Journal of Psychological Science article

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Have you wondered why conservatives seem kind of ignorant and sometimes a little moronic in their positions? Ever thought that they are just missing a little knowledge? Maybe they are a little "behind" in their studies? Well you need to read this latest study form the Journal of Psychological Science. It lays out the proof that conservatives are, in fact, people who develop less cognitive abilities as youngsters and are then prime candidates for the modern conservative movement and their myopic reasoning. Good read. But beware - you will have to translate it for your more conservative friends - it has multi-syllabic words. Go here: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/23/2/187.full

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janjer1
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That article is an excellent example of why the quakery endeavor of psychology should never be used in conjunctive terms with science, as the two have nothing to do with each other. Their assessments have absolutely zero credibility because their subjects have been born into and grown up within a criminalized system where they could have had no exposure to an ethical society.

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jmacneil
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Mar. 6, 2012 7:24 pm
Quote jmacneil:

That article is an excellent example of why the quakery endeavor of psychology should never be used in conjunctive terms with science, as the two have nothing to do with each other. Their assessments have absolutely zero credibility because their subjects have been born into and grown up within a criminalized system where they could have had no exposure to an ethical society.

Typical, if you don't like the message shoot the messenger. You say: "Their assessments have absolutely zero credibility because their subjects have been born into and grown up within a criminalized system where they could have had no exposure to an ethical society." That's a completely nonsensical remark. This is from the article:

Participants and measures

We used two large-scale U.K. data sets to test our hypothesized mediation model: the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) and the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS). In the NCDS, all participants (4,267 men and 4,537 women) were born in the same week in March 1958; in the BCS, all participants (3,412 men and 3,658 women) were born in the same week in April 1970. Cognitive abilities were assessed with standardized measures when NCDS participants were 11 years old and BCS participants were 10 years old, and socially conservative ideology and racism were assessed at ages 33 and 30, respectively. In both studies, thousands of men and women completed relevant measures; both data sets are regarded as excellent sources of representative data (see Deary et al., 2008).

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mdhess
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Apr. 9, 2010 11:43 pm

When the messenger, in this case psychology, is a fraud then it deserves to get shot. All of the test subjects have grown up in a system in which the main, most powerful role models, that being the government, are warmongering mass murderers and criminals of every stripe. Those kind of incompetant rulers have systemically denigrated every support system within the bastardized society so right away you know that all the subliminal messages on how to act towards others are going to be biased. That kills the study. If the subjects were exposed to an ethical society then their minds would not be distorted by the time they were teenagers and their choices would reflect empathy towards other beings because that trait is predominant in humans. In short, gravitating toward power models is a learned trait and not an indicator of intelligence quotient.

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jmacneil
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Mar. 6, 2012 7:24 pm

Hodson and Busseri based their article of the lefty theory of conservatism on, “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition” (by professors John Jost, Jack Glaser, Arie Kruglanski and Frank Sulloway). What does “motivated social cognition” mean? It means that, in setting out to construct a theory of political conservatism, our cadre of decidedly non-conservative academics start with the thesis that conservatives are unprincipled. We are presumed to be motivated by psychological traits that directly dispose us to embrace certain conclusions. Silly us, believing that we proceed on the basis of practical and moral understanding, developed by following reason and evidence. The four professors know better. Conservatives have psychological itches that their conservative political positions scratch.

The professors believe that everyone for the most part thinks backwards in this way. Instead of following reason and evidence, everyone is predisposed towards those conclusions that fulfill their “psychological needs.” All are presumed to start with their preferred conclusions instead of arriving at conclusions by following reason and evidence.

Instead of aiming to arrive at a particular conclusion, non-directional thinking aims to arrive at a particular psychological state, such as “closure.” In contrast, a person who is thinking frontwards, following reason and evidence, arrives at closure, not because he wants to, but if and only if reason and evidence allow a particular conclusion to be drawn. Their summary position is that evidence has “a rationalizing or legitimizing role in the construction and preservation of ideological belief systems” in the sense of “providing support for prior beliefs.” That is, evidence is presumed to be drawn on primarily to facilitate backwards thinking. At the same time, reason is dismissed as “cold cognition,” while “ideology is the quintessential example of hot cognition…” No need to consider reason on such an obviously knee-jerk matter as how to run the country! This is the distinction between reasonableness and demogoguary. People don’t follow reason and evidence to the development of principled understanding, they just embrace whatever conclusions scratch their psychological itches and think backwards from there.

Applied to conservatives, the assumption that people are driven by psychological needs rather than principled understanding is unwarranted. As a statement that liberals make about themselves, however, it is important. First, it has an obvious explanatory power. If there is no process of understanding at work, one can begin to see how liberty haters might be able think of themselves as liberal. Second, the presumption that people are not principled squares with what the researchers reveal about themselves through their list of conservative psychological traits. They, and the other left-academics they draw on, show themselves to be squeamish about the whole idea of principles.

Their charges of dogmatism, intolerance of ambiguity, uncertainty avoidance and need for cognitive closure are meant to brand conservatives as “simple minded,”. is preposturous. Conservatives tolerance for inequality, which, finally, is a correct observation, since as James Madison noted in Federalist 10, liberty unavoidably creates inequality, from which it immediately follows that love of liberty requires toleration of inequality

This theory is utterly revealing, not about conservatism, but about the liberty hating “liberalism” that liberals subscribe to and see as opposed to conservatism meaning that conservatives can come to conclusions, (gasp!). Liberals are unable or unwilling to move forward in their understanding of right and sense.Of course no one can actually be non-judgmental, or a moral relativist, but it is perfectly possible to be unprincipled in one’s judgments, and this is what moral skepticism leads to.

Here is an example of libersl backwards reasoning when a pair of interlocutors raise the possibility that conservatives may prefer simple solutions, because they are simple minded, not because conservative understanding leads to simple solutions, such as limited government. This is what rejection of judgment/closure will do for you. The key is never to think straight. Always think backwards, looking for how best to arrive at the conclusions you want to arrive at, without ever being aware that there is an alternative process of thinking frontwards that you are violating. Then you can dissemble with a clear conscience. You can lie, without evening knowing it , about the basic logic fallacy of their own logic.

Not all liberals are unprincipled demogogues, but the trend in public education ,K-12 and beyond, is obviously toward the rejection of principle.Politically correct “multi-culturalism” is squarely based on rejection of the possibility of moral judgment and this seems to have created the general thrust of liberal moral thinking at large.

As to race,the problem of race is how, in the face of different average tendencies between the different races, to achieve a society in which people are treated as individuals.liberals cannot even recognize that this is the issue. Their backwards thinking has already prompted them to spurn consideration of individual differences because these differences raise the prospect of racial differences. Where frontwards thinking seeks how to bring out individual information (maximally achieved by liberty) clueless liberals charge off on a crusade for group rights, embracing literal racism in the name of anti-racism and using it to attack liberty, the actual answer to problems of race. liberals are certainly complex, just as they proclaim. The liberal assumption all human cognitive differences are “socially constructed,” not based on evidence, but simply because such a view is uncongenial to racist ideas is typical of liberal backwards thinking.

bullwinkle
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Dec. 28, 2011 2:31 pm

Bull may be surprised to find that I am not ready to embrace the psychology studies as evidence of the inherent immorality of conservatives and essential goodness of liberals. However, he will not be surprised to find me rejecting his characterization of liberalism as hogwash. What I think his argument does illustrate is our ability to see the sins of the other in terms of our own projection rather than to find an analysis that helps us parse what is going on and how to come out sane, healthy, 'happy' and productive.

For a better example, I look to the work of Chris Hedges whose exposure of the Liberalism's inadequacies and blind spots equals his indictment of the imperialism and moralism of the Wall St./Religious Right Southern Strategy Republicons who carry the label of 'conservative.' In Britain, that lable was worn proudly by the Thatcher. I think both she and Reagan headed a reactionary nastiness that ought to have embarassed true conservatives, but I have seen no outrage or protest from them. Why?

Tragically, all I hear from the Bull is the old "nanny state" crap that the Thatcher/Reagan bs made popular. It was a sales job for the bully state of bosses and masters over serfs, and the war on government by those who wanted authoritarianism for their military adventures and 'tunes of glory' was about the disempowerment of democracy. My own politics and philosophy are small "d" democrat and basic human values of compassion and sharing and caring over the individualized "freedom" of libertarian utopianism. Beyond being a pipe dream, it is a vacuum filled by predators.

I do think that the ideological appeal of "conservativism" is a romanticized past and disappointment or loss of something more imagined than real. Criticizing "pluralism" under the silly charge of "relativism" is typical of those who want to ignore what racism and exceptionalism have been about. One does not have to embrace everyone who has taken up the mantle of change as a saint to see that working out living in a world that is new to us requires considerable self-examination as well as openess.

I don't think anyone manages change. I think we respond to it or we react against it. I have lots of problems with liberalism, particularly its belief that education can change minds on issues without dealing with deep narratives and identity. If this is what the critics of 'kumbaya' object to, fine with me. But, the idea that America is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in human history and has been a force for good also needs to be kicked hard in the ass. We can be who we are, but not who we want to be instead. If we get real, we will find others who will welcome it. If not, we will continue to be the latest "evil empire" and self-chosen people of destiny.

I don't need a shrink study to tell me that "conservativism" has been a brand to attract reactionaries and regressive development. The Southern Strategy in American politics has been rife with racism, sexism and homophobia wrapped in piety, patriotism and "exceptionalism." If the liberals have been weak and inadequate, the conservatives have been filled with passionate intensity as befits their status as the worst.

There are plenty of insightful and open critics of liberalism and the idea of "progress" here from the Left, and we do not need to have tired labeling from the Right or from some purported 'independent' perspective where "cons" get a pass. I am not amused by the Ron Paul fans who ignore which political party their guy pals around with.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Ah, where would conservatives be if we did not have liberals to label us! How thoughtful. It's comforting to know that when progressives are not throwing bricks through windows, beating up a "scab" or taking a dump on a cop car they are here to "help" conservatives. Thanks so much guys.This study was not the least bit arrogant or elitist now was it? I'm sure the findings were a total shock to the "scientists." I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that as progressives, you do not want any conservative amateur psycologists to give you a free group assesment? Am I right?

So what's next? Treat us or send us off to camps?

Peace out friends.

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am

The naturalistic fallacy is the leap from is to ought. The belief that that which is natural is good. The fallacy in the assumption that the differnce in peoples race, abilities and desiresis reason they ought to be treated unequally.

The opposite of that premise is a moralistic fallacy. The leap from ought to is. That people ought to be treated eaqually because there is no difference in them, is also a fallacy.

These logical fallacies come from the evolutionary psychologist, Satoshi Kanazawa.in his article "Two logical fallacies the we must avoid."

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200810/two-logical-fallacies-we-must-avoid

"If what I say offends you, it is your problem", Kanazawa. I like rthat,

bullwinkle
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Dec. 28, 2011 2:31 pm

rigel, if you did not come here and put stupidity in your own words, we would not impute it to you. You simply confirm what studies like this put forth, and I can criticize the studies and their approach to science without having to ignore the evidence you provide first hand. I really would like to find thoughtful opinion from Right here more often. Every so often, we get someone who does engage in real conversation instead of thinking they are educating liberals here. This is not a site for that purpose as another thread says clearly. If you want to engage in real conversation and bring substance to your rhetoric, welcome. Otherwise, don't complain that we are not interested in childish taunts and stupidity from the Right. We get enough of it on TV from the candidates who bear your brand.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote jmacneil:

When the messenger, in this case psychology, is a fraud then it deserves to get shot. All of the test subjects have grown up in a system in which the main, most powerful role models, that being the government, are warmongering mass murderers and criminals of every stripe. Those kind of incompetant rulers have systemically denigrated every support system within the bastardized society so right away you know that all the subliminal messages on how to act towards others are going to be biased. That kills the study. If the subjects were exposed to an ethical society then their minds would not be distorted by the time they were teenagers and their choices would reflect empathy towards other beings because that trait is predominant in humans. In short, gravitating toward power models is a learned trait and not an indicator of intelligence quotient.

However, the test subjects rely on the government to survive...so explain to me how that is not insanity?

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Liberal and Proud
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Mar. 12, 2012 5:32 pm

Your question lacks clarity. Please expound.

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jmacneil
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I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that as progressives, you do not want any conservative amateur psycologists to give you a free group assesment? Am I right?
Au contraire. We have the professional psychologists. Naturally, you have the amateurs. Go ahead. Lay it on us.

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Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

rigel, Liberals frequently resort to demonization of those who oppose any of their victomhood causes. Liberal intolerance is simply a reflection of the ordinary weakness of human nature and theor goal is to silence those whose opinions differ too widely from their own. Liberals are drawn into intolerance by their belief that progress moves according to a rational, discernible purpose, in the direction of a gradual improvement of the human condition, understood especially as an ever-increasing equlity.

Liberals are prone to intolerance because some of their most cherished political and cultural aspirations are at odds with deeply-rooted moral convictions of the American society they want to reform. For example, liberals insist that homosexual relationships are morally equivalent to heterosexual ones, to the extent that the former should not only be tolerated but must be legally affirmed as the same thing as heterosexual marriage. Similarly, liberals hold that racially discriminatory policies are justifiable depending on which persons they advantage. This is why liberals have to resort to hysterical denunciation of those who challenge such ideas, precisely in order to stop a debate they know they cannot win.

Liberals are intolerant because they tend to be secular, and as a result are less able to respect the dignity of the individual. As a result, while liberals may perfectly sincere in their desire to do good to humanity, they have no very strong appreciation for the worth of the individual as an individual. Everything is supposed to be for the good of the community. Therefore, we often find liberals seeking to advance the cause of social justice, as they want it, by doing injustice to individuals. If anyone should speak in opposition ,say about something Obama did, they are immediately deemed racist.

If one happens to be a Republican or a libertarian here among liberal Democrats you have undoubtedly been visited with the a full dose of their liberal contempt. They do not believe in free markets, free trade, free speech, and the free and open exchange of ideas.

bullwinkle
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Dec. 28, 2011 2:31 pm

From above: Therefore, we often find liberals seeking to advance the cause of social justice, as they want it, by doing injustice to individuals.

poly replies: By the same token, conservatives tend to promote the rights of individuals to foist social injustice on millions...even billions. That goes all the way back to absolute monarchies, doesn't it?. The owner of everything could do as he pleased with it regardless of the social cost..

