Psychology Study: Fear Leads to Conservatism

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posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 02:55 AM
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Originally posted by 547000
Liberalism is for dreamers, conservatism for thinkers.


Thinkers like Ms. Palin of Alaska, perhaps? Or maybe Joe the imaginary plumber? I think there are thinkers in both camps actually. I just brought out those examples to show that the statement was ridiculous on its face. William F. Buckley Jr. (RIP), conservative thinker. Howard Zinn (RIP) liberal thinker. Many more examples of both, if necessary. This isn't about intelligence, at least in the OP. There are smart people and thinkers in both camps. The dreamer part, who knows, maybe Bush was a dreamer, only his dream was a nightmare for most of us. Depends on how you define it. I wouldn't say conservatives are more pragmatic, necessarily, its more a question of regressive/progressive. You can be pragmatic in either direction.




posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:03 AM
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The discussion has turned from origins to definitions. Well that certainly blurs the question. Doesn't it?
Political conservative? Economic conservative? Social conservative?
Fear of what? Which brand of conservatism. They aren't all the same. Are they?



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:13 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Agree, but the OP does do a lot of labeling and drawing conclusions that seem a bit slanted:



The study's authors also concluded that conservatives have less tolerance for ambiguity, a trait they say is exemplified when George Bush says things like, "Look, my job isn't to try to nuance. My job is to tell people what I think," and "I'm the decider." Those who think the world is highly dangerous and those with the greatest fear of death are the most likely to be conservative.

Liberals, on the other hand, are "more likely to see gray areas and reconcile seemingly conflicting information,"


Seems a bit kinder to Liberals, no?

Also, I'd like to know how Berkeley professors can conduct a study and "not even think about political orientation" when they are immersed in a historically VERY liberal atmosphere.

So how much more likely is a ___________ prone to ___________?
1% more likely? 75% more likely? Talk about gray area.

Labels labels labels. I know I'm guilty of it, but I try not to be. As long as we all marginalize everyone else, we're getting nowhere fast.

[edit on 20-7-2010 by AwakeinNM]



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:22 AM
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Originally posted by Phage
The discussion has turned from origins to definitions. Well that certainly blurs the question. Doesn't it?
Political conservative? Economic conservative? Social conservative?
Fear of what? Which brand of conservatism. They aren't all the same. Are they?



The same goes for liberalism. While I identify myself politically with conservatism, that being conservation of Constitution, I am also born and raised a Catholic, but am extremely liberal with my Catholic beliefs. I am conservative when it comes to jelly, and liberal when it comes to peanut butter. Meaning, I spread the peanut butter liberally, and add just a dab of jelly.

Frankly, I think there is way too much of generalization in politics in general. Linking regression with conservatism is as prudent as linking progress with liberalism. Classically speaking, liberalism was about more freedom for more people, but if one is going to link the Democratic Party with liberalism it is difficult to imagine how that party today is about more freedom for more people. Conservatism has always been about conserving something. If one is going to link the Republican Party with conservatism it is hard to imagine what they are conserving, particularly since Republicans are just as in love with the perpetual income tax as Democrats are. The "tax breaks" they use as a platform is evidence of how in love with the perpetuity of income taxation they really are. You can't give income tax breaks if you don't have an income tax to cut.

If Republicans were truly conservatives, and were "regressive" as someone suggested earlier, they would be arguing to regress back to the days when there was no such thing as an income tax. If Democrats were truly liberal, and were "progressive" as was suggested, they would also be arguing for an elimination of income taxes, since income taxation is hardly progress towards more freedom for more people. The truth is, the income tax pretends to be a wealth redistribution scheme without the actual redistribution of wealth. It is hardly worth arguing that welfare checks are wealth redistribution, or even Social Security checks, as they are both pittances that do not constitute wealth.

There are those who will argue they are "fiscally conservative" but "socially liberal" which all too often is tantamount to being ignorant of finance, and idealistic about social programs. When we take the terms liberal and conservative and apply them to politics, it would be nice if we were actually more willing to clarify the definitions of the two terms instead of rely on them as pejoratives to demonize our opponents. Alas, few these days are willing to define words in any etymological sense, and would rather define words in a more general, non binding sense. The myth of myths in modern lexicography is that myth has become synonymous with falsehood, and has little at all to do with describing specific tales that adhere to a standard structure. This is the evolution of American double speak, where words are bastardized to mean something other than what their original meaning was.

