.tb01246.x/abstract

 

 

 

 

 

 


So you decry my examples as shocking and fallacious but then go on to take the same course. :rolleyes:

 

You specifically asked me too.....and I quote you:


I challenge you to find anything of similar flavor in The Authoritarians.

 

 

 

Spare me the rolling of eyes when I give you what you ask for. The difference here is that none of my arguments are premised in decrying Altemeyer's character, rather all are based on examination of methods and data. Your ONLY argument against John Ray's work has been an ad hominem.

 

I looked into the original but it was too expensive for me. I went with Altemeyer out of all the meta-study group because it was the first I found free online. My interest here is trying to get some understanding for the whacky behavior that comes to my attention by conservative politicians and their followers. Clearly the behavior has drawn the attention of more than the casual observer.

 

Ok, but your personal reasons for being curious does not make an argument against any of the points I have made.

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In another study, absolutely no correlation was found between those with high-obedience and right wing conservatism. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1755-618X.1980.tb01246.x/abstract

I'll have a look when I get time.

 

 

You specifically asked me too.....and I quote you:

Spare me the rolling of eyes when I give you what you ask for.

The difference here is that none of my arguments are premised in decrying Altemeyer's character, rather all are based on examination of methods and data. Your ONLY argument against John Ray's work has been an ad hominem.

I'll roll my eyes as I please. I also asked you to declare if you read the book and it was like pulling teeth to get an answer. I ask you once to repeat defamatory statements and you're on it lickety split. :rolleyes:

 

Ok, but your personal reasons for being curious does not make an argument against any of the points I have made.

Frankly I have no confidence in your point making. You pretty much clinched that for me when you claimed ignorance as to why reading Altemeyer's book was relevant to the discussion of Altemeyer's book. :rolleyes:
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I'll have a look when I get time.

 

 

I'll roll my eyes as I please. I also asked you to declare if you read the book and it was like pulling teeth to get an answer. I ask you once to repeat defamatory statements and you're on it lickety split. :rolleyes:

 

Frankly I have no confidence in your point making. You pretty much clinched that for me when you claimed ignorance as to why reading Altemeyer's book was relevant to the discussion of Altemeyer's book. :rolleyes:

 

Please address my actual arguments and stop with the side show:

 

1) RWA fails to correlate with alternative measures of authoritarianism, but does correlate with alternative measures of conservatism. Logically, one must conclude that RWA does not measure authoritarianism and is simply another measure of conservatism.

 

2) The language used in the RWA (the actual questions used being referenced) inherently presume an association of right-wing beliefs with authoritarianism. This is reflected in the absence of non-authoritarian right wing beliefs in the questionairre or corresponding authoritarian left-wing beliefs.

 

3) The questions in the RWA are exclusively focused on a very narrow set of right wing beliefs of a particular moral/social nature.

 

4) The RWA does not correlate with other tests that you have proposed, such as the SDO.

 

5) The meta-analysis conlfates multiple measures that are not all equivalent (F-scale, C-scale, RWA, voting records).

 

6) Many of the reported associations (particularly in the meta-analysis) have small effect sizes.

 

7) Altemeyer himself admits that "right-wing authoritarians" as described by his RWA scale do not show any particular preference for a particular political party. He states as much in his book "Enemies of Freedom". John Ray has argued many times that the RWA scale does seem to measure "conservatism"....but only a certain type of conservatism, namely one that is associated with a narrow set of traditional moral values. This is unsurprising if you actually read the nature of the questions in Altemeyer's RWA scale. This also reemphasizes the earlier point I have made regarding the meta-analysis and how it equivocates different measures...including voting records, with various psychological tests.

 

8) There are also contradictions of the Jost meta-analysis with other findings, including direct contradictions with findings from NORC General Social Survey. For instance, the Jost meta-analysis claims that conservatives tend to fearful, angry, unhappy. Years of data from the GSS actually show the exact opposite, with higher reports of happiness from extreme conservatives, less reports of feeling angry from conservatives, etc. http://sda.berkeley.edu/archive.htm

Edited by chadn737
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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.

And that's a feature of political extremism, not a specific ideology. Consider this oft-heard refrain:

 

LIBERAL: We should spend less on the military.

REPUBLICAN: Why do you hate our men and women in uniform?

 

In general while political conservatism (or liberalism) is _not_ a form of insanity, right wing extremism is often associated with non-reality-based approaches to issues. (Same is true of left-wing extremism.)

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And that's a feature of political extremism, not a specific ideology. Consider this oft-heard refrain:

 

LIBERAL: We should spend less on the military.

REPUBLICAN: Why do you hate our men and women in uniform?