The divine right of kings was questioned. The divine right of money/ownership remains. Just different players..Freedom to destroy remains intact. Challenges to it are called infringements on individual liberty.

It took a pretty long time before even the "right to pollute" drinking water was challenged. We began questioning the liberty individuals had to do that after an Ohio river caught fire.

Perhaps if we had done a bit of injustice to banksters by restricting how they could make their money, tens of millions wouldn't be unemployed.

At one time, the "divine right of ownership" in some societies was restricted to personal possessions. Ownership couldn't be utilized to impoverish your neighbor, extract a portion of what he produced with his own labor as profit, or extract rents. The liberty of a few to do that was replaced by the liberty of everyone being free from it. Different world view. Different paradigms on what was ethical and just and what wasn't.

Those cultures and how they functioned are pretty absent from history books...other than as brief footnotes. I find that strange considering many of them were on the American Continent. The Iroquois Confederation comes to mind.

Conservatives would probably consider the Iroquois democracy to be an absolute tyrranny. We'll do well if our own limited democracy lasts as many centuries as their democracy did.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I can't let this one pass by. How many people on this site have Ph.D.s in psychology? As far as I know, I am the only one, and my Ph. D. is in Social Psychology no less, the same specialty as the authors of this article.

jmacneil, I don't know who abused you as a child, but there is something seriously wrong with your perspective, as well as the nonsensical sentences you write. What makes you an expert regarding psychology? As a matter of fact, psychologists work harder, in my experience, to perform objective and valid research than members of most scientific disciplines. Psychology has an extremely wide and sophisticated range of research techniques compared to other disciplines, and extremely sophisticated statistical analyses compared to other disciplines. Broad criticisms of psychology and psychologists are one of my push button issues which anger me, not only because of my own but my family's involvement in psychological professions, combined with my knowledge of psychology's larger role in society.

Bullwinkle mentions that psychologists are mostly progressives and in this study, found evidence of motivated social cognition among conservatives, which he argues, proves the unprincipled motivations of the researchers who he says are claiming that conservatives are unprincipled. Actually, motivated social cognition is an unfortunately common finding in social psychology. It doesn't always have anything to do with politics or the liberal-conservative continuum, but in this case, it does seem to. The findings are what they are, assuming that they weren't faked, and frankly, it does make sense to me that conservatives have social and pocketbook motivations for their belief systems which transcend rationality. It is true that the great majority of social scientists are liberals. Now, why is that? I would say that is because we get a good dose of reality therapy during our educations.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Bull, in your attempt to offer comfort to your ally, rigel, you expose yourself on a number of fronts. Let me deal with two of them here, but what you project onto liberals is in your fantasy zone and has little or nothing to do with what we actually believe or talk about in our posts on Thom's site. You might try reading what we do think and believe so you can debate with real people instead of against your own convenient and ignorant projections.

The first point is our belief that gay and lesbian human beings are equal to straight human beings and entitled to the same civil rights. You seem to feel that this is merely a difference of opinion and not a matter of fact v. prejudice. You are wrong.

The second point is your idea that we are "secular" and must therefor have no real appreciation for human dignity or the value of an individual. I have heard this theological canard for a long time, and when I look at how Conservative churches treat individuals and the demands of cult orthodoxy, I shake my head in amazement at how Paul hit it on the head when he told the Roman congregation that they were guilty of that which they judged in others.

First point: The purported 'biblical case" for homosexuality as sin falls apart when the texts are read closely and the argument being made by Paul in Romans is examined. The other texts are even less to the point and lack what is needed to have moral weight because they are either ambiguous about what was being condemned or archaic as with the Holiness Code in Leviticus. I think there is better biblical ground for the old racists and certainly more that allows women to be treated as second class members of the congregation. Both racism and sexism have been rejected by Bible believing Christians in our age. We do recognize that the meaning of texts has to be interpreted in the context of the larger Gospel; and that the Word cannot conflict with Love/Justice or Truth and be correctly understood. Nonetheless, it is hard to change minds made up, and generational change requires the passing of a generation. There are still a lot of people who believe sincerely that God does not approve of gays. Sincerity is not enough, and it is part of the reason for the Crucifixion story as we continue to tell God what He/She can accept as true and human.

All the "reasons" advanced to support this bad Bible theology have fallen apart upon examination. Were there truth in the anti-gay religious thinking, we would expect to find some secular confirmation of that religious insight. Instead, we keep finding all the ideas to be empty, groundless and more about those who hold them than about the subjects of their projection. The final touchstone is the irony that Marriage Equality is being treated as an attack on traditional marriage AFTER a long perioid where the reason given for condemning homosexuality was supposed to be that it was an immature sexual development marked by promiscuity and the inability to sustain long-term committed relationships.

What all this means is that the acceptance of gay and lesbian equality to heterosexual orientation and their right to full and equal civil rights is fact based, not just ideological opinions of difference. All that heterosexist poop from the "family values" crowd is prejudice and anti-scientific as well as in conflict with sound biblical interpretation. It is just as bad as the old belief in the mark of Cain or that women need to be subject to their patriarchal superior. Conservatives need to do some serious house cleaning to regain a position of intellectual and moral integrity where we can differ on interpretation of facts.

The smug piety of the religious also leads to silly accusations about "secularism" and some loss of human value to those who do not rely upon theism and an Imago Dei story to see individuality and dignity as something other than material utility. Had you read the atheism threads common here in the recent past, you might have discovered many who have good cases to make against religious trivialization of "the human" and whose own moral vision about human life is clearly admirable and ethically vibrant. My own theological dispute with "atheists" is not about any necessity of having a God belief to have a high vision of human life or reverence for our connection with a world of deep moral consequence. I see too many idiots with religion cards saying the worst things about human beings and bearing no responsibility for the care of creation to allow that.

It is very convenient for you to dismiss liberal secularists with the "revisionist" or "materialist" memes repeated by the God sellers. I have been around this dogma for a long time, and I can't help rolling my eyes and asking "how long o God, how long?" When cons say that liberals are banishing God from the Public Square, I have to ask them "how powerful do you think we are?" We can actually tell the Omnipotent One to take a hike? Of course what religious freedom and the unbranded zone of unestablished religion means is that the secular Public Square is brand and dogma free, not that Truth and Love/Justice is absent. The challenge for the religious is to get the case down to earth and to make it in evidence available to other citizens of different or no religious beliefs. If you can't do that, keep it in church and stop the war on conscience.

Not only is this not a constraint on good preaching and evangelism, it requires people of religion to examine their own theology to do what they ought to be doing in church. For the "new light" of the Word to be revealed by the Holy Spirit, we have to be letting old beliefs be put to the test by God. How else does God tell us that our beliefs about slavery or women were wrong? I think the same process needs to be going on in churches about the sin of homophobia and the collective insistence that God cannot accept gays if it upsets our feelings and beliefs. Check out Romans 2 for the eternal struggle of the Holy Spirit to get through to believers.

