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Right/Left thinking

Posted by don_socal socal (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 2, 12 at 15:32

Ran across these studies and wondered about why it seems that many that support things like C-F-A tend to not investigate the entities and causes they support. If they did they would Surely (there's that name again) not support these things when they say they support the things those same entities are vehemently trying to suppress and in fact donate to causes that would deny their own children if they were gay equal rights and in some cases condemn those children to death if they could. This brings a number of current threads to light the C-F-A thread being just one example. Perhaps this is the answer.

Warning read carefuly before comenting as these links can be upsetting to some if not understood.

Left wing or right wing? It's written in the brain

"Liberals and conservatives may find themselves disagreeing on issues as wide-ranging as the future of the NHS, the UK's involvement in Afghanistan and whether students should pay tuition fees at university, but could these differences be a result of different brain structures? New research commissioned by the Today Programme and led by Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow Professor Geraint Rees suggests that this may be so."

Study Links Low IQ, Bigotry & Conservatism

"Earlier studies had found links between low levels of education and higher levels of prejudice, so studying intelligence seemed a logical next step to Hodson.

As suspected, low intelligence in childhood directly corresponded with bigotry in adulthood. But the factor that explained the relationship between these two variables was political: When researchers included conservatism in the analysis, it accounted for much of the link between brains and bias.

Not only are children with low IQs more likely to become prejudiced as adults, but Dr. Hodson uncovered a hidden bias that exposes a link between prejudice and conservative beliefs."


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Right/Left thinking

Now chase, are you going to ask don why he started this thread?


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RE: Right/Left thinking

However, given that the structure of even the adult brain
can be altered with training, it is not clear whether these differences would affect a person's political choice or vice versa.

Poor ole dumb uneducated conservatives. Durn shoot.
I wished I couda got my Masters and then I couda been a liberal.

DID...........not


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RE: Right/Left thinking

MsK, Don stated his reasons for posting in the first paragraph. You would know this if you had read what he wrote.


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Thank you Nancy. It will be intereting to see how many and who read the links and comment in such a way to forward the discoure in an intelegent maner.


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I'm always just a bit skeptical about this kind of science. Instead of just throwing this in, "There are multiple examples of very bright conservatives and not-so-bright liberals and many examples of very principled conservatives and very intolerant liberals" Dr. Hodson added." Why didn't the author enlighten us more?

I'll admit I'm perplexed about some of the contradictions presented by conservatives on this board sometimes, but they sure do seem intelligent to me at least. (Can't say that about freerepublic though).

-Ron-


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Yes Ron, this board is nothing like some of the others on the net hence my decision to post this here for discussion. The people here are inteligent but sometimes I think they hide that intelegence to give them the liberty to say the things they do. I was going to paste that part also but thought to save it for a while. Thank you for actually reading the links and commenting.


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RE: Right/Left thinking

No Mrs, I'm not. It is clear he started it to spur a discussion. His thoughts are will articulated in the first paragraph.


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I thought this was quite interesting. But I wonder how two very conservative people could produce a liberal like me? So liberalism must be learned as well. I know college helped form much of my opinions , but reflecting back on my childhood, I could see the hypocrisy in my family. As a little kid, I wondered why my paternal grandmother cackled when she gave me a black doll baby for Xmas when I was about 5 or 6. I thought it was cute and wondered about the laughter. My aunt , her daughter, taught Sunday school for 50 years, 3rd grade for 45 and yet was totally offended when blacks first appeared on TV in their own shows.Both she and I attended the same university Their position on gays was never discussed but I can just imagine. Maybe I was adopted.


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RE: Right/Left thinking

There's a more detailed article on the study at LiveScience, which was linked as a source from the short article published in My Auburn -- Don_socal's second link.

As quoted in the LiveScience article:

"They've pulled off the trifecta of controversial topics," said Brian Nosek, a social and cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia who was not involved in the study. "When one selects intelligence, political ideology and racism and looks at any of the relationships between those three variables, it's bound to upset somebody."

By bizarre coincidence, the study's lead researcher is a psych prof at my old university, Brock U. But the data analyzed is from UK and U.S. subjects.

All the best,
-Patrick

p.s. Brock U. is named after General Sir Isaac Brock, who was shot by a U.S. sniper during the War of 1812, the last shooting war between our countries -- the subject of another thread here.

