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Psychology Study: Fear Leads to Conservatism

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posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:45 PM
double post, sorry

[edit on 20-7-2010 by thisguyrighthere]

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:56 PM
Libertarians are the ONLY true conservatives.

The rest are various kinds of social/moralist engineers/manipulators &/or reactionaries.

I am not saying they are necessarily bad, but they sure the heck don't even know what conservatism means.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 03:59 PM
I pretty much identify with many of the things on the list of traits often held by liberals, so it seems true to me.

I don't agree that age makes one more conservative, though. When I was an undergraduate I actually went through a period when I thought Ayn Rand knew it all. Perish the thought. It seems to me I've become less conservative and more compassionate with the years and with more experience of people and what makes them tick.

I would not like to live under a communist regime. If that were to happen I would probably side with the conservatives. I would also side with them if we should be invaded by a foreign power. Short of that (which to me is highly, highly unlikely) I think we as a country could move considerably further to the left and be none the worse for it.

I see our country as extremely far to the right of most of the other western democracies.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 04:01 PM
reply to post by 12GaugePermissionSlip

"Remember, capitalism is great until only one person ends up with all the money."
Basically, what you and most libs are saying is that you feel, based on your experiences, you are unable to compete in a free market, therefore would like the government to force guys like me to pay for your poor decision making. That I live in a huge home because I somehow cheated you out of it.
Here's an alternate view. How about personal accountability and accepting the consequences of your decisions, good or bad.
Joe knocks up Sue are crack addicts. Sue and Joe rob a liquor store, spend the rest of the day having sex, and Sue becomes pregnant. Joe drops out of school, gets a job and they shack up. Joe gets fired because he's always high. Sue's child is born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Joe and Sue break up. Joe gets slapped with $300 monthly child support payments and dissappears. Sue goes on welfare, because it pays as much as she could otherwise make, and it's easier. Joe gets busted. Sue learns that if she spits out five more kids, she can add another $2200 to her welfare payments. Joe collects unemployment for the 126 weeks he's awaiting trial.
So I'm supposed to pay for all of this? Don't answer that. It's rhetorical. Liberal view: The government should confiscate about half the money I make, then give a big chunk to Joe and Sue, because I'm an elitist pig who forced these people into poverty after a secret meeting with Sarah Palin.

Conservative view: If Sue is forced to work to support her child, she contributes and earns a living, learning a valuable skill along the way. She learns that she can't afford anymore children, until her finances improve. She goes to community college and gets a degree. Opens a business and makes a good living. She learns about responsibility. An educated man admires her hard work and marries her. Junior is happy because he has a family and a home.
Joe takes a construction job, again paying taxes. His boss puts in a good word for him, so he stays out of the joint, even making enough to pay his child support obligations. But he's unhappy when he realizes Obama is taxing the bejesus out of him, so he campaigns for Sarah Palin. She wins, lowers taxes, gets the government out of our lives and the economy rebounds. Obama moves back to Kenya and takes over the government. The Kenyan economy implodes.
The Moral: Sue and Joe learn that they don't have to be slaves to the government, that they don't really need the man breathing down there neck, and that Obama is a big doosh bag. The

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 04:08 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

I don't think there ever will be a perfect system as we are flawed and ruled by our own biases. But for now, we have only history as a true barometer of what actions lead to what outcomes.

I know one thing, we have not seen this much division or such a concentrated attempt to divide us since the 1960's. The next couple of years will be very bad for us if we don't get our act together and quit falling for these leaders who would divide for their own selfish interests. Just when we needed somebody to unite us the most, we get the opposite.

The first thing I hear on the news this morning upon awakening is that Obama has managed to alienate the rest of the G8. The other 7 are going to cut spending to save their countries and he is demanding they keep spending. After his stupid act of sending the bust of Winston Churchill back to the UK and telling them he does not want it, the UK is not looking at us as friends any more. Imagine having the nerve to send a gift to the American people back as if it were his to send back?