Beyond our internal need to update through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, engaging in the religious freedom of the Public Square keeps the churches free from the orthodoxy of an established religion of the State. Being required to enter on equal terms with others is not a war on religion or some oppression of believers. It really jmeans that the state is not doing the work of the church, but is not allowing the church to do the work of the state. Make the case for peace and justice instead of war and greed. Or, try to make the case for war and greed if that is where you really are coming from. I think Truth is big enough to handle our dogmas. Ideologies will not compete well where we really have free speech, free minds and free consciences.

The idea that you guys are the freedom lovers and we just want to impose the collective is untrue. We believe that freedom must be for all. I go with Paul in believing that freedom must be bound in love/justice mutuality or it will lead us to "devour one another," but I find that a position strangely absent from my religionist conservative 'opponents.' If any side has been guilty of mass and group think, it has been the warmongering Right where criticizing America is disloyalty instead of loyal opposition. Wrapping yourselves in the flag and waving the cross around has not made you people of faith and deep patriotism, and as a brand it sucks in theological and secular analysis.

You say other dumb things about your strawman images, but this will suffice for now. You yourself have said it. I don't need to create my own targets to shoot at. I wish I had something worth a good discussion rather than just a refutation.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The very fact that someone claiming to be a professional in the field would give a psychological assessment of another being based on a few paragraphs on an internet forum exactly illustrates the phoniness of "psychological science". While whoever raised me and whether or not their treatment of me really constitutes abuse is a subject for another day, however I can say here that for more than the last decade I have been systematically tortured by a joint effort of the U.S. and Canadian governments and that torture, ongoing as I write this, has included poisonings, infections, bone breaking physical assaults and all manner of intrusive interference, such as sleep deprivation, in an attempt to break me. But all that does is make me more resloute.

Disregarding the fact that the professional field of which we are talking can only attract third rate intelligences which could'nt excel in real science, it must be noted that psychology is a field in which no rigorous experimentation could ever prove the thesis expostulated. So long as the ability to literally interact with another being's mind is not an option for the "psychologists" then all they can ever hope to be are behaviorists and to describe themselves as anything other than that is where the fraud comes in. When Albert Einstein was asked of the merit of the new profession of "psychology" he replied that he could see no benefit in it. The only reason that the phony profession of "psychology" is in use today is because it was picked up by the "owners" of the world as a tool that could be used in controlling the masses. Going back to the founding of the faux profession it is glaringly apparent that both Freud and Jung were nothing but ordinary intelligences and their simplistic works would hardly have seen the light of day if they didn't have a public shouting match to prove who was the greater idiot. That same type of fool's attention diverting "show" is still evidently much in use as is proved by the goof's who are currently running for U.S. president. Maybe you "psychologists" should be offering profiles of those half-wits as their intellects seem to be more in line with the mores of the profession.

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jmacneil
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Mar. 6, 2012 7:24 pm

That said and noted, there are some humble and honest explorers of the human mind and its workings who have helped us appreciate the mystery and complexity involved. I would feel worse about Freud and Jung were it not for the social scientists who made "eugenics" the hallmark of late 19th Century science, much less the "economists" who gave us Wall St. and Greedspan as educated fools.

I affirm your struggle against ideologica therapists jmac, and I know much about which you speak. Nonetheless, there are some in the field who fight against the dogmatists and you would not want to have the religionists and sociologists running the wards either.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote bullwinkle:

Hodson and Busseri based their article of the lefty theory of conservatism on, “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition” (by professors John Jost, Jack Glaser, Arie Kruglanski and Frank Sulloway). What does “motivated social cognition” mean? It means that, in setting out to construct a theory of political conservatism, our cadre of decidedly non-conservative academics start with the thesis that conservatives are unprincipled. We are presumed to be motivated by psychological traits that directly dispose us to embrace certain conclusions. Silly us, believing that we proceed on the basis of practical and moral understanding, developed by following reason and evidence. The four professors know better. Conservatives have psychological itches that their conservative political positions scratch.

The professors believe that everyone for the most part thinks backwards in this way. Instead of following reason and evidence, everyone is predisposed towards those conclusions that fulfill their “psychological needs.” All are presumed to start with their preferred conclusions instead of arriving at conclusions by following reason and evidence.

Instead of aiming to arrive at a particular conclusion, non-directional thinking aims to arrive at a particular psychological state, such as “closure.” In contrast, a person who is thinking frontwards, following reason and evidence, arrives at closure, not because he wants to, but if and only if reason and evidence allow a particular conclusion to be drawn. Their summary position is that evidence has “a rationalizing or legitimizing role in the construction and preservation of ideological belief systems” in the sense of “providing support for prior beliefs.” That is, evidence is presumed to be drawn on primarily to facilitate backwards thinking. At the same time, reason is dismissed as “cold cognition,” while “ideology is the quintessential example of hot cognition…” No need to consider reason on such an obviously knee-jerk matter as how to run the country! This is the distinction between reasonableness and demogoguary. People don’t follow reason and evidence to the development of principled understanding, they just embrace whatever conclusions scratch their psychological itches and think backwards from there.

Applied to conservatives, the assumption that people are driven by psychological needs rather than principled understanding is unwarranted. As a statement that liberals make about themselves, however, it is important. First, it has an obvious explanatory power. If there is no process of understanding at work, one can begin to see how liberty haters might be able think of themselves as liberal. Second, the presumption that people are not principled squares with what the researchers reveal about themselves through their list of conservative psychological traits. They, and the other left-academics they draw on, show themselves to be squeamish about the whole idea of principles.

Their charges of dogmatism, intolerance of ambiguity, uncertainty avoidance and need for cognitive closure are meant to brand conservatives as “simple minded,”. is preposturous. Conservatives tolerance for inequality, which, finally, is a correct observation, since as James Madison noted in Federalist 10, liberty unavoidably creates inequality, from which it immediately follows that love of liberty requires toleration of inequality

This theory is utterly revealing, not about conservatism, but about the liberty hating “liberalism” that liberals subscribe to and see as opposed to conservatism meaning that conservatives can come to conclusions, (gasp!). Liberals are unable or unwilling to move forward in their understanding of right and sense.Of course no one can actually be non-judgmental, or a moral relativist, but it is perfectly possible to be unprincipled in one’s judgments, and this is what moral skepticism leads to.

Here is an example of libersl backwards reasoning when a pair of interlocutors raise the possibility that conservatives may prefer simple solutions, because they are simple minded, not because conservative understanding leads to simple solutions, such as limited government. This is what rejection of judgment/closure will do for you. The key is never to think straight. Always think backwards, looking for how best to arrive at the conclusions you want to arrive at, without ever being aware that there is an alternative process of thinking frontwards that you are violating. Then you can dissemble with a clear conscience. You can lie, without evening knowing it , about the basic logic fallacy of their own logic.

Not all liberals are unprincipled demogogues, but the trend in public education ,K-12 and beyond, is obviously toward the rejection of principle.Politically correct “multi-culturalism” is squarely based on rejection of the possibility of moral judgment and this seems to have created the general thrust of liberal moral thinking at large.

