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Pathologizing Conservatism

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A fascinating paper was presented several years ago at the Association of Politics and Life Sciences by Professor of Public Administration at Cleveland State University, Nancy Meyer-Emerick. It was entitled Evolutionary Perspectives on the Authoritarian Personality and was a ground=breaking study on how and why Conservatism takes root in an individual and a populace and how it conforms to all the accepted definitions of a pathological condition.

The work is based on an index of "authoritarianism" as measured by accurate assessments on what is known as the Right Wing Authoritarian (RWA) Scale.

Incidentally, you can take this online here. Be interesting to know certain posters scores if they have the balls to take it. My score is 40 - high scores such as those of Republicans, Fundamentalists, Neo-Nazis and Tea Party Supporters can cluster in the 160 - 180 ranges.

Based on these scores certain tendencies are observed:

Quote:
high RWAs perceive the world as a significantly more dangerous place than those who score low.

High RWAs are more submissive to government authority and indifferent to human rights.

They also tend to be more hostile and more highly punitive toward criminals, and more racially and ethnically prejudicedand religious!to boot.

In the United States Republicans cluster at the high end of the RWA Scale whereas Democrats range across the scale.

Further:

Quote:
1: Faulty reasoning -- RWAs are more likely to:

Make many incorrect inferences from evidence.
Hold contradictory ideas leading them to 'speak out of both sides of their mouths.'
Uncritically accept that many problems are 'our most serious problem.'
Uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs.
Uncritically trust people who tell them what they want to hear.
Use many double standards in their thinking and judgements.

It also appears from the research that there may be no such thing as a Left-Wing equivalent of these RWAs.

Quote:
Altemeyer, inventor of the RWA Scale, believes that there is no such thing as a Left Wing Authoritarian. "I do not think 'an authoritarian impressively like the authoritarian on the right' reposes on the left end of the RWA scale. Rather the contrary," Altemeyer declared.

In fact, Altemeyer finds that low RWAs are "fair-minded, even-handed, tolerant, nonaggressive persons...They score low on my prejudice scale. They are not self-righteous; they do not feel superior to persons with opposing opinions."

Interesting stuff.

Thoughts?

Link
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #2 of 16
Sounds like a classic case of GIGO. Especially when the biases of those who attempt to expand and make the measures usable find they are unable to do so due to said biases.

This article from Wikipedia (conveniently not written on a stone tablet just for you Seg) notes the problems.


Quote:
Right and left

The "right wing" in right-wing authoritarianism does not necessarily refer to someone's politics, but to psychological preferences and personality. It means that the person tends to follow the established conventions and authorities in society. In theory, the authorities could have either right-wing or left-wing political views.

Milton Rokeach's dogmatism scale was an early attempt to measure pure authoritarianism, whether left or right. The scale was carefully designed to measure "closed mindedness" without regard to ideology. Nevertheless, researchers found that it correlated with British political conservativism.[7] In a similar line of research, Philip Tetlock found that right wing beliefs are associated with less integrative complexity than left wing beliefs. People with moderate liberal attitudes had the highest integrative complexity in their cognitions.[8]

There have been a number of other attempts to identify "left-wing authoritarians" in the United States and Canada. These would be people who submit to leftist authorities, are highly conventional to liberal viewpoints, and are aggressive to people who oppose left-wing ideology. These attempts have failed because measures of authoritarianism always correlate at least slightly with the right. There are certainly extremists across the political spectrum, but most psychologists now believe that authoritarianism is a predominantly right-wing phenomenon.[9]

Although authoritarians in North America generally support conservative political parties, this finding must be considered in a historical and cultural context. For example, during the Cold War, authoritarians in the United States were usually anti-communist, whereas in the Soviet Union, authoritarians generally supported the Communist Party and were opposed to capitalism.[10] Thus, authoritarians generally favor the established ways and oppose social and political change. Hence, even politics usually labeled as right or left-wing is not descriptive. While Communism in the Soviet Union is seen as leftist, it still inspired the same responses. This leads to questions over what makes various ideologies left or right, but that is another discussion.

It sounds like you are pondering a question that is poised to you often Seg. When presented with clear evidence of leftist authoritarianism, folks like yourself can't seem to imagine measuring it or acknowledging it. Since most of the research has been done by a few people in Canada and the United States, clearly with labels attempting to discredit certain perspectives, and appears to suffer from the same criticisms. It's pretty easy to find and note examples of leftist authoritarianism. Since these researchers can't do that they appear to suffer from and perpetuate that which they claim to study.

It's sort of interesting to look at this and since you have the same problems, it makes it doubly so.

Thanks so for the links and post.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #3 of 16
Quote:
In contrast to Smith's suggestion that certain tendencies might be hardwired into human beings, Altemeyer believes that children learn right-wing tendencies through harsh discipline from their parents. However, studies looking at identical twins reared apart back up the notion that political attitudes are heritable. They find that on average, about 60 percent of the individual differences that we observe in scores on a version of the Wilson-Patterson Conservatism Scale (WPC) are attributable to genetic individual differences.

IMO twin studies show more conclusively genetic linkages to behavior. Identical twins have the same genetic make up. If they are reared apart, one can study what the different environment effects and what behavior aspects are genetic.

