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Monday, March 20, 2006

Whiny Babies, Republican Voters

It's authoritative! It's scientific! You can take it to the bank! Toronto Star has the article publicizing scientific proof that adult conservatives were once whiny brats, who grew up to adhere to "rigid gender roles":

Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.

At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social
scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years.
DU always knew this, as they explain in joyous detail. And yes, the Toronto Star article does refer to the famous Berkeley study - you know, the one that categorized Stalin as rightwing? I wonder how the professors categorize Marxists? There is a critique in the article:

But Jeff Greenberg, a social psychologist at the University of Arizona who was critical of Jost's study, was less impressed.

"I found it to be biased, shoddy work, poor science at best," he said of the Block study. He thinks insecure, defensive, rigid people can as easily gravitate to left-wing ideologies as right-wing ones. He suspects that in Communist China, those kinds of people would likely become fervid party members.

Buried way far into the article is the mention that the observed correlation between whiny brats and voting Republican was not that extreme:

Another way of saying it is that self-reliance predicts statistically about 7 per cent of the variance between kids who became liberal and those who became conservative.

A sample size of 100 kids in a place like Berkeley might be a bit off, hmm? What did they get? Three conservatives as adults? Read the DU thread - it's a whole lot of fun. For example, one poster thinks China is rightwing:

2. Jeff Greenburg of Arizona doesn't understand politics in China at all.

"Communist" China would be more appropriately called fascist China. There is no free speech there. Workers are exploited there as near-slave labor. It is almost impossible for Unions to exist there since they are not supported by the government. The wealth is moving upwards to a few powerful individuals. Etc. Etc.

Naturally that does not please all the readers!

44. that's not the China I've seen...
They've moved hundreds of millions out of poverty the past 25 years...There is a growing middle class...Can the US make a claim of shrinking poverty & growing the
middle class the past 25 years?People generally ignore the government there - to
them, it's no different than it was 100 years ago, 1000 years ago or 3000 years ago - same shit, different boss, be it the Communists or the emperors before that. Only now, people all have cellphones and at least are a little more aware.I was also able to access DU and post to DU while there.While China is far, far from perfect, they are headed in the right direction, though it may take decades. They take the long-term view of things, while here in the US we want instant gratification.

And another poster earnestly explains that Stalin was a conservative:

94. His comment really supports the conclusions of the study.
'Insecure, defensive, rigid people' tend to be drawn to authoritarian and repressive organizations. The actual political ideologies are less important than we think. Here is a list of groups and movements which I would call authoritarian and repressive; note that in many cases their professed beliefs are quite different from each other, but their 'psychology' is quite similar: Taliban, US 'Religious Right', Russian Communist Party under Stalin (c. 1945), Cultural Revolution in China (c. 1970??), Robespiere (French Revolution), US torturers at Abu Ghraib, Joe McCarthy, Spanish Inquisition, Salem witch trials, Nazi Germany, . . .

I know it's wrong of me, but I can't wait to see what Howard Dean has to say about this.

I just want to make sure I'm not misreading this...babies that whine because of being grouped with incredibly stupid children that hold back their development turn out to be conservative?

I thought we knew that.
Tommy, that would be the rigid-gender-role way to describe it!

I'm glad there are a lot of shrinks blogging, because if there weren't by now I'd be convinced that almost everyone of them is gonzo nuts. That's a highly scientific term known only to people who live their lives within rigid gender roles in Berkeley.
At least Republican voters (unlike Dems) grow out of it.
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