[edit on 20-7-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:22 AM
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reply to post by AwakeinNM
 

Is the world a dangerous place? Yes.
Does that make me fearful? Well...I'm a hang glider pilot. I scuba dive a bit. I still call myself a surfer. I'm kinda old.
I don't think I'm really afraid of much. I don't want to lose my home but if I do I'm not going to die. My lifestyle isn't such that I really fear a loss. Hell, I live in a place where it doesn't get cold enough to kill me and I know how to fish. I'm kinda old.

I think most would consider me a conservative (iffy on the social aspect) but there isn't a lot I'm afraid of. Did I mention I'm kinda old?

Maybe I'm...wait...it'll come to me...Abby somebody. (Mel Brooks reference. I won't elaborate more than that).



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:23 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Well, defining the thing we're talking about can hardly hurt, right? I would say that although not all conservatives are the same, they do share characteristics, (see study) and in each area, be it social, economic, or political (?), it can be argued their conservatism is motivated by fear. At least, no one has yet refuted the studies that assert this.
Perhaps not, though. Maybe some conservative thought has more behind it than demonizing the "other," fear-mongering war profits, and manipulating the simple-minded yearning for the good-old-days. But the current representatives of conservatism (Ron Paul aside) do a very bad job of enunciating that thought. Maybe because they are politicians mostly and hence lying hypocrites. And who responds to the lie of fear? Conservatives. Liberals respond to the lie of hope.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:32 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


The more you and I engange in discourse, the more I think we are very much alike.

High five.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:32 AM
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Oh no, not ANOTHER 12 gauge LABEL making thread!


Labels and the boxes they put us in.

A snippet-


First let us talk about the labels. Here are a few labels-

Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Liberal, Conservative, Anarchist, Communist, Fascist, Left wing, Right wing, Terrorist, Racist, Tea Bagger, Obamabot, Patriots, Birthers etc etc etc

I have discussed this recently with several people on threads, U2U’s, and with friends. It seems that labels are used for many different purposes. Mainly to give something a name for some purpose, usually so you can do something with it. Like labeling a box of dishes so you can find them later.

There is another purpose for the use of labels, to put people in a BOX , to defame, to demean amongst other purposes.

A box is separable, it is definable, and it is controllable. For an example; labeling veterans, home schoolers and right wingers TERRORISTS. Now you have control of that box. Every time someone mentions a home school couple now you will think TERRORIST. Anything that you repeatedly see affiliated with the label terrorist you will automatically put it into that box. You can separate it from everything and everyone else. You can control everyone you put into that box by just mentioning that label.


Really, a study about observations of emotion.

Sounds REALLY scientific. Did they ask the participants if they were REALLY conservative or just slightly. Did they ask if they feared a little or a lot.

I bet this study was VERY scientific in nature. You know the type like......say the Global Warming bull#.

Create conclusion and modify any and all data to support conclusion.

Frelling JOKE.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:28 AM
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LOL I just had a funny thought.

More "Conservatives" go down to Iraq/Afghanistan/etc and die than the Liberals.


***please do not assume that's because Liberals are home smoking pot. I just mean they tend to be less likely to want to kill for greed.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 06:44 AM
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John Dean released a pretty good book in 2005 about this. I actually do believe that fear has a place in inspiring political ideology. I also think that there are other motivations. There's a saying (I'll paraphrase) "A Conservative is a Liberal who just got mugged, and a Civil Libertarian is the father of the kid who just got arrested for the mugging." Ideology is generally circumstancial, with those who have more unwilling to allow for change (conservative) than those who don't have (progressive) or those who believe they can't possibly lose what they have (liberal). Humans aren't very complicated.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 06:53 AM
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I think that if the study had used the term "authoritarian", instead of "conservative", then there wouldn't be so much negative reaction to the findings. American conservatism is more authoritarian, with a top-down lock-step mentality than what you'll see in true conservatism - as expressed in other cultures across the globe.

