Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism

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posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 03:08 PM
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A friend just reminded me of a paper I refered her to and I wanted to post it here.

Here is a short quote (emphasis mine) from the paper for discussion sake:


Conservative political ideology in Western democracies may be identified by several components, including an emphasis on personal responsibility, acceptance of hierachy, and a preference for the status quo. These ideological components map closely onto nonideological psychological processes, which support attitudes consistent with political conservatism. We describe how attitudes and behaviors consistent with these components increase as a consequence of thinking that requireds little time, effort, or awareness. From this starting point, we develop the argument that political conservatism is promoted whenpeople rely on low-effortthinking. when effortful, deliberate responding is disrupted or disengaged, thought processes become quick and efficient; these conditions pormote conservative ideology.


2012election.procon.org...

Now, before getting upset or enranged, please consider that they do emphasize that low-effort thinking is quick and efficient in circumstances are chaotic and disrupted. So in fight or flight situations this low-effort thinking is the way to go.

The authors go on to say that:



Taxing limiting, or otherwise disengaging effortful, deliberative thought should increase endorsement of conservative ideology.


The point I take from this article and the reasearch they are reporting on is that all people, regardless of political identification, will be more conservative in their thought and speech when in a situation that disrupts deliberate cognition. The methods they tested this with are 1) when drunk, 2) responding to questioning while doing another task; 3) forcing quick responses and 4) participants where asked to answer quickly then after thought then at the end of the interveiw were surprised by a memory test of their questioning (the idea being that memory is used more during deliberate thought).

Their concluding remarks:



Low-effort thinking promotes political conservatism. This claim provides a counterweight to early psychological perspectives on political ideology that tended to see conservatism in somewhat pathological terms (Adorno et al., 1950). Our findings suggest that conservative ways of thinking are basic, normal,and perhapsnatural. Motivational factors are crucial determinants of ideology, aidingor correcting initial responses depending on one's goals, beliefs, and values. Our perspective suggests that these initial and uncorrected responses lean conservative.


Now the concusion that I draw from this is that is that slothful thought, distracted thought has negative consequences on the evolution of the individual and the species. Our societies emphasis on fast everything (entertainment, reward, food, etc) is working to undue thousands or years of progress almost overnight.

I see it everyday here on ATS - the quick unthinking reaction to things one doesn't understand (or care to in many cases). I do it myself. I need to look at those ideas and issues that trigger me to quick reaction. It's the clue that I don't know enough. I need to take time in my responses.

Whereever you identify on the political, social, ecomonic spectra, this is important information.




posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 03:14 PM
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posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


I don't know how to approach replying to this thread. I think that maybe you are mixing up causation with correlation, but i am not sure. Just because there is correlation between to objects does not mean that the objects are the same, nor that one can explain the other. Yes, perhaps conservative thought is more commonly associated with impulsive thinking... but that may be due to the people following it blindly from something like tradition rather than actual ideological appeal.

The media kind of sends it in that direction, and paints liberal thinking as more intellectual, and elegant, though I think if you actually dissect the two ideologies I think you will find the same type of flaws in both.

Whereas conservatives may more impulsively judge a conviction of wrong-doing, fiscally the thought process is more refined and structured. Liberally, one might impulsively come to a conclusion of ultimate "equality" or of utilitarian belief, whereas concerning foreign policy, more action and consequence may be taken into account before a country-wide action is put into place.



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Interesting as right off the bat I see something amiss with the "assessment"

A) emphasis on personal responsibility
and
B) acceptance of hierarchy and status quo..

seem to be opposed concepts.

its not necessarily personal responsibility to promote B)

The emphasis on personal responsibility would imply that if the status quo were one of irresponsibility and dependence...they wouldn't be accepting of the hierarchy and status quo now would they...

I would like to add that there is an implication within the OP assessment that I don't agree with and that is that complexity = intelligence or "better" than "simplicity"

which couldn't be farther from the truth and that implication in and of itself is intellectually lazy as its very generalizing.

Many things like math...are best simplified.

some of my favorite sayings are:
work smarter not harder
and
KISS (keep it simple stupid)



edit on 10-3-2013 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)
edit on 10-3-2013 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Individuality taken by itself is an indication of low-effort thought?

I certainly hope that is not the intent of the OP to illustrate.

Individuality requires much more than just an adherence to the status quo.



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


Individuality taken by itself is an indication of low-effort thought?

I certainly hope that is not the intent of the OP to illustrate.

Individuality requires much more than just an adherence to the status quo.


YES

the status quo thing in the OP is nonsense as its contextual...it changes constantly and depending on what the status quo IS determines whether or not its accepted...