As to race,the problem of race is how, in the face of different average tendencies between the different races, to achieve a society in which people are treated as individuals.liberals cannot even recognize that this is the issue. Their backwards thinking has already prompted them to spurn consideration of individual differences because these differences raise the prospect of racial differences. Where frontwards thinking seeks how to bring out individual information (maximally achieved by liberty) clueless liberals charge off on a crusade for group rights, embracing literal racism in the name of anti-racism and using it to attack liberty, the actual answer to problems of race. liberals are certainly complex, just as they proclaim. The liberal assumption all human cognitive differences are “socially constructed,” not based on evidence, but simply because such a view is uncongenial to racist ideas is typical of liberal backwards thinking.

Ah, the conserviative "logic" that the white man is superior and as such should rule. That not every one is created "equal" and that some should know their place.

Heard it all before, seen it in action. It truly lacks any type of economic growth and true human spirit of raising this nation to the high level we were BEFORE this philosophy destroyed our nation.

Liberal and Proud's picture
Liberal and Proud
Joined:
Mar. 12, 2012 5:32 pm
Quote jmacneil:

Your question lacks clarity. Please expound.

Sorry.

A Strong percentage of southern Americans are on some form of government assistance.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2004/09/red_states_feed.html

The report shows that of the 32 states (and the District of Columbia) that are "winners" -- receiving more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 76% are Red States that voted for George Bush in 2000. Indeed, 17 of the 20 (85%) states receiving the most federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Red States. Here are the Top 10 states that feed at the federal trough (with Red States highlighted in bold):

States Receiving Most in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

1. D.C. ($6.17)
2. North Dakota ($2.03)
3. New Mexico ($1.89)
4. Mississippi ($1.84)
5. Alaska ($1.82)
6. West Virginia ($1.74)
7. Montana ($1.64)
8. Alabama ($1.61)
9. South Dakota ($1.59)
10. Arkansas ($1.53)

In contrast, of the 16 states that are "losers" -- receiving less in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 69% are Blue States that voted for Al Gore in 2000. Indeed, 11 of the 14 (79%) of the states receiving the least federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Blue States. Here are the Top 10 states that supply feed for the federal trough (with Blue States highlighted in bold):

States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

1. New Jersey ($0.62)
2. Connecticut ($0.64)
3. New Hampshire ($0.68)
4. Nevada ($0.73)
5. Illinois ($0.77)
6. Minnesota ($0.77)
7. Colorado ($0.79)
8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
9. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)

Two states -- Florida and Oregon (coincidentally, the two closest states in the 2000 Presidential election) -- received $1.00 in federal spending for each $1.00 in federal taxes paid.

It is amazing to me that the states that live highest off government handouts are the very ones cheering on the party telling them to give up those handouts.

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Liberal and Proud
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Mar. 12, 2012 5:32 pm

The shame of having to accept charity makes self-hatred become projection onto their benefactors of the blame for the shame. It's all about gubamint and taxes.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

It is not to be questioned that many honest people are in the profession and I don't mean to denigrate them or the need for behaviorists in general. People are a product of their upbringing and the corporate government controls most of the propaganda aparatus so young people, especially, can't be expected to be able to discern all that is true. The "Big Lie" is part of the government's psychological program for controlling what the masses think about and it extends to all facets of society. Using psychology is just one tool in a sack of lies that is as deep as Santa's toy sack and it ranges from the seemingly innocuous Santa Claus to the disturbingly religious "Big Bang" cartoon.

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jmacneil
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Mar. 6, 2012 7:24 pm

jmacneil, I was obviously being flippant with my comment about your background, but something obviously has caused you to hypergeneralize about psychologists in the most damaging and misleading way that I could imagine. Are you saying that all of the liberal, military-industrial complex hating, psychologists who trained me, as well as myself, are actually propagandists involved in some nefarioius world-domination conspiracy of the rich? Nothing could be more ludicrous, not to mention your putdowns of the intellects of psychologists. I figured that you were a conservative from your hatred of psychologists, but after reading more of your posts, I do not know what to think. Perhaps you are progressive suffering some major misconceptions and a strong tendency to overgeneralize. I find that it is you who has jumped to unwarranted conclusions, although your most recent post is more moderate. For your information, I teach at a community college and am not paid much, and this is typical of the large majority of social scientists -- being a teacher and/or researcher afffiliated with a college or university. I don't know who these psychologists you report as abusing you are, but they have absolutely nothing to do with the profession that I know.

DRC, are you saying you actually agree with jmacneil? I certainly expected better of you and thought you knew better! But I have noticed that it's easy and popular on this site -- even among progressives -- to cast aspersions for wahtever reasons, at what is probably the world's most liberal profession, social scientists. I guess that is easy to do from the safety of a position as a liberal pastor and spiritual leader.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Bullwinkle doesn't seem to like the abolitionists such as Fredrick Douglas who thought that slavery was victimization. Jews who suffered from having relatives killed by the Nazis in concentration camps and elsewhere in Europe who needed help in overcoming this historical tragedy must be just another fake outlet for victimization. Let me mention that some of my Jewish relatives in good old Germany simply disappeared under Hitler's regime. My family resents right wing bigots making false statements about victimization. Your beliefs are based on resentment rather than on reality.

Product liability lawyers can give information about commercial products which caused harm or damage to consumers. In some cases, the manufacturer knew of the potential harm when they put the product on the market; in other cases, they find out about the problem after it has been on the market for a while, and issue a recall.

The conservative mindset appears to be not only a matter of intellectual dysfunction but of being reactionary, in the sense of basing one's response on pure emotion. I once read a book while in a college bookstore which if I remember tried to analyze and discover why people joined the John Birch Society. The author investigated the background of members of this organization, but was unable to find any unmistakable element that the Birchers had in common earlier on in their lives. There is much that is not known about cognitive development, because it is obvious that our educational system often fails to produce optimum or even positive outcomes. The lack of morality in the schools is not complete the fault of teachers or authors or curriculum developers. It is not the result of liberal views but is more complicated than that simplistic assertion suggests. Society has decided that parents should have the bulk of the responsibility when it comes to teaching right from wrong.

Natural Lefty, when you say that social scientists are the most liberal of all academics, perhaps there are research studies that poll professors in different disciplines on their political views and compare their responses. If not, then you may want to consider that economists are also social scientists and are not known as being especially liberal. Charles Murray is some kind of social scientist and is a conservative. The academic enterprise may have many enlighened, progressive-minded faculty members among its ranks, and one recent study I remember found that natural scientists trended overwhelmingly Democratic. But even though higher education opens doors to careers for many people, it is also an elitist institution in the sense that it turns out expensive professionals such as doctors, dentists, and lawyers, whose services many cannot afford without some kind of assistance. Those who lack the academic and scholarly abiltity to be successful in college may go straight to work after high school or may stick to some form of vocational training that is less pretigious than white collar work. Now, we have some college graduates who paid their dues but could not find a job. The managers of the economy themselves were trained at universities. Regarding therapy, one study found that professors with no training or degrees in psychology were rated just as highly or higher by "clients" who received counseling in a research study than were those who were actual licensed therapists. Surveys have shown that a majority of therapists do not base their therapy on empirical research studies in psychology or mental health treatment. That has been my impression when I have seen mental health personnel. One study found that social scientists were more likely to hold onto their beliefs even if they had been challenged with new information than were physical scientists. The social scientists were seen as being more subjective than were the physical scientists. That study may be misleading and even inaccurate, but I am not sure that empirical research can solve all problems in human relations. There is just too much potential for conflict, and the subjective nature of human beings makes it difficult to quantify values. Even when good reseach exists, elected officlals are either too poorly educated or too right-wing to try and base their decisions on some kind of evidence.