The GOP and the Xtian Right are both authoritarian movements, and certainly not conservative by any means. The DNC is much more conservative (in the true sense of what the word actually means) than the new GOP or the Xtian Right. These two groups have proven to be wildly spontaneous and unpredictable in their approaches to problem solving, which true conservatives would never be. The DNC is much more measured and careful in their approach, which is what conservatism is all about.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 07:01 AM
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reply to post by joechip
 


With enough money I can prove beyond doubt that you do not have a nose.

If I smash you in the middle of your face, the thing in the middle IS going to hurt.

Studies are not what they're cracked up to be. The majority are used to shoehorn a theory into acceptance.

I'd put $100 bill on this researcher being a flaming liberal.

A liberal is a conservative that hasn't been kicked in the balls yet.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by joechip

Originally posted by 547000
Liberalism is for dreamers, conservatism for thinkers.


Thinkers like Ms. Palin of Alaska, perhaps? Or maybe Joe the imaginary plumber? I think there are thinkers in both camps actually. I just brought out those examples to show that the statement was ridiculous on its face. William F. Buckley Jr. (RIP), conservative thinker. Howard Zinn (RIP) liberal thinker. Many more examples of both, if necessary. This isn't about intelligence, at least in the OP. There are smart people and thinkers in both camps. The dreamer part, who knows, maybe Bush was a dreamer, only his dream was a nightmare for most of us. Depends on how you define it. I wouldn't say conservatives are more pragmatic, necessarily, its more a question of regressive/progressive. You can be pragmatic in either direction.


I see more economic ignorance in the liberal camp than I do in the conservative camp. Of course, some conservative espouse retarded ideas too, especially when it comes to social ideas, but at least they don't call socialism freedom.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 07:17 AM
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I see a lot of people taking offense to this and I don't really get it. Yes, there are underlying motivators to all political beliefs.

The problem we are running into is people automatically associate certain things as negative or positive. Fear is getting a negative view here. Fear in and of itself is not negative. Those without fear are fools. Paradigm is everything here.

Then we have the automatic associations at play here: Liberal=Democrat=Obama lover or Conservative=Republican=Bush lover. This is pretty far from the truth. There are a lot of different ideologies. You'll find Greens, Left-Libertarians, Paleo-Cons, all different types of Anarchists. It's not a cut and dry issue.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 07:45 AM
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Originally posted by joechip
What strikes me about these conclusions is the implication that there's something psychologically wrong with conservatives. This is something I've long suspected. A kind of blind spot they have. I now have a better idea where that may come from. Thanks for the great post. Well presented and thorough. s&f.


More like wearing blinders where they can conjure up images of the "good ole days" when everything was stable, knowable, predictable.

What the study failed to find was that Conservatism is a retreat to childhood where everyone told you what to think and do, where the safety of mom and dad was no farther than their bedroom door.

What we have seen in America is the fear card played over and over so many times without warrant that it no longer has the intended effect. I'm surprised it has taken this long but I feel it was a major deciding factor in the last Presidential election. People wanted change more than a continuance of the same Republican fear factory. What a disappointment to find out we only have new things to fear from a Democratic regime.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:11 AM
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There is a fair amount of truth in this overall study and assessment and 22,000. is a pretty good sample of people dating back to 1969.

The post 9/11 Fear campaign promoted by Bush and Cheney as well as the Patriot Act is partially what lead me to becoming a Ron Paul supporter.

I mean as a small representation of the results of this survey , simply look at the demographics of those here on ATS, and the sheer number of fear based threads by Conservatives vs those of Liberals ?

For example, We have almost a daily anti Obama and other fear based threads or something posted here.


Fear of Obama being a Muslim.

Fear of Obama not being a US Citizen.

Fear of Obama being the Antichrist.

Fear of Obama taking the 2nd Amendment away.

Fear of Whites being outnumbered and becoming a minority.

NAACP is a Racist (Anti-White) Organization...

And The List of Fear goes on .....

When the sad truth of the matter is that in actuality ALL of us working class Americans are subject to the overall Agenda of the NWO.

Liberal OR Conservative. It doesn't matter to the Powers That Be.

Just look at those coming home in Flag Draped caskets.
They're representative of All colors, all religions, conservative and liberal, but one common factor is that .....