Which means the implied 100% acceptance of the status by conservatives in the OP is a fallacy as conservatives certainly aren't accepting of a liberal status quo...and thus not accepting of it...and thus the op assessment is in and of itself LAZY.

sorry, I call em as I see em. No offense intended to anyone.



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:13 PM
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reply to post by Sly1one
 


Adherence to the status quo is NOT individualism.

Rugged individualism is the reliance of self.

You're spot on in your assessment.



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:13 PM
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reply to post by Sly1one
 


They aren't opposites. And no one is saying those traits are necessarily bad, either.
Not sure why people are getting so upset about this....oh wait, I do. People hate hearing the truth.


You mention how many times it's good to keep things simple....and that's true.

HOWEVER, there are many times when a complex issue, requires complex thinking outside the box. It's these issues that conservatives have trouble dealing with. You can easily see it today with the many complex issues we are facing.

Everything is black and white to them. Raising taxes is NEVER okay. Abortion is NEVER okay even in the case of rape. It is NEVER okay to cut funding from the military.

Every psychological trait has a positive side and a negative side.

I think the analysis done is pretty accurate, based on what I've seen.

Conservatives are by nature opposed to change. That's what they're getting at with the status quo thing.

Know thyself.
edit on 10-3-2013 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by Ghost375
reply to post by Sly1one
 


They aren't opposites. And no one is saying those traits are necessarily bad, either.
Not sure why people are getting so upset about this....oh wait, I do. People hate hearing the truth.


Where is the truth?




HOWEVER, there are many times when a complex issue, requires complex thinking outside the box. It's these issues that conservatives have trouble dealing with. You can easily see it today with the many complex issues we are facing.


You mock the concept of individuality. Conformists live within the box. Individualists live outside the box.


Everything is black and white to them. Raising taxes is NEVER okay. Abortion is NEVER okay even in the case of rape. It is NEVER okay to cut funding from the military.


That's because we find solutions that aren't breast-fed to us by liberals and progressives.


Every psychological trait has a positive side and a negative side.

I think the analysis done is pretty accurate, based on what I've seen.

Conservatives are by nature opposed to change. That's what they're getting at with the status quo thing.

Know thyself.
edit on 10-3-2013 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)


Where's your degree? C'mon. You're going to provide a back-handed insult and expect to let it slide?



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by Ghost375
reply to post by Sly1one
 

Conservatives are by nature opposed to change.
edit on 10-3-2013 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)


This doesn't make sense as they are currently clamoring for change because the current status quo is opposite their views....you cannot simply state "conservatives are by nature opposed to change" when they are screaming at you for it right in-front of your face...

As I said it depends on the context of the status quo....and because of that its no different than "non-conservative" thinking...they too are content in the status quo so long as they are the ones saying what the status quo is...

I will agree that with conservative thinking tend to be more black and white and progressive liberals are in the shades of grey....this has nothing to do with the status quo tho....the status quo changes from black and white to grey all the time...its a silly argument.

Neither is better than the other they are quite simply...different is all. In certain circumstance shades of grey may be better and in others black and white is better...depends on the context of problem.

Conservatives are fine with the 10 commandments...progressive liberals want a 10 to the 10th power commandments


edit on 10-3-2013 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by Sly1one


This doesn't make sense as they are currently clamoring for change because the current status quo is opposite their views....

Are they truly clamoring for change? Or just opposed to the change that's currently taking place?



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by Ghost375

Are they truly clamoring for change? Or just opposed to the change that's currently taking place?



What's the difference?

Change is needed. There is not just "one option" towards change.

(try not thinking within the box)



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by beezzer

Where is the truth?
Right in front of you.


You mock the concept of individuality. Conformists live within the box. Individualists live outside the box.
I'm not mocking the concept of individuality. I'm not sure why you are being so defensive.


That's because we find solutions that aren't breast-fed to us by liberals and progressives.
Your ideas are spoonfed to you by Fox News. Don't act like you came up with your ideas on your own.


Every psychological trait has a positive side and a negative side.

I think the analysis done is pretty accurate, based on what I've seen.

Conservatives are by nature opposed to change. That's what they're getting at with the status quo thing.

Know thyself.
edit on 10-3-2013 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)


Where's your degree? C'mon. You're going to provide a back-handed insult and expect to let it slide?
They're hanging on my wall. One of them is a BS in Psychology. I didn't say anything that a sane person would get insulted by either(now that was a backhand insult).



You don't think there's a problem that when people do analysis and state the psychological profiles of conservatives, that instead of embracing these things....which I don't see how they are really negative....you guys immediately deny them?

I really don't understand why you're getting so upset and defensive. It's bordering on paranoia and delusion, no offense.