Whether the fake accusation is being made that liberals are soft on defense or that they are unpatriotric, the whole approach is to sweep actual problems and possible solutions under the rug and substitute hate-mongering in their place.

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Robindell
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Robindell, I actually did one of my empirical blog posts about the political views of academics, probably about 3 years ago. The studies I found showed that academics in general tend to be extremely liberal, probably due to education's effects, or liberals being smarter in the first place as the study mentioned in this post suggests. However, there were differences. I was overgeneralizing here. Social scientists were more liberal than other scientists, except that economists, tragically, were about the same as the general population, neither more liberal nor more conservative. Apparently, the free-market propaganda economists had been fed, had influenced their views, although at least, economists as a whole, are not particularly conservative.

Social science does deal more with the subjective than the physical or biological sciences, for sure. That is why social scientists have to try harder to develop valid, objective research techniques than do other types of scientists. Perhaps the subjectivity issue has something to do with social scientists being more resistant to correcting their views. The study about untrained versus trained therapists, or therapists disregarding their training, is unfamiliar to me. I have seen contrary meta-analyses in my textbooks, studies which summarize hundreds of other studies, and find that trained therapists do better than amateurs, who in turn, do better than no therapy at all. By the way, I forgot to mention that the other major category of psychologists aside from academics, are of course, clinical psychologists with their own practices, so whomever jmacneil was talking about are a very small minority of psychologists. The meta-analyses are perhaps based on hundreds of studies which have their own pro-therapist bias, but that seems unlikely. On the other hand, therapy studies find that the type of therapy doesn't matter that much, which leads me to believe that it is the skills of therapists at forming helping relationships, which really makes a difference.

That's an excellent point about the tragedy of politicians obfuscating things and not basing their policies on scientific research.

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Janjer1: It's not only 'a little moronic,' but someone who claims they can deliver 2.50 gal gas while also bombing Iran is an oxymoron

mollyeeeee
Joined:
Nov. 20, 2010 12:38 pm

It might be interesting to find out who/what organization funded the research. I find the idea that conservatives are naturally dumber than liberals a bit uncomfortable to live with, as enjoyable as it may be to do so at first. Remember The Bell Curve's assertion that some races are genetically inferior to others? "Nearly all the research that Murray and Herrnstein relied on for their central claims about race and IQ was funded by the Pioneer Fund, described by the London Sunday Telegraph (3/12/89) as a 'neo-Nazi organization closely integrated with the far right in American politics.' The fund's mission is to promote eugenics, a philosophy that maintains that 'genetically unfit' individuals or races are a threat to society." http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1271

Nearly all the conservatives I've known have been highly intelligent, sorry to say. I know my sampling doesn't represent a fair balance of subjects, but, if the study has any validity to it, what explains my sampling? I'm talking Phds and the like—college educated and perfectly capable of "abstract reasoning."

I didn't read the article with a great deal of attention to detail. Perhaps they took their sampling from among beer-guzzling couch-potato Republicans? It would matter, right?

Anyway, I think it's healthy to question this stuff. Do we really want to start dismissing people from this group as less intelligent than the average bear? Sounds like a recipe for prejudice in itself. I mean, wouldn't that piss you off, if a few social psychologists did some studies and determined that liberals tend to be less intelligent? Just wondering.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Yes, it does sound like a recipe for prejudice, in fact, Zenzoe. That's a really good point. I think the study was done in England and the participants were English, so that could make a difference. I have seen this same study I think in a couple of places recently. I don't know who funded the study, if anyone. But we cannot dismiss that it might be true that one political orientation might not be wired quite as well brain-wise as the other. Actually, it is much more likely that being conservative causes people to be less intellectually inclined, rather than anything "natural."

I remember "The Bell Curve" well, and all of its related controversy. It's a good thing that Barack Obama paid no attention to that nonsense. IQ and its relation to our various mental abilities is a very complex issue, so it is all too easy to overgeneralize about it. I have met some very intelligent conservatives too, but "intelligence" doesn't really mean that a person is all that well endowed with other cognitive abilities.

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

However uncomfortable this idea may seem the evidence seems to kind of smack you right in the face. Conservatives rail against "ivory tower" elitist intellectuals as though "book learnin' " was some sort of evil but really its pretty obvious that this particular theme stems from jealousy over the fact that higher education more often leads to liberalized thought than conservativism. Conservatives want to think that it is the institutions that liberalize people rather than education but they'll never win this battle because its not indoctrination that leads to liberal thinking but knowledge. So they can try to battle with knowledge and truth (as we see with the climate science debate) but because people naturally seek kowledge its always going to be a losing proposition for conservatives.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/03/steele-cites-tolstoy-quotes-dickens-rnc-debate/

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mdhess
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Apr. 9, 2010 11:43 pm

Well then, I suppose I'm agnostic on the subject. Best to keep an open mind about it. I tend, in general, though, not to give a whole lot of weight to theories that grant all the power to genetics, while ignoring the other factors in life that affect personality. (This is one reason I disagree with much of modern psychiatry, as opposed to humanistic psychology, btw, NL, with its emphasis on medication.) Robert Sapolsky, my favorite biology guru, Gabor Maté, and others discuss the notion of genetic predisposition here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36HquPzdxf4  Sapolsky himself points out, in essence, that one might have a predisposition for a certain behavior, but unless certain environmental conditions exist, that gene will not be activated.

My older sister (UCLA) is the president of a large Republican women's organization in the L.A. area. Her husband has a Phd. in some field of engineering. Both conservatives, both intelligent. One Christmas awhile ago, Bob gave my sister a cell phone. This made her so happy, because prior to that she hadn't had permission from him to buy a cell phone for herself. Um, I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty stupid, of both of them. I don't know how my sister came to be so different from me, but I don't think it's her genes. She somehow managed to develop a different world view, somewhere along the way. World view has to be learned, yes? On the other hand, she has always seemed to be more fearful than I about being single and "alone," for example. She tends to be more conformist than I, but who knows how much of that is genetic or caused by life experiences.

If the study in question claims that conservative's lack of certain cognitive abilities results from inherent, genetic deficits, well, I have a problem with that. If they make no such claim, but only say, "This is simply how they are..." then I'm okay with it. Critical thinking has to be learned, for example, yes?

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Mdhess, I agree with you that education tends to make people more liberal/progressive. If you read my first post in this thread, I ended it with the observation that education gives most of us a sort of life therapy which makes people more liberal. Of course, it is not the same for everybody, and the results depend upon the type of education we have, too. I did an empirical blog post about personality traits related to progressivism a few years ago, which found research clearly indicating that progressives are more "open to experience," and that this trait of openness to experience increases as education level increases. How people such as Zenzoe's older sister, her engineer husband or my engineer uncle become so conservative, I don't know, but people vary quite a bit

I think that's exactly where I am regarding psychiatry versus psychology, Zenzoe. Psychiatry has mostly (but not completely) turned into a bunch of pill pushers, as my father's disgusting current dilemma has shown me. His psychiatrist has him on 4 types of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. No wonder he keeps overdosing, although I really don't believe he is suicidal. (He is normally in a good mood but suffers panic attacks sometimes and worries about other people.) I am disgusted with the state of our medical system in general at this time.