They're All Americans.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by 12GaugePermissionSlip
 


Wow. What a surprise that professors from NYU and Harvard would slam conservatives. There's always a college professor (someone who doesn't actually do, but teaches anyway) creating a bs study to match his world view. Conservatism means adherence to the constitution. A bit like adhering to a path on a map. Thelma and Louise were liberals. They enjoyed spending other peoples money, didn't follow the map, and therefore drove off into the grand canyon, where upon smashing into the bottom, they died. Liberals, I've noticed, have an uncanny fear of death, yet do everything they can to achieve it for everyone. Some (I) postulate that it's because they don't have faith, and do their best to persuade others to be like them (misery loves company).
What do conservatives fear? Very little. Other than having someone or some entity control every aspect of their life, nothing. Conservatives love freedom. To look at the map and choose their own path. Liberals prefer to disregard the map and tell everyone which way to go for the common good, even though, having disregarded the map, they have no idea, but enjoy giving directions and insist on being in charge of everybody elses path. Take a look at liberals. Who are they? They're the uneducated and the overeducated, most prisoners are liberal as are most illegal aliens. Most folks on welfare are liberal as are most who work for the government. Those who depend on government grants for research that has no practical appllication, other than to provide them with grant money (think global warming, or the study you cited in your post) are liberal. IN short, they're the ones either dependent on public assistance or inflicting it on everyone else.
Who are the conservatives? The business owners and the family men. Life's achievers. Those who only want to choose their own path and win on the merits and ask the government not for money, but to get out of the way.
Unlike the gay community, who want to force acceptance on everyone else, we don't really care what anyone else thinks, just don't infringe on our right to have nothing to do with you.
So when you make a post like this, we realize it's coming from a scared and uncapable mindset that needs to use some type of psychological propaganda to level the playing field. To make us feel guilty that we won't bend the rules for you. Therefore, ploys like this never work. We just don't give a damn what you think about conservatism, just stay out of our checking accounts and keep your hands off of our freedom. Carry your own weight.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by endisnighe
 





Sounds REALLY scientific. Did they ask the participants if they were REALLY conservative or just slightly. Did they ask if they feared a little or a lot.


Why don't you overcome your fear and read it. You might find it informative. It isn't as offensive as you would believe. I titled it that way just to tick you off.
12gauge = 1
endisnighe = 0



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by nh_ee

For example, We have almost a daily anti Obama and other fear based threads or something posted here.


Fear of Obama being a Muslim.

Fear of Obama not being a US Citizen.

Fear of Obama being the Antichrist.

Fear of Obama taking the 2nd Amendment away.

Fear of Whites being outnumbered and becoming a minority.

NAACP is a Racist (Anti-White) Organization...

And The List of Fear goes on .....



Dont forget fear of every individual going on shooting rampages.

Fear that some moron listening to some other moron will load a truck with fertilizer and blow up a daycare.

Fear that lack of taxation will create anarchy.

Fear that everyone is a closet murdering psychopath.

Fear that without government approval all of our apples will be poisoned.

Fear that lack of a federal BoE will send us all grunting into caves.

Fear opens the door for government. Government working with fear creates this authoritarian mess we've been 'living' under for the past 100 or so years.

Everybody is shouting "think of the children!" and it's putting us all in chains.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:59 AM
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Berkley 1969...I really doubt that's unbiased much less scientific.

Fear can be useful, a person who lives without fear is ignorant. Some may consider the blissful ignorance a blessing but it is ignorance none the less.

I'm conservative, I'm not a GOD FEARIN CHRISTIAN BIBLE THUMPER conservative; I just happen to dislike just about anything the left stands for.

Help everyone in the world: nah
Forced Charity: nah thanks
Welfare: nah
Poorly disguised attempts at breaking down the order of things by saying it's a human rights issue: leave me out

Communism: that's ok...

Now, as a non-religious conservative I also understand that for a society to function it MUST have a strong moral foundation. The soviets had to undermine this specific thing to take a country over. They had to break down the morals because the people would be divisible. They did this by infiltrating the schools. This is all public information and not very hard to find. The "liberal" education is a bi-product of that infiltration hence my distaste.





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