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by Ghost375

Originally posted by Sly1one


This doesn't make sense as they are currently clamoring for change because the current status quo is opposite their views....

Are they truly clamoring for change? Or just opposed to the change that's currently taking place?



lol...we can do this all day...they are the same damn thing only from a different angle.

sta·tus quo
/ˈstātəs ˈkwō/
Noun
The existing state of affairs, esp. regarding social or political issues: "they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo".

trust me...liberal progressives would slow to a progressive crawl if they were given enough time to control the status quo....just as conservatives do. BOTH have their comfort zones...



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:46 PM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


Get bent.
You're the close minded fool, who can't see 1 inch past his own nose.



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:47 PM
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I don't get either party. They both seem to claim extremely opposing things, but the leaders of both wipe the asses of their corporate masters all the same.

Conservatives can get too emotional and like to stick to tradition... just cause. That ticks me off.

Liberals can logically deduce the best plan which they theorize and internalize as the best way forward for society, yet somehow or another utterly fail relating theory to practice, and realizing how impractical and absurd some of their ideals really are. This ticks me off as well.

I think in some ways we need to slow down and take a few steps back from the madness we've created, and observe it well. In that sense, perhaps some would consider me conservative. I also think from those same steps back, once we gather a sense of what has worked best in the past to keep it going, we also need to assess what has done much harm, and bash it all to hell, and replace it with the best synthesis of wisdom gained since the old policy was put in place, and what worked well before it even was. < < runon

Anyways, I take all of this stuff with a grain of salt. It's biased nonsense. Thinking efficiently or "effortlessly" in this way only happens to some. It's a basically nonsensical statement. The conclusions that anyone can naturally become like this through "effortless" thinking is equally nonsensical. Some people naturally engage distinct areas of the brain with little effort. Others take more. Depends on each individual which areas are most preferred to be used for a given task.

What I know for sure, is each major party has it's blindspots. I watch them sling their poo at each other and sit a few steps back from it all, simply trying to inform them that they are in fact, crazy hairless apes slinging the nasties all around. Doesn't seem to do much good, though. Guess I'm a fool as well.

edit on 10-3-2013 by nomnom because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by Ghost375


You don't think there's a problem that when people do analysis and state the psychological profiles of conservatives, that instead of embracing these things....which I don't see how they are really negative....you guys immediately deny them?


I question the motivations f the people doing the studies.


I really don't understand why you're getting so upset and defensive. It's bordering on paranoia and delusion, no offense.


Bullspit. My degrees tell me that you are employing conformitive thinking to insult and deride any attempt to encourage individuality.



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by nomnom
I don't get either party. They both seem to claim extremely opposing things, but the leaders of both wipe the asses of their corporate masters all the same.

Conservatives can get too emotional and like to stick to tradition... just cause. That ticks me off.

Liberals can logically deduce the best plan which they theorize and internalize as the best way forward for society, yet somehow or another utterly fail relating theory to practice, and realizing how impractical and absurd some of their ideals really are. This ticks me off as well.

I think in some ways we need to slow down and take a few steps back from the madness we've created, and observe it well. In that sense, perhaps some would consider me conservative. I also think from those same steps back, once we gather a sense of what has worked best in the past to keep it going, we also need to assess what has done much harm, and bash it all to hell, and replace it with the best synthesis of wisdom gained since the old policy was put in place, and what worked well before it even was. < < runon

Anyways, I take all of this stuff with a grain of salt. It's biased nonsense. Thinking efficiently or "effortlessly" in this way only happens to some. It's a basically nonsensical statement. The conclusions that anyone can naturally become like this through "effortless" thinking is equally nonsensical. Some people naturally engage distinct areas of the brain with little effort. Others take more. Depends on each individual which areas are most preferred to be used for a given task.

What I know for sure, is each major party has it's blindspots. I watch them sling their poo at each other and sit a few steps back from it all, simply trying to inform them that they are in fact, crazy hairless apes slinging the nasties all around. Doesn't seem to do much good, though. Guess I'm a fool as well.

edit on 10-3-2013 by nomnom because: (no reason given)


I just have to say this was a beautiful response and I agree COMPLETELY!



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by Ghost375
reply to post by beezzer
 


Get bent.
You're the close minded fool, who can't see 1 inch past his own nose.


Why? Because I disagree with your conformist values?



posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 04:52 PM
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Originally posted by beezzer

Originally posted by Ghost375
reply to post by beezzer
 


Get bent.
You're the close minded fool, who can't see 1 inch past his own nose.


Why? Because I disagree with your conformist values?


He just doesn't want to CHANGE his opinion/views....he must be a conservative...





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