I agree about the genetics issue as well. As I explained on the "Is Sharing the Key to an Advanced Society" thread (which strangely has had no female input to this point -- hint -- as far as I can tell), there are 3 interacting influences: Biology, environment, and self-determination. I think I have mentioned that previously at times on this forum as well. This puts genetics as part of one of 3 interacting factors, to put it in perspective. Yes, things such as world view (which is largely cultural) and critical thinking must be learned. Virtually everything about our minds, in fact, is a result of learning, even if it requires certain biological machinery in order for the learning to take place.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I think Hedges has a pretty good take on what I call "academentia" and the technocratic expertise of "liberal" education. I think it has lost much of its core of authentically liberal person-centered, narrative nurturing and curiosity stimulating education. Getting a job and having credentials to be an expert does not do much to increase the intellectual depth of thinking. While education does bring some conservatives into a cognitive dissonance with science, history and fact, it also allows many conservatives to reinforce their own sense of "I made it, so can you" righteousness.

My experience with psychiatrists has been mixed, but beyond the pill pushing I find two problems. The first is diagnostic superiority where their understanding of the problem governs the therapy and the second is resentment against those who resist the first. Few are really able to listen and learn from their patients/clients. Psychology and economics both suffer from a common social scientific issue, namely thinking that it is a science. Science-based arts require a bit more humility as well as imagination to be useful instead of just "expertise" in the technocratic sense.

Those who go into these fields can do so with that humility and do great work as long as they don't let "their thinking" become their power over those who don't understand. Being an expert in theology gets lots of dope-slapping from people who give no credit to the field. It is a healthy dynamic, but it can be a bit frustrating when they think they are the experts instead of just another interested party.

One of the lessons I try to offer to "liberals" is to lose the dogma that education will produce the change they want. It can, but it takes teachers who love their students even when they don't perform well and students who discover that learning keeps on happening instead of gaining badges of authority. Knowledge can be power in the best and worst senses. It is the developing narrative that makes sense of the data, and truth is bigger than the facts.

Anyway, when we think of "the brightest and the best" and the damage they have done, we don't have to become anti-intellectual. We can see how an expanded worldview and having a narrative corrected and refined by interaction with others can open windows on the soul as well as the mind. But, that experience often happens by real contact with people who have no education and few things. Service learning is always reported as more about what the server got back than what they gave. There are people who are mentally challenged who get love and sharing far better than the educated fools.

I think there are cultural and personality factors that make education positive, but also ambiguous, as a way to improve others. I think educators have to love those who don't please them, and the same is true of doctors and therapists. The shrink who wants to cure a client and finds that person resisting their good advice may blame the client and resent the insult to expertise. What a shame.

And Zenzoe, I have no idea why any sister of yours would resist your fine example and be "obedient" to some "man." But, I see it happen and have no clue what to do about it other than to love them anyway. But, don't let them drive you nuts with it either. Peace.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Robin-'The managers of the economy themselves were trained at universities.'

hence, the problems with the economy we see today. High unemployment, stagnant wages, runaway "real" inflation, outsourcing of jobs, worst of all the corporate control of Washington bureaucrats and pols..

Zenzoe-' I mean, wouldn't that piss you off, if a few social psychologists did some studies and determined that liberals tend to be less intelligent?'

Good observation...

mdhess-' So they can try to battle with knowledge and truth (as we see with the climate science debate) but because people naturally seek kowledge its always going to be a losing proposition for conservatives.'

Absurd generalization. Young people (many some still teenagers as I was when stasrting college) are the most easily impressionable. Academia is rife with left leaning and liberal thinking instructors because they cannot get a job in the real world. It gives young people a different exposure as compared to what most grew up experiencing.

Zenzoe, I hope your sister and her husband are comfortable in their life situation and their relationship. I don't think if both people are in a happy and loving relationship that one necessarily considers it to be obiedient to the other or subserviant.

bullwinkle
Joined:
Dec. 28, 2011 2:31 pm

There is something to be said about a lifelong quest for knowledge as a very admirable quest. But it's application and relevence to everyday reality and environment is sometimes dubious and frustrating. In other words how we deal with the tedium of each of the circumstances surrounding a particular situtation. Simply , if Zenzoe's sister AND her husband are comfortable with their "sitituation", then it is irrelevant how anyone else percieves it. Any psychoanalysis or whatever mental assessing, is merely someone else's opinion based on their applications of their brand of "knowledge". As I eluded to on another thread, a naturalistic perspective or a moralistic perspective.

Did I spell any of those big words rite?

bullwinkle
Joined:
Dec. 28, 2011 2:31 pm
Quote DRC:

There are people who are mentally challenged who get love and sharing far better than the educated fools.

My son who has Autism and Down Syndrome has a PhD in unconditional love and far too many people I know of "higher education" are not the enlightened souls that academia says they should be. I also know far too many very wise people who have never set foot in a college to make me assume college and wisdom are synonymous.

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Bull, I am not the spelling police, but no, you missed on a few.

It is as nothing compared to your bullheaded opinions on what happens in college. The myth of the liberal/left faculty and teachers is a fine place to start. The reason a lot of kids find information that conflicts with what they have been taught in the culture cocoon of high school and church is that the latter is very closed minded. Just presenting the facts of science and history will make these 'biblical' conservatives go ballistic, and just as often as not, they complain about what they hear more than being "impressionable." The first rule of doubt is not to take a substitute authority for the one you found inadequate or wrong. Having to think for themselves can either be liberating or painful.

I do not find patriarchy and subservience on the part of one party either biblical or healthy in marriage. While people do conform to what they are told is expected, or they rebel, I would always want them to think more deeply about either reaction. When I find rebels in the midst of counter-dependent behavior, I want them to move ahead and find a self that is more than against what they grew up being told to be. Learning to love your parents and accept their humanity and inability to be god is important. BUT, patriarchy and dominance is bad for men dominators as well as women. I know far too many survivors who stayed in these oppressive relationships for their children or out of a sense of loyalty to their promise. It does not make for good family values nor is it good for the kids.

I love how conservatives make 'relativism' a big indictment of liberals and then go on to condone all the perverse and screwed up stuff in their con world. Bullies are not real men. Women who accept bullying are abused.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I'd say vast majority of Thom Hartmann listeners exhibit the Dunning-Kruger effect.

In short,the effect states that a person’s incompetence inhibits their ability to recognize his or her incompetence. The people who think they are the smartest are the dumbest, essentially, because they are blind to their stupidity. The people who think they know better know the least. And isn't it interesting that they are almost always the first to hurl the insult "you're stupid"?

