Study authors retract: It turns out conservatives are not psychotic (liberals are)

Jun 15, 2016 by

by Fr Mark Hodges, LifeSite:

The National Review calls it, “one of the most humiliating academic mistakes ever.” Powerline calls it, “the mother of all corrections.” The Media Research Center calls it, “maybe the most embarrassing correction in history.”

Over three years after publishing a study which both presumed and then “found” that political and social conservatism comes from “psychoticism,” “dogmatism,” “intolerance of ambiguity,” the “fear of threat or loss,” and, “serves as a coping mechanism that allows people to manage these threats,” the study’s authors are admitting they accidentally reversed the results.

The 2012 study, published in the American Journal of Political Science by three professors at Virginia Commonwealth University, analyzed a survey of 5,748 pairs of twins and their relatives, to see if not only personality, but political views find their genesis in early childhood. The study was called, “Correlation Not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies.”

But the study’s main premise is not what got the mainstream media’s attention. The study concluded that those with conservative principles “are more uncooperative, hostile, troublesome, and socially withdrawn,” as well as less conscientious, less agreeable, and more “manipulative.” People who scored low on “Psychoticism,” namely liberals, are “altruistic, well socialized, empathic, and conventional.”

In the study’s abstract, the authors admitted, “We expect higher P (Psychoticism) scores to be related to more conservative political attitudes, particularly for militarism and social conservatism.”

The authors introduced their conclusion that conservatives are characterized by Psychoticism, dogmatism, authoritarianism, intolerance and fear by stating this was “in line with our expectations.” They also concluded that those who want to get along (termed “Social Desirability”) are “likely to express socially liberal attitudes.”

However, it has now been revealed that the study actually found the exact opposite of what its authors claimed.

Read here


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