If you are a Democrat, and you plan to vote Democrat, then on election day you’d best not get yourself crocked: you just might end up voting Republican. (then again, you might end up something like this…)
Many Bothans died to bring us this information. Do not take it lightly. I’m perfectly serious here. OK, not (so much) about the Bothans, but about the rest of it, yes.
In 2012, a study was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, titled “Low-Effort Thought Produces Political Conservatism“. The authors introduced four methods of distracting, disabling, or disrupting the normal mental processes of test subjects (one involved interviewing patrons of a New England bar and measuring blood alcohol), and found a pretty decided correlation between the level of distraction and a shift toward conservative values.
As one might expect, lefties were quick to jump to exactly the conclusion that you would expect them to: that conservatism is dumb and simplistic, and only when leftists are drunk do they get that stupid.
The study itself is actually fascinating and decently done
It was a study of limited scientific rigor, but while the title seems designed to make a (wrong) political point, the study itself produced some very interesting results. The authors throughout were aware of some of the limitations: extremely small sample size; simplistic definitions of what constituted conservative and liberal terms, questions and answers. They went to some lengths to try to control for hidden biases, such as the complexity of the terms or questions from either political side. And while the sample sizes were small, and overwhelmingly female, aged 18-22, and from Maine, they did what they could to establish credible baselines and benchmarks.
While their concluding remarks avoided hard conclusions, they did make some inferences. Those inferences tended to NOT support the lefty knee-jerk conclusion. They state this straight out, emphasized in italics in the original publication:
We argue that low-effort thinking promotes political conservatism, not that conservatives rely on low-effort thought.
Liberals and self-correcting
They posited as a possible explanation that
some forms of political ideology may result from intentional and effortful correction…overriding and adjusting initial conservative responses. Our experimental studies provide evidence of causal direction.
In the same vein, they suggest that the politically sophisticated, and committed devotees of either political side, are far less likely to be affected by load, alcohol, or distraction. They are true believers.
Ace of Spades riffed on this “correction” notion at some length this week — indeed, I learned of this study from him. If I may steal from him, he posed that as opposed to this idiot at Slate, it’s perfectly valid to conclude from the study that the liberal becomes more conservative “under load” because of this:
To be a liberal means constantly checking to make sure your beliefs match today’s most politically correct (and often conflicting, often changing) bumper-sticker slogans. You have to agitate that conservatives have a “war on women”, while singing the praises of certain “religion of peace” cultures who don’t even let women drive, get an education, or leave the house unaccompanied by a male relative. You have to advocate for making your beliefs about gay “marriage” and abortion the law of the land, but Christians who dare even speak of such things must be harried and harassed out of their jobs and out of society. You have to remember that government surveillance on citizens is a very bad thing – unless Democrats are doing it. You have to constantly ignore the obvious results of left-wing policies.
So as a liberal, you have to keep track of all these things. And when you get drunk, or have to multi-task, it’s a little hard to keep track of all the lies and hypocrisies you have to balance on a knife’s edge.
And as something all conservatives have known from the beginning, when you don’t have to fake it, your heart is conservative. That is the natural human heart. Ordered liberty. Justice. Freedom of expression, and freedom of association.
So don’t forget. Don’t drink and vote. You might end up doing something you might regret.
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