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Calperson
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Dec. 11, 2010 10:21 am

Back at you, stupid. If that is what you want to think so you can feel better about your sorry self, be my guest. I have read your posts. I really find them underwhelming all the time. It is too bad. So enjoy your narcissism because it really is all you have.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I don't require a Psychology Journal study as verification of what all the empirical data already illustrates about conservatives.

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I have a hunch that that study is faulty. I didn't read it.

Without even analyzing whether or not "conservatives" have some sort of psychological defect, I need to know what the definition of a "conservative" is.

There are honest intellectual conservatives that do not equate their conservativism with the political platform of the GOP or libertarians.

If the study's definition of a conservative is someone who agrees with the political platform of the GOP and invariably votes for GOP candidates in spite of actual policies that contradict that platform, then maybe there's something to it.

I think the study would reach a similar conclusion if it analyzed similarly-defined "progressives."

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Chilidog, I think the study used self-report of political orientation. In other words, they used a questionnaire to ask people to put themselves on a political scale from liberal to conservative. Yes, this is flawed, but probably much more accurate than inaccurate. I think it was in England, too, which could make a difference.

DRC, one time you say something insulting to psychologists and ignorant, the next time, something insightful and wise, and the next, a smackdown of a conservative. What's going on with you these days? If psychology is not a science, what is it? How do you define science? Are you saying that psychology is an art form? What makes you so knowledgeable about what is and is not a science?

I agree that education is not only about what goes on in the classroom, and that degrees do not necessarily indicate depth of thinking, but as I noted before, education is empirically demonstrated to result in greater openness to experience, cognitive flexibiility and so forth, which all lend themselves to depth of thinking, so as usual, I reject Hedges conclusions.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

As Chilidog pointed out, what is the definition of a conservative (at least in this study)? If as Lefty pointed out, self-identified conservatives are the target of the study, then how these people see themselves in terms of recent commonly accepted definitions of political orientation is critical. Successful marketing camaigns by politically oriented media plays just as big a role in how somone self-identifies as the actual events that take place in their lives. There are many Americans who are quite liberal by nature but would never self-identify as a liberal. The marketing of the conservative brand has been very successful. This is one of those many variables that keeps me from putting too much stock into results from studies such as this. Again, I must say that empirical data I accumulate in my daily life provides ample support for me to look skeptically upon these modern self-identified conservatives.

You just don't find too many "conservatives" these days who would be willing to say that Reagan or W's excessive deficit spending was bad economics or Clinton's slight tax increase on the upper bracket was good economics. Where have all the fiscal conservatives gone? The social issues are the only way thay can get any significant electoral support. If you gave 10 votes to every rich person and each of their children, you couldn't come close to the votes they manage to bleed out of these poor bastards who vote solely on social issues.

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

NL, I think you need to take a closer look at what Hedges is saying. He is not opposed to education or its role in the opening of minds. He is opposed to the institutions of technique and credentials who do not really educate. He is opposed to the bought and paid for faculty of the ideological Right that have come to infest teaching because they fund points of view. It is hardly only the Kochs who are guilty of this, and just look at Business Schools and Departments of Economics to find trust-fund professors in endowed chairs of the Free Market.

Hedges teaches in prisons where he finds minds being wasted by society, and it makes him cry. This is not someone who despises education, it is someone who despises its corruption and enclosure.

What I find in self-identified conservatives is a longing for a time past or utopian fix. They project onto Liberals all the things they either do or allow to be done whether or not they know this is what they are doing. They cannot describe a contemporary Progressive or the policies we favor in our own terms or in terms of the authors we cite. As to the fiscal conservatives, only the Progressives and critics of the Wall St. Casino and Supply Side qualify. All the rest is bluster and bluff with stupidity about how investments work.

We can have a deep argument against this whole economic frame, and I would suggest going to the late posts on the Ron Paul on RT to get up to date on David Graeber and anthropology v. economics. But, if we are talking about how to run this system, Poly and his critique applies very well. Debt is how we invest, and if it makes money, why not? If you think the debt will never be paid off, you have to do more than balance the books on this system, you have to go to its roots and start over.

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Our society could probably stand to put more emphasis on non-credit continuing liberal arts education, conducted on a much more cost-effective basis than college courses taken for credit and for purposes of credentialization. Credentials are used in hiring teachers and professors as a way of determining competence to teach. There have been a small number of writers/social critics around for decades, such as the late Jane Jacobs, who have pointed out that there are many jobs which do not functionally need but nevertheless require the applicant to have at least a bachelor's degree. No doubt, there are any number of people with a two-year degree who find jobs, but probably many do not and decide to continue for at least two more years worth of college. Many employers seemingly will not hire someone who does not have a certain minimum number of years of experience, and some won't hire anyone who is currently unemployed. Changing the regulation of job requirements to make them more realistic and fair to applicants seems an awfully tough thing to do in with the anti-labor, pro-corporate mentality which currently exists in government, including within state capitals.

Robindell's picture
Robindell
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Excellent points, Laborisgood. The liberal approach consistently wins polls on a wide variety of issues, yet relatively few Americans self-identify as liberals. I think conservatives' turning "liberal" into a nasty word has a lot to do with that. Of course, studies which rely on self-report as these always have possible shortcomings, but it is often difficult to study people any other way.

DRC, I have heard the same thing about the corrupting of the educational process, and I agree partially. I think it's due to the withdrawal of public funding, which results in colleges and universities relying on private funding more and more. My California Educator magazine has had numerous articles relating to this problem, in recent years. It is Economists who are most affected, but even Psychologists in some places. When I went to Occupy Riverside, I heard a talk by a couple of people who had been let go by U.C. Riverside (part-time instructors like me), and landed at the same school I am now (Moreno Valley College). They had the same complaint about academic Psychologists, but when I asked them about the U.C. campuses, they couldn't think of any cases where Psychologists were working for big bizz. The only cases they could think of were a few east coast Ivy League colleges. I agree that this is an abomination, and we need to get back to public funding of public schools, and non-corporate funding of private schools even if this means restricting who can contribute to these schools.

As far as the science issue is concerned, I believe all social studies are the equal of the natural sciences as scientific endeavors. After all, the definition of the scientific method is simply: A systematic way of acquiring knowledge. Any systematic method of advancing knowledge qualifies, and Psychology is very well supplied with these, better supplied than perhaps any other discipline. Psychology also takes objectivity and the statistical vicissitudes of data very seriously. This is far from the days of Freud's subjective observations dominating psychological thinking. The definition of Psychology in Psychology textbooks is: Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. My previous textbook was called "The Science of Psychology: An Appreciative View," by Laura A. King. Now I use a newer book by the same author called "Experience Psychology."

I found this discussion of psychology as a science by another blogger who happens to be a psychologist.

http://jungleblog.foresightint.com/2009/04/14/is-psychology-a-science-yes/

Robindell, your suggestion makes a lot of sense to me. Job regulations should be more realistic, and educational opportunities more flexible. Education is not just about what happens in school.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Currently Chatting

Why the Web of Life is Dying...

Could you survive with just half of your organs? Think about it. What if you had just half your brain, one kidney, half of your heart, one lung, half a liver and only half of your skin? It would be pretty hard to survive right? Sure, you could survive losing just one kidney or half of your liver, but at some point, losing pieces from all of your organs would be too much and you would die.

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