Here is a link that might be useful: LiveScience article


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RE: Right/Left thinking

Thank you Patrick, that link is a great contribution. I will be investigating the embedded links and more articles on that site.


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Re: Right/Left thinking

You're quite welcome, Don_socal. Thank you, for posting both links here.

These are difficult subjects to talk about, because they do raise controversial issues. But I think if we can reach a better understanding of how the brain works, how character develops, and related issues, then we'll be better able to improve our individual lives and the larger world.

All the best,
-Patrick


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RE: Right/Left thinking

There will be some confusion because these studies are based in the UK, then go on to tie in some data from the US. Then the articles confuse/juxtapose social conservative with political conservative, the later differs considerably between the two countries, eg a British 'Conservative' is a far cry from a US 'Conservative'.

I am suspicious of these sorts of studies to begin with, further compounded by the style of non-scientific reporting that bounces from one study to another.


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RE: Right/Left thinking

IDK, I'm pretty far left, but i Think both studies suffer from the common science news fallacy of the day -- positing that any single study is equal to the current scientific consensus on the matter w/o overall context.

That said, my kid I talked for 15 minutes this morning about intellectual rigidity vs flexibility, reason vs emotions that are subsequently rationalized, and whether IQ is a valid measure of anything. I brought up that both "smart" and "dumb" people often mistake their intellectual concepts for reality, so they have trouble integrating new data into their rigid mindsest. I do see how the UK study may be valid in relating organic brain structures to the relative flexibility of a person's intellectual concepts, which are a major component of an individual's actions or beliefs. But definitive? IDK, I'd prefer to see more studies done, since history gives one pause when considering how many terrible public policies based on such distinctions in our past.


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Well, those studies don't interest me--they don't prove anything, they don't change anything and they generally don't mean anything.

They're generally conducted by people and for people that do not contribute much if at all to the tangible good of society--they tend to produce fodder for policy wonks, politicians and academic ideologues.


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RE: Right/Left thinking

I em kunfused. Qwik, sum1 tel me wot to tink.


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I em kunfused. Qwik, sum1 tel me wot to tink.

No problem. We understand.


-Ron-


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RE: Right/Left thinking

In a previous topic a Gallup poll was mentioned which caused me to read it in its entirety. This has nothing to do with theories but rather statistics. It was found that there was a strong correlation between a lower level of education, conservatism, strong religious ideology and, incidentally, obesity. People with these characteristics also had the highest incidence of divorce. I don't expect everyone to like these statistics any more than the above stated studies, but it may be more food for thought (for some).


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Wondering about the spate of recent mass shootings and if the instigators fit these parameters. The latest one in Colorado has been reported that the shooter was under psych care and the one in Virginia if I am correct, just guessing at this point. There have been numerous others that may be worth looking up to discern if those perpetrators were conservative, biased or impaired as compared with society in general.


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I'm sceptical of the first piece , not that I have any expertise. It just seems to me that our "political" and social values are so greatly influenced by our environment and experiences that they play a more significant role than the composition of our brain.

As far as low levels of education and intelligenge goes I am absolutely convinced that it plays into extreme social conservative values. One only needs to listen for a few minutes to those with strong social conservative values to realize how narrow minded,unworldly and uneducated, they are.

On the other hand I do not believe the same of fiscal conservatives who I find in large part to be bright, thinking , smart people. Unfortunately we only hear from the extreme edges and extreme views so the moderate, thinking message gets lost


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RE: Right/Left thinking

I'm sceptical of the first piece , not that I have any expertise. It just seems to me that our "political" and social values are so greatly influenced by our environment and experiences that they play a more significant role than the composition of our brain.

As far as low levels of education and intelligenge goes I am absolutely convinced that it plays into extreme social conservative values. One only needs to listen for a few minutes to those with strong social conservative values to realize how narrow minded,unworldly and uneducated, they are.

On the other hand I do not believe the same of fiscal conservatives who I find in large part to be bright, thinking , smart people. Unfortunately we only hear from the extreme edges and extreme views so the moderate, thinking message gets lost


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RE: Right/Left thinking

What is c-f-a?


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Did not want to spell out chicfila.


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Dicot gets a +100.