Either the Administration is full of over-educated idiots or they are doing this on purpose. Obama could have brought us all together like his fake promise, but everything he does is divisive. As horrible as Bush was, this guy is worse. He is clearly dividing the country for a reason and that reason can't be good.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 04:13 PM

Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux

The general course of prevailing tendencies are useful when tracking voting trends, fashion trends, entertainment viewing trends, or shopping trends. They are useful when tracking the course of economics, but not so useful when attempting to describe psychological behavioral patterns. Further, and again, what a conservative is and what a liberal is, must be clearly defined when conducting such studies, a subtle nuance you clearly don't seem to understand. The irony of your disregard for this subtle nuance lies in a statement made by that study:

Opinion noted and not agreed with. Seeing as how these studies can successfully predict behavioral patterns at a rate far better than any random chance, I would have to say you are wrong.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 04:16 PM

Originally posted by astrogolf
reply to post by evil incarnate

"You mean "over educated?" So does someone say something like that with a straight face?"

Over educated. The 32-year old who has a couple of post-graduate degrees, but can't seem to get his butt out there and work, because his degrees are in psychology and philosophy, and he therefore has no valid or usefull job skills. He can't make anything, and doesn't really know how to do anything. When his parents finally put their foot down and make him get a job, he'll teach at the university things he knows absolutely nothing about, because he's spent the last 13 years on a college campus and not in the real world. He'll be full of theories, though. You know, like Obama.

Obviously you are in no danger here. That is a horrible example. First of all, the person you made up is lazy and unmotivated. You failed to demonstrate how that is a result of being educated. Second, two associates degrees is over educated to you? I certainly hope you never see a doctor or go to the hospital. You do realize that the people that invent things, discover things, develop new things, etc. all tend to have more than two associates degrees don't you? So are all the people that make the world work even more useless for having even more education than your lazy made up person?

Since it took him 13 years, I would say he has far more problems than just being lazy and none of them are the result of his education.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 04:17 PM
reply to post by slank

I'm close to agreeing with that. They certainly mirror my beliefs better. I know one thing, the Democrats and Republicans are messed up these days. Nothing but career confidence persons lining their own pockets.

When I say I'm concerned that my business is down by 30% its not fear, its reality. Now, just like FDR, Obama has doomed us to probably ten years of this when he could have straightened it out just by eliminating waste in the Government he controls and giving tax breaks to small businesses. It's like he is asking his advisers how to destroy the economy, not save it.

The Gulf gets hit with this horrible catastrophe and what does he do. He makes it worse with a moratorium. Not a reason on earth to do that other than to destroy those poor people. BP cutting corners to save a buck caused it. So why are we punishing those who did not? There is something going on beneath the surface here.

His own side is starting to turn on him. This should get interesting. What will he do when he realizes he can't possibly be elected again?

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 04:25 PM

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

This explains how they can still support the President.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 04:28 PM

Originally posted by evil incarnate
Second, two associates degrees is over educated to you?

Arent associates just 2 year degrees? His example was two post-grad degrees, wasnt it? Which would mean about 4 years to grad then another two or more on top of that, wouldn't it?

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:12 PM
reply to post by astrogolf

I said "Remember, capitalism is great until only one person ends up with all the money."

Basically, what you and most libs are saying is that you feel, based on your experiences, you are unable to compete in a free market, therefore would like the government to force guys like me to pay for your poor decision making. That I live in a huge home because I somehow cheated you out of it. Here's an alternate view. How about personal accountability and accepting the consequences of your decisions, good or bad.

WOW! You sure did ascertain a lot from a one liner. You would also like to think that is how me and others feel, but it's myth conservatives have generated as a result of narrow minded self serving outlook, and refusal to listen to another side.

The basis of the myth is that liberals feel that:
A. someone's success is viewed by liberals as cheating, and
2. everybody that believes in a balance in wages and taxes is ALWAYS someone that has made poor choices and has no personal responsibility.

Both of which are incredibly false and judgmental.