Quote:
Identical twins have identical genes. If homosexuality was a biological condition produced inescapably by the genes (e.g. eye color), then if one identical twin was homosexual, in 100% of the cases his brother would be too. But we know that only about 38% of the time is the identical twin brother homosexual. Genes are responsible for an indirect influence, but on average, they do not force people into homosexuality. This conclusion has been well known in the scientific community for a few decades (e.g. 6) but has not reached the general public. Indeed, the public increasingly believes the opposite.

Identical twins had essentially the same upbringing. Suppose homosexuality resulted from some interaction with parents that infallibly made children homosexual. Then if one twin was homosexual, the other would also always be homosexual. But as we saw above, if one is homosexual, the other is usually not. Family factors may be an influence, but on average do not compel people to be homosexual.

Twin studies suggest that as a class, events unique to each twin--neither genetic nor family influences--are more frequent than genetic influences or family influences. But many individual family factors (such as the distant father) are commoner than the individual unique factors. Unique events would include seduction, sexual abuse, chance sexual encounters, or particular reactions to sensitive events, when young. Everyone has their own unique path which only partly follows that of the theoreticians!

At this point, some of you will be asking--what about the concordant identical twins who were both homosexual? Could their genes have "made them do it"?

No. It can be a strong influence for a few, but even for those few, it is never overwhelming. The record strengths for genetic influence on behaviors are 79% in a group of highly addicted women cocaine addicts (8) and about the same or somewhat higher, for ADHD (9). Because those figures are not 100%, even among addicts or those strongly pushed towards some other behavior, there is room for outside intervention and change. Hence even if homosexuality is as addictive as cocaine for a few individuals, their genes didn't "make them do it."

[T]he results of identical-twin studies are critical in understanding the biological influences on homosexuality. Only for physical traits like skin color are identical twins 100% concordant; otherwise they don't necessarily follow either their parents' genes...or their parents' admonitions! In this, homosexuality proves to be no different from such unrelated behaviors as violence, being extroverted, or getting divorced. All may be influenced by genes, but not overwhelmingly determined by them.

Quote:
In summary:

1. No scientist believes genes by themselves infallibly make us behave in specified ways. Genes create a tendency, not a tyranny.

2. Identical twin studies show that neither genetic nor family factors are overwhelming.

3. Conclusion 2 will not be altered by any research in the future.

4. We can foster or foil genetic or family influences.

5. Change is possible.

http://www.narth.com/docs/whitehead2.html
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Sounds like a classic case of GIGO. Especially when the biases of those who attempt to expand and make the measures usable find they are unable to do so due to said biases.

This article from Wikipedia (conveniently not written on a stone tablet just for you Seg) notes the problems.




It sounds like you are pondering a question that is poised to you often Seg. When presented with clear evidence of leftist authoritarianism, folks like yourself can't seem to imagine measuring it or acknowledging it. Since most of the research has been done by a few people in Canada and the United States, clearly with labels attempting to discredit certain perspectives, and appears to suffer from the same criticisms. It's pretty easy to find and note examples of leftist authoritarianism. Since these researchers can't do that they appear to suffer from and perpetuate that which they claim to study.

It's sort of interesting to look at this and since you have the same problems, it makes it doubly so.

Thanks so for the links and post.

So what was your score Trumps?

I notice the site is down and there are reports of servers blowing up worldwide so I figured you'd tried it....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #5 of 16
27. Unsurprising.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #6 of 16
45, but some of the questions I think are BS.

I mean, how are you supposed to evaluate this ?

"What our country really needs is a strong, determined leader who will crush evil, and take us back to our true path."

Well, strongly yes if were talking about a certain context , and strongly no if the other. So i went in the middle, hopefully to balance.

What about "There are many radical, immoral people in our country today, who are trying to ruin it for their own godless purposes, whom the authorities should put out of action."

- well I wouldn't be too bothered if the tea-baggers were rounded up...

Oh yes, my point was that I am officially now 1/30th of an Astrophysicist
post #7 of 16
Grats Marc. What classes you just get done taking?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #8 of 16
I got 66.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I got 66.

Difficult to believe...

What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Grats Marc. What classes you just get done taking?

Math, first exam 93%, two more results coming soon....Next summer I am going off to the "observatori astronòmic de mallorca" for a week to study with other boffs
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Difficult to believe...


Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcUK View Post

Math, first exam 93%, two more results coming soon....Next summer I am going off to the "observatori astronòmic de mallorca" for a week to study with other boffs

Nice. Which Math may I ask? Sounds like an awesome summer ahead for you.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Nice. Which Math may I ask? Sounds like an awesome summer ahead for you.

just pre-calc for the rest of this year, then calculus beginning 2011. You have to do/know it, so might as well do it at the start, though i do know most of what i am already doing, so that helps..

Next summer, might go for a drive again across the pyrenees, head down to barca or valencia and see if there is a ferry to mallorca, then go stop at the etang de soulcem as it is a fucking cool place to camp out and see the milky way.
post #14 of 16
Calculus itself is easy. The numerous precalc steps before you do the final calculus step are the bitches. Get that foundation really solid and you'll thank yourself later.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Calculus itself is easy. The numerous precalc steps before you do the final calculus step are the bitches. Get that foundation really solid and you'll thank yourself later.

Just wondering how far you went into your astrophysics? Any chance of a revival for you yet?
post #16 of 16
I had started on some upper division classes. Guess you'd call it year 3ish. Still not sure if I want to go back to it. It's been five years since I've done any of it and I feel like I'm going to have to relearn everything I did the first time.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
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