Hodson started out by correlating racism to lower IQs. Somehow that got spun as being a conservative characteristic, which means this tripe is nothing more than a political fiction. The only other info I've seen is from blogs that consist of political punditry, but those are also extremely short on facts and the particulars of the study.

So what is a "conservative"? Whatever Hodson says, apparently.

Who decides what qualities are right, center, or left? What were the performance metrics used that could be quantified by observation and/or physiological responses, or were they merely based on subjects' self-reporting? How were the results calculated and measured? Were there gradations (I'm sure there were)?

What were the controls? What other characteristics did racism correlate with, such as income or occupation? What was the confidence interval, the various deviations? Was uncertainty in the reliability of the questions carried forward?

I'm positive that absolutely no one reading the spin put on Hodson's piece in the political blogosphere could even start to answer such questions.

I suspect that most people who are pontificating on this "study" have not even read the study, and are content to let others filter it to their benefit. Who could blame them? I wouldn't spend $30-ish for this garbage either.

A Brazilian study, linked below, found that high IQ was associated with center to center-right politics. I bet that's equally spurious. I wouldn't spend money to get that one either.

Since the brain plays into everything we think and do, I agree that political orientation, like everything else, is a function of brain structure, wiring, and chemistry, as are behaviors, skills, handedness, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brazilian Study


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Slippery slope, but that's just my take on it. I tend to agree with dicot. One study does not make an argument foundation.


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"A new study has released new data confirming that Conservatives have higher intelligence on average than Liberals. People who said that they were "Liberal" had an average I.Q of 96, while people who described themselves as "Conservative" had an average I.Q of 105." -CNN

See, if liberals were intelligent, they would be conservatives.


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Oh, btw...the info about that study came from Harry Reid.


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4 Google results for that quote, and the first 3 originate from a rightwinger site. This is number 4.

And the second line is opinion drawn without fact. We've not only dealt with that before, it's been debunked.

And now, I'd like to go back and actually read the links and responses that came before so we can continue actual intelligent discourse.


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Oh no jodik, this thread is open to everyone, you just chime right in anytime you feel like it.


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One quote still makes one study? So I don't understand what you're saying. Seriously.

Must be my conservatively slow brain. (kidding!)


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Ignoring the chaff, and going straight for the grain... Don, I think that when you look at both studies, and then overlay the one done in the UK onto the US, you find a correlation to generational environment. At least, that's how I see it.

It has to be accepted that not everyone will fall into the niches of such studies, nor that these two, alone, will explain everything in a concrete manner... but even so, the idea that "we fear that which we do not know" looks to play a considerable part, as does the structure of upbringing, level and type of education, etc...

As adults, it does us no good to believe the first thing we hear or read without researching it for ourselves, and we know that making off the cuff decisions based upon emotional response, and not upon the facts or thinking things through to conclusion, can leave us in a lurch.

Look at how our public education system changed. Look at the bigger picture and notice that we're exactly where those who hold court over our politicians want us, educationally speaking. We're taught facts for testing, therefore we lack the skills to problem solve, make difficult or complicated decisions, bring consequence and facts into certain equations, and in many cases it seems as though logical thought patterns and common sense are simply lacking.

I think organized religions play a role... especially the more extreme and rigid... education plays a large role... as does upbringing and family environment...

But I don't think it ends there. I think a lot more information is needed to do more than speculate on why people think the way they do, or respond to certain stimuli the way they do.

And with that, I have to get to work.


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"As adults, it does us no good to believe the first thing we hear or read without researching it for ourselves, and we know that making off the cuff decisions based upon emotional response, and not upon the facts or thinking things through to conclusion, can leave us in a lurch."

Don't I know it! I've been trying to teach my son that. He'll make some obscure comment and I'll say, how do you know? And he'll say someone said so. Did you check to see if they were right? Nope. Research it!!!


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Well... there's research (as sometimes seen here)... and then there's research. Checking Google and expecting the first link in line, or the one you find that agrees with your original thought, to do it... is not considered research.

That said, good research involves digging through many sources and looking at all sides of an issue... or finding vetted facts and rational information that support the thought or idea, or the side of the debate you're on.

In researching different things, I've found that I've been wrong many times, and I've located information that supported something entirely different than I had originally thought. But that's ok... I learn something new every day, and what I learn helps me to make better decisions, use better judgment, or whatever the case may be.