As far as that incredibly long bit about crackhead Joe and whore Sue. I like how you came up with the two most deplorable descriptions of humans to be liberals, and then described two hard working responsible people to be conservatives. Moral of your story: Liberals are all drug addicted, mooching, baby machines, and conservatives are all admirable, happy white picketed fence 'real Americans'.

IN YOUR DREAMS! I didn't find your disgusting generalization to be humorous at all. You know there is such a thing as a people who are befalling on hard times that with a little compassion and help would be very good tax paying citizens. Is there a reason good people who has had some bad luck should be financially ruined for the rest of their days? Condemned to walk the streets until they starve to death on a street corner in Happytown, USA? But in conservative's mind they are all drug addicted, lazy, mooching, criminals. This pattern of thought is for people who need some serious professional help.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:19 PM
fear maybe for those who where born before the 80's i've seen this world go to crap over 23 yrs am i scared nah this has all been foretold i read my bible it says what was gonna happen deal with it people power is in our hands all we need to do is stand as one nd bring this world back to a beautiful caring place.... eventhough i know noone will listen

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:20 PM
reply to post by joechip

I agree with you joechip. Conservatives, rightwingers, Neocons, teapartiests, Republicans, Ayan Rand Libertarians, all have something in common I noticed too, which is this need to have an enemy to hate. But there is a saying that originated from World War II, "Lest We Forget". Conservatives would very much like for people who are not like them, to go away and not be. But if you say, "Those people who need (safety nets) and those Islamisists and (pick your annoyer) are why the life of me and mine aren't as good as it should be" is a slippery slope to the cattle-car trains to the ovens. Lest you forget.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:25 PM
I believe the findings in the OP's article are precisely correct, and I base this on my observations of behavior of others and myself.

Regarding the quote indirectly attributed to Winston Churchill, I believe there is a third step in the process of maturation. What the quote describes is essentially the naivete of youth becoming the cynicism of age. But there is life beyond cynicism -- when one learns more about the nature of our existence in the universe, and one accepts the inherent unfairness of life, one realizes that tolerance and liberal attitudes reflect values that reflect a level of maturation beyond fear and basic survival instincts. In essence, you can murder me and I will be happy to die for your sins, because I believe in principles more important than my own survival. Sound familiar?

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by Grumble

Sounds familiar yes. I think of the Lord Jesus Christ. You rightwingers. Remember him? Those red words in the New Testament. (You guys remember the New Testament, right?)
Jesus is as far from a political conservative, as North is from South. Must be why you rightwingers gravitate toward other stuff instead, like Bohemian Grove and Skull And Bones and that ancient Sumerian Owl demon god. Huh.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:37 PM
reply to post by 12GaugePermissionSlip

and you'll notice that this fear is used by the conservative reichs publicity arm (limbough, hannity, beck, levin, etc..) to pull constituents in an control them.

I wish people would wake up, stop being afraid, and start actually listening to what these wack jobs are actually preaching !!!

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:39 PM
reply to post by evil incarnate

Opinion noted and not agreed with. Seeing as how these studies can successfully predict behavioral patterns at a rate far better than any random chance, I would have to say you are wrong.

Your opinion that these studies "successfully" predict behavioral patterns ignores the history of these psychological studies. It should first be noted that the first study mentioned by the O.P. was initiated in 1969. The study, of course, is regarding childhood personality. However, since B.F. Skinner first postulated the predictability of human behavior, this assertion has proven to be much more difficult than was first assumed.

Where Gordon Allport and H. S. Odbert hypothesized that:

Those individual differences that are most salient and socially relevant in people’s lives will eventually become encoded into their language; the more important such a difference, the more likely is it to become expressed as a single word.

Which became known as the "Lexical Hypothesis." This hypothesis became the basis of a study by Raymond B. Cattell in 1946 whereby organizing a list of words used in the Lexical Hypothesis into 181 clusters, and then analyzed by computer, Cattrell had asked his subjects to rate people that they knew by using adjectives on that list. The result was a new hypothesis that people describe themselves and others according to 16 different factors, all independent of each other.

