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Cake day: July 17th, 2023

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  • Conservatives are more likely to have dark triad / tetrad personality traits – Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy and everyday sadism – and they’re also more likely to be… well, a bit on the dim side.

    It’s not too surprising that an ideology centered around dominance and punishing the Other (usually with physical violence) like conservatism is going to attract the worst kind of people, and since it also emphasizes strict hierarchies and resistance to change it’s not at all surprising that it’s also extremely attractive to people who want to minimize any sort of uncertainty and change – because they are literally incapable of dealing with complexity.

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    In the present research (N = 675), we focus on the relationship between the dark side of human personality and political orientation and extremism, respectively, in the course of a presidential election where the two candidates represent either left-wing or right-wing political policies. Narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and everyday sadism were associated with right-wing political orientation, whereas narcissism and psychopathy were associated with political extremism. Moreover, the relationships between personality and right-wing political orientation and extremism, respectively, were relatively independent from each other.

    We found eleven significant correlations between conservative [Moral Intuition Survey] judgments and the Dark Triad – [narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy,] all at significance level of p<.00001 – and no significant correlations between liberal [Moral Intuition Survey] judgments and the Dark Triad. We believe that these results raise provocative moral questions about the personality bases of moral judgments. In particular, we propose that because the Short-D3 measures three “dark and antisocial” personality traits, our results raise some prima facie worries about the moral justification of some conservative moral judgments

    I ran a follow-up study testing the Dark Triad against conservative and liberal judgments on 15 additional moral issues. The new issues examined include illegal immigration, abortion, the teaching of “intelligent design” in public schools, the use of waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the war on terrorism, laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and environmentalism. 1154 participants […] Twenty-two significant correlations were observed between “conservative” judgments and the Dark Triad (all of which were significant past a Bonferonni-corrected significance threshold of p = .0008), compared to seven significant correlations between Dark Triad and “liberal” judgments (only one of which was significant past p = .0008).

    Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

    We report longitudinal data in which we assessed the relationships between intelligence and support for two constructs that shape ideological frameworks, namely, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO). Participants (N = 375) were assessed in Grade 7 and again in Grade 12. Verbal and numerical ability were assessed when students entered high school in Grade 7. RWA and SDO were assessed before school graduation in Grade 12. After controlling for the possible confounding effects of personality and religious values in Grade 12, RWA was predicted by low g (β = -.16) and low verbal intelligence (β = -.18). SDO was predicted by low verbal intelligence only (β = -.13). These results are discussed with reference to the role of verbal intelligence in predicting support for such ideological frameworks and some comments are offered regarding the cognitive distinctions between RWA and SDO.

    Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. The evidence is based on 1254 community college students and 1600 foreign students seeking entry to United States’ universities. At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores. At the national level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with measures of education (e.g., gross enrollment at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels) and performance on mathematics and reading assessments from the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) project. They also correlate with components of the Failed States Index and several other measures of economic and political development of nations. Conservatism scores have higher correlations with economic and political measures than estimated IQ scores.

    [T]here exists a solid empirical paper trail demonstrating that lower cognitive abilities (e.g., abstract-reasoning skills and verbal, nonverbal, and general intelligence) predict greater prejudice. We discuss how the effects of lower cognitive ability on prejudice are explained (i.e., mediated) by greater endorsement of right-wing socially conservative attitude. […]

    Right-wing ideologies offer well-structured and ordered views about society that preserve traditional societal conventions and norms (e.g., Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloway, 2003). Such ideological belief systems are particularly attractive to individuals who are strongly motivated to avoid uncertainty and ambiguity in preference for simplicity and predictability (Jost et al., 2003; Roets & Van Hiel, 2011). Theoretically, individuals with lower mental abilities should be attracted by right-wing social-cultural ideologies because they minimize complexity and increase perceived control (Heaven, Ciarrochi, & Leeson, 2011; Stankov, 2009). Conversely, individuals with greater cognitive skills are better positioned to understand changing and dynamic societal contexts, which should facilitate open-minded, relatively left-leaning attitudes (Deary et al., 2008a; Heaven et al., 2011; McCourt, Bouchard, Lykken, Tellegen, & Keyes, 1999). Lower cognitive abilities therefore draw people to strategies and ideologies that emphasize what is presently known and considered acceptable to make sense and impose order over their environment. Resistance to social change and the preservation of the status quo regarding societal traditions—key principles underpinning right-wing social-cultural ideologies—should be particularly appealing to those wishing to avoid uncertainty and threat.

    Indeed, the empirical literature reveals negative relations between cognitive abilities and right-wing social-cultural attitudes, including right-wing authoritarian (e.g., Keiller, 2010; McCourt et al., 1999), socially conservative (e.g., Stankov, 2009; Van Hiel et al., 2010), and religious attitudes (e.g., Zuckerman, Silberman, & Hall, 2013).





  • hydroptic@sopuli.xyzOPