Thursday, August 02, 2012

Consequence of low-effort thought

A reader sends this study:
Together these data suggest that political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought; when effortful, deliberate thought is disengaged, endorsement of conservative ideology increases.
The author is U. of Arkansas psychologist Scott Eidelman:
My research focuses on personal and social identity management strategies, stereotyping of self and others, and the strategic deployment of standards. A common theme is my interest in motivated aspects of self-definition. I also study social-cognitive dimensions of political attitudes, status quo maintenance, and social change.
Don't ask me if he is Jewish as I don't know. He is not necessarily Jewish because of his name, and he is not necessarily LGBT because he is confused about "self-definition". He is obviously leftist, tho, as he does not seem to know what political conservatism is, and he does not put his papers freely online.

There is a long history of leftist psychologists trying to normalize aberrant behavior, and to pathologize conservatism. A reader sends this article tracing several of these to a dubious 1950 article. They confuse conservativism with authoritarianism. The reader also points to this essay on how some high-profile politically liberal research has been outride fraud. I have pointed out some of this on my blog as well.

A WSJ book review of an unrelated book says:
The work of Jonathan Haidt often infuriates his fellow liberals. A professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, ... What he sees across the dividing line of American politics is a battle of unequals: Republicans who "understand moral psychology" arrayed against Democrats who "don't."

Mr. Haidt ... means something far more shocking to liberal sensibilities: that conservatives possess "a broader set of moral tastes" and are able, in appealing to the public, to tap a richer moral lexicon.
Haidt is correct. Liberals do not understand conservatism. They are more ignorant and close-minded by all available measures. For example, Pew reports:
Yet another new survey shows that Republican supporters know more about politics and political history than Democrats.

On eight of 13 questions about politics, Republicans outscored Democrats by an average of 18 percentage points, according to a new Pew survey titled “Partisan Differences in Knowledge.”

The Pew survey adds to a wave of surveys and studies showing that GOP-sympathizers are better informed, more intellectually consistent, more open-minded, more empathetic and more receptive to criticism than their fellow Americans who support the Democratic Party. ...

Pew’s new study echoes the results of many other reports and studies that show GOP supporters are better educated, more empathetic and more open to criticism than Democrats.

A March 12 Pew study showed that Democrats are far more likely that conservatives to disconnect from people who disagree with them.

“In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS [social networking sites] because of one of these reasons, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates,” said the report, tiled “Social networking sites and politics. ...

UVA researchers have used a massive online survey to show that conservatives better understand the ideas of liberals than vice versa. ...

The academics’ work is also being backed up by commercial research into the tastes and political views of potential customers.

For example, researchers have learned that Internet sites offering financial information, sports scores, online-auctions attract far more interest from Republicans than from Democrats, according to a 2010 study by National Media Research, Planning and Placement, based in Alexandria, Va.

In contrast, Democrats outnumber Republicans at online dating sites, job-searches sites, online TV and online video-game sites, said the firm.
This is consistent with my experience. I live in a politically liberal area, and liberals are the most narrow-minded people I know.

Besides suffering from political bias and fraud, psychology research has a publication bias that is greater than that of all of the real sciences.

Not only are psychologists overwhelmingly leftist, but they have some of the lowest intelligence test scores of any discipline. On the GRE tests for grad school, only the Physical Education majors have significantly lower scores. And that is my personal experience also. I knew students who bragged that they could ace a psychology final exam without ever going to class. Of court psychologists like Ken Perlmutter, they obviously have a very low IQ, and a very low understanding of their own prejudices. I had to explain things 3 or 4 times to Perlmutter, and he still did not get it. I think that my 10-year-old daughter had already passed him up in intellectual capacity.

I post this because the family court uses psychologists as if they were experts on what is good for kids. They are the opposite. The do not follow the published research, and they are ideologically committed to what is bad for kids.


Anonymous said...

If a reader isn't careful it might appear to them that the WSJ book review on Haidt was about the info on Eidelman above it.

The positioning of info in this fashion has been a consistent feature in your blogs, as mentioned before. I'm not saying it's deliberate, just consistent, coincidental and curious.


Anonymous said...

This angry dad fellow seems to be really bad at reasoning and really good at non-sequitors. That he’s more concerned about someone’s ethnicity than their arguments is telling enough.

Two amusing things. First, he commits a logical fallacy, going from “low-effort thought increases political conservatism” to “political conservatism is due to low effort thought” (the authors caution their readers to not make this mistake, but of course angry dad didn’t read the article he tries to mock and criticize). Also telling, he seems to think “low-effort” equals stupid. Don’t miss the irony of these points; it's too sweet.

The publisher owns the rights to most published work. Authors cannot post their papers online for free, but they can respond to requests for copies. It doesn’t seem like the angry dad has bothered to make the effort.

ps you might reconsider linking to John Jay Ray’s blog - he likes to brag about his academic credentials and publications but no one in the field takes him seriously; he’s just another angry guy, wronged by others (and it's worth noting that the bulk of his “publications” are commentaries and correlation coefficients published in lousy journals, e.g., ranked 50/56).

George said...

Real scientists, such as those in physics, post their papers online. Even if the author did sign away his right to post the paper, he still could post a summary of his work. I have no respect for scholars claiming to do new research, but who are unwilling to subject their results to public scrutiny.

Maybe his paper does show that it takes more mental effort to deny obvious truths. But the paper is not publicly available and I did not read it.

I never heard of John Jay Ray, but I am posting the link in case anyone is interested.

Anonymous said...

Does someone pay this guy every time he makes a sweeping (over)generalization?

And did he just blame the authors of the paper because he wrote a misleading and misinformed post about it?

Anonymous said...

Yes that's what the angry dad just did. He makes it all up as he goes along.