This became the basis of the 16 Personality Factors, (16PF), and while it is still used in various universities, businesses, and other institutions, this study has never been effectively replicated, and it has been shown that Cattrell used too many factors. The irony of this is that those who do use the 16PF today, supposedly take into account that too many factors are considered, even though it is still called 16PF. It wasn't until 1963, that W.T. Norman was able to duplicate Cattrell's work, but by reducing the number to 5 basic factors. Even so:

For the next seventeen years, the changing zeitgeist made the publication of personality research difficult. Social psychologists argued that behavior is not stable, but varies with context, so that predicting behavior by personality test was impossible. They further argued that character, or personality, is something humans impose on people in order to maintain an illusion of consistency in the world. Furthermore, Walter Mischel in his 1968 book Psychological Assessment asserted that personality tests could not predict behavior with a correlation of more than 0.3.

By the 1980's psychology changed course in their perspectives, arguing that it was better to predict behavior patterns, rather than focus on single instances of behavior. This change in course led to the creation of the Big Five Factors, which include:


Extroversion (also sometimes "Extraversion") is marked by pronounced engagement with the external world. Extroverts enjoy being with people, are full of energy, and often experience positive emotions. They tend to be enthusiastic, action-oriented, individuals who are likely to say "Yes!" or "Let's go!" to opportunities for excitement. In groups they like to talk, assert themselves, and draw attention to themselves. Introverts lack the exuberance, energy, and activity levels of extroverts. They tend to be quiet, low-key, deliberate, and disengaged from the social world. Their lack of social involvement should not be interpreted as shyness or depression; the introvert simply needs less stimulation than an extrovert and prefers to be alone.


Agreeableness reflects individual differences in concern with cooperation and social harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. They are therefore considerate, friendly, generous, helpful, and willing to compromise their interests with others'. Agreeable people also have an optimistic view of human nature. They believe people are basically honest, decent, and trustworthy. Disagreeable individuals place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others' well-being, and therefore are unlikely to extend themselves for other people. Sometimes their skepticism about others' motives causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly, and uncooperative. Agreeableness is obviously advantageous for attaining and maintaining popularity. Agreeable people are better liked than disagreeable people. On the other hand, agreeableness is not useful in situations that require tough or absolute objective decisions. Disagreeable people can make excellent scientists, critics, or soldiers.


Conscientiousness concerns the way in which we control, regulate, and direct our impulses. Impulses are not inherently bad; occasionally time constraints require a snap decision, and acting on our first impulse can be an effective response. Also, in times of play rather than work, acting spontaneously and impulsively can be fun. Impulsive individuals can be seen by others as colorful, fun-to-be-with, and zany. Conscientiousness includes the factor known as Need for Achievement (NAch). The benefits of high conscientiousness are obvious. Conscientious individuals avoid trouble and achieve high levels of success through purposeful planning and persistence. They are also positively regarded by others as intelligent and reliable. On the negative side, they can be compulsive perfectionists and workaholics. Furthermore, extremely conscientious individuals might be regarded as stuffy and boring. Unconscientious people may be criticized for their unreliability, lack of ambition, and failure to stay within the lines, but they will experience many short-lived pleasures and they will never be called stuffy.

Neuroticism or (inversely) Emotional Stability

Neuroticism refers to the tendency to experience negative feelings. Those who score high on Neuroticism may experience primarily one specific negative feeling such as anxiety, anger, or depression, but are likely to experience several of these emotions. People high in Neuroticism are emotionally reactive. They respond emotionally to events that would not affect most people, and their reactions tend to be more intense than normal. They are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening, and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. Their negative emotional reactions tend to persist for unusually long periods of time, which means they are often in a bad mood. These problems in emotional regulation can diminish a neurotic's ability to think clearly, make decisions, and cope effectively with stress. At the other end of the scale, individuals who score low in Neuroticism are less easily upset and are less emotionally reactive. They tend to be calm, emotionally stable, and free from persistent negative feelings. Freedom from negative feelings does not mean that low scorers experience a lot of positive feelings; frequency of positive emotions is a component of the Extroversion domain.

Openness to Experience

Openness to Experience describes a dimension of cognitive style that distinguishes imaginative, creative people from down-to-earth, conventional people. Open people are intellectually curious, appreciative of art, and sensitive to beauty. They tend to be, compared to closed people, more aware of their feelings. They tend to think and act in individualistic and nonconforming ways. People with low scores on openness to experience tend to have narrow, common interests. They prefer the plain, straightforward, and obvious over the complex, ambiguous, and subtle. They may regard the arts and sciences with suspicion, regarding these endeavors as abstruse or of no practical use. Closed people prefer familiarity over novelty; they are conservative and resistant to change. Openness is often presented as healthier or more mature by psychologists, who are often themselves open to experience. However, open and closed styles of thinking are useful in different environments. The intellectual style of the open person may serve a professor well, but research has shown that closed thinking is related to superior job performance in police work, sales, and a number of service occupations.

It should be noted that a persons rating on the Big Five Factor rating will change over time, and while the Big Five Factor managed to take the highly disorganized and contradictory field of behaviorism, and bring a taxonomy to it not at all established in 1969 when the Block study was conducted, it is merely one theory among many in the field of behaviorism. There is also the field of cognitivism behavior, as well as several cultural theories, and what should certainly be acknowledged is that these are all theories. The "success" you place on these theories is your bias...your opinion.

The field of behaviorism remains a field that is constantly changing, with new hypothesis springing forth all the time. While psychology has its value, it is a soft science, much like philosophy is, and subject to the prevailing zeitgeist of the times. When steam engines were common in the early days of industrialism, psychologists and psychiatrists described the subconscious mind by comparing it to a steam engine. Today, the brain is often compared to a computer. These metaphorical descriptions illustrate the zeitgeist that affected the perceptions of those making the studies. It makes sense that in these highly politicized and divisive times, a study conducted more than forty years ago would be re-examined in a way that plays into divisiveness, and politicization.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:40 PM
reply to post by simonecharisse

It's ironic too, that most conservatives identify themselves as christian, yet have absolutely NO tolerance for the unemployed, homeless, and single mothers of society. As one poster described above, they are drug addicted, criminal, baby machines, who want responsible conservatives to pay their way through life. It's a sick perspective.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:45 PM
I'd like to make a point about the "limited government" argument that conservatives often cite as their primary ideal. I call bs on this. If that really was the prime voting issue for conservatives, Ron Paul would have won the Republican primary in '08. He had the money. And people like me, 3 time Nader voter, who registered Republican, (yes, I admit it) to vote in said primary. Where were the "conservatives" then? Voting for Drill, baby, drill, and against gay marriage rights, and for (though fear) a strong national defense. (Read corporate war profits) Yeah. Wedge issues. Not voting for the only politician who really supported "limited government" when they really had the chance. And this begs the question, don't they use the limited government argument only when it suits their regressive agenda? Like the southern slavery supporters used the issue of states' rights to justify slavery? I think so. I mean, really, the only conservative running that truly supports what you all claim to was a blip on the screen. Joe the plumber would have garnered more votes. I don't think you mean what you say you do, conservatives. Or there are very, very few of you.

edit for spelling

[edit on 20-7-2010 by joechip]

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 05:52 PM

Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Your opinion that these studies "successfully" predict behavioral patterns ignores the history of these psychological studies. It should first be noted that the first study mentioned by the O.P. was initiated in 1969. The study, of course, is regarding childhood personality. However, since B.F. Skinner first postulated the predictability of human behavior, this assertion has proven to be much more difficult than was first assumed.

Right, not 100% perfect. That is what I said. You apparently just want to argue for the sake of it without any regard to what has actually been said. I began by pointing out they are not absolutes. Pointing out that they are flawed does not change that.

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