I think when one is brought up in an environment where there is very little debate, or in depth conversation, or questions aren't answered because "we don't question certain things", or the path to learning and/or exploration is cut off in any way, that person ends up with a mind that's all but closed off to new or different ideas. One stagnates, and becomes narrow minded. They might not even see it in themselves. They listen, but they don't really hear what others are saying because whatever it is, it's already fixed within their mind.

I'll be the first one to admit I'm wrong... how many times have I said, "my bad" or "upon further research I found", etc...

We can't always trust our media, or that the piece of information we get will be the vetted truth. And I think in the case of the OP, that there are other variables that might influence how people think. I don't think we can accurately say that liberals think one way and conservatives think another way. I think there are many variances and/or overlaps... and I don't think the two articles, or studies, covered them all.

It's my opinion that the issue requires further digging or exploration.


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This thread got me to thinking about what has caused me to change my beliefs over my lifetime. I was raised in a Republican household. My mother never voted for a Democrat, my father would try to find one to vote for on the ballot. Of course, those were Republicans from 50 plus years ago - an almost vanished species today. I was also raised in a very religious (not fundamentalist right-wing-wacko one, tho') family. I remember bringing my Bible to school (6th grade) to read from Genesis after we had a lesson on how the earth was formed, which was very counter to what I had been taught.

Now, I believe the Bible Old Testament is a recordation of the beliefs of a nomadic people from thousands of years ago. The New Testament is a continuationof those beliefs, and superstitions (evil spirits are now seen as mental illness) and the story of Jesus Christ, whose teachings and time on earth have gone a long way in changing the Western world. And, whose teachings and example are the best, that I know of, to emulate to continue to change this world for the better.

So what happened to make me believe so differently, politically and religiously (spiritually)? The first thing I can recall is reading James Michener's "The Source" in my 20's, which made me really question how our religious beliefs have been formed. This book is still on my bookshelf as the beginning of a life-changing journey. Then, my studies in world history and my undergraduate major in anthropology made me dig deep into why and what I believed about God. It has taken 40 plus years to arrive at what I now believe.

As far as political - 1968 was a year that influenced me a lot. MLK's assassination, Bobby Kennedy's assassination, the Viet Nam War, the Democratic Convention and the election that year (Nixon won) were the start of my questioning, instead of accepting, what was happening, politically, in the country. Then, in 1975, spending 9 weeks in Europe with my present DH and children opened my eyes more than anything to understanding that people everywhere loved their country and were proud of it. I was very proud, then of the US, and glad to get back home, but took home with me the fact that the US is one of many countries and people everywhere should be accorded respect. And, then the shennigans of Watergate further jaded any respect I had for Republicans, the election of Reagan, who wasn't the brightest bulb in the room, further made me a cynic when it came to recognizing that we were not the brightest, either, to elect someone who is just a figurehead and the real decision-makers in government are people who we don't know and haven't elected. This seems to be inimical to the Republican party - Bush II and the neo-cons bore this out. And, now, we're being presented with the same situation again - Romney being the figurehead but the same people who ran the Bush administration are the powers that be, IMO.

So, what to make of this? It's education and exposure to other ways of life, in a nutshell. And, for most people, they must have enough intelligence to evaluate what they read and see. Had I stayed wrapped in my cocoon that I was raised in, I might still be Republican (not a tea-partier - my mother was appalled at the foreign "policies" of Reagan and Iran and El Salvador) and a member of the church I grew up in. So, I think it is environment, combined with intellect, that caused my change over the last 40 to 50 years. But, that's just me. I can't generalize it to anyone else.


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dockside, I am a huge Michener fan, and IMO "The Source" may be his best. The monolith left a very powerful image in my memory. For me, though, reading this book didn't make me question my beliefs; I've always had questions. Rather, I just incorporated it into what I believe. I was raised Catholic.


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Dockside. Your coming of age sounds exactly like mine. You needed to live thru the 60's and witness the horrific events of that decade and see what the GOP put up in the years to follow to totally have nothing but disdain for their party.


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RE: Right/Left thinking

Jodi, Robin, Dockside and Lily, Thank you for the great posts. I appoligize for dropping this so suddenly. Friday was a full day at the VA and since then I have been too blury to read more than a post or two from any threads without having my brain drift off, they increased my pain meds. I will come back on this one when I am a bit more lucid in the nexy couple of days.


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