 

In general while political conservatism (or liberalism) is _not_ a form of insanity, right wing extremism is often associated with non-reality-based approaches to issues. (Same is true of left-wing extremism.)

 

Calling them "non-reality based" regardless of the position is to ignore the actual arguments and reasons behind the positions. I am not saying they are wrong, I am saying that labeling positions in such ways tends to close off discussion and actual understanding.

Edited by chadn737
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I have seen this exchange repeated a few times here

"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?""

The right answer for a well informed liberal is

"Why do you think there's a need to control it? It is known to be good for the economy, and it's not clear that the problems with welfare services spring from immigration rather than from cutbacks in spending- here's a report on it.

http://www.oecd.org/migration/mig/OECD%20Migration%20Policy%20Debates%20Numero%202.pdf

Since the facts show that immigration is a net benefit to the economy, are you sure that you are not just using economic impact as an excuse for xenophobia?"

But even that isn't the real problem.

The real problem is that, even though they know of those reports, and they know that immigration is a net benefit to the country, the Right wing still oppose it.

That's insanity.

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Does Altemayer propose any testable hypotheses? I mean anything that doesn't circle back to his self-rating scales?

I don't quite understand the question, [...]

 

A hypothesis (or theory) is a (unifying) explanation that can be used to make further predictions. Without one, you're just left with data. Data on its own is less meaningful. Data always depends on some aspect of the sampling procedure (how, where, when...... what). In addition, summary statistics, particularly measures of central tendency, may oversimplify a complicated pattern if a variable is not normally distributed, or if variables are oversimplified (e.g. yes or no).

And statistics don't necessarily establish what causes the relationship. Remember that list from the opening post?

 

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.

I'm getting out of this thread now. :)

Edited by MonDie
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I have seen this exchange repeated a few times here

"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?""

The right answer for a well informed liberal is

"Why do you think there's a need to control it? It is known to be good for the economy, and it's not clear that the problems with welfare services spring from immigration rather than from cutbacks in spending- here's a report on it.

http://www.oecd.org/migration/mig/OECD%20Migration%20Policy%20Debates%20Numero%202.pdf

Since the facts show that immigration is a net benefit to the economy, are you sure that you are not just using economic impact as an excuse for xenophobia?"

But even that isn't the real problem.

The real problem is that, even though they know of those reports, and they know that immigration is a net benefit to the country, the Right wing still oppose it.

That's insanity.

 

Again an argument that amounts to a red herring as it ignores any actual basis in psychology or scientific data (which is pretty much the entire basis of this thread).

 

Do you have anything to say that is based on psychological studies or are further comments merely going to consiste of you calling positions you disagree with "insane"?

Edited by chadn737
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Well, actually, I am , in some small way, qualified to make that "diagnosis".

It's a while ago, but I studied pharmacology.

That field includes psychopharmacology.

To do that you need to be able to distinguish those who need treatment from those who do not.

There's a fairly broad set of conditions that "tick the box".

In essence there are a collection of conditions all referred to as psychoses.

Their distinguishing feature is that the subject believes something which normal people wouldn't. believe.

So, for example if you believe that you are the queen, then most people would accept that you were not rational because all the evidence says that you are not.

.

If you think that another beer won't do any harm, even when it's plan that it will, then that's a psychosis too.

 

It's not a subtle test, but it often doesn't need to be.

If someone continues to proclaim that immigration is bad, even when the evidence makes it clear that it isn't, then they are in the same position as someone who thinks that they are the queen.

They are insane.

 

It's not a matter of a position I disagree with, it's a matter of a position which the evidence (stuff like that report and the fact that (in the other thread I cited, nobody was able to find Left wing Looneys") disagrees with.

 

Who is sane or not is largely defined by the opinion of society.

Society has already cast its vote on people who believe in dragons; they are nuts.

And the right seems to have rather more than its fair share (or prove me wrong).

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Again an argument that amounts to a red herring as it ignores any actual basis in psychology or scientific data (which is pretty much the entire basis of this thread).

 

Do you have anything to say that is based on psychological studies or are further comments merely going to consiste of you calling positions you disagree with "insane"?

You seem to have your own strict definition for what is or is not insane:

 

"in·san·i·ty noun \in-ˈsa-nə-tē\

: severe mental illness : the condition of being insane

: something that is very foolish or unreasonable

 

plural in·san·i·ties

 

1: a deranged state of the mind usually occurring as a specific disorder (as schizophrenia)

2: such unsoundness of mind or lack of understanding as prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or as removes one from criminal or civil responsibility

3 a : extreme folly or unreasonableness

b : something utterly foolish or unreasonable"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insanity

 

I think posters have done a good job in this thread illustrating why political conservatism is "something that is very foolish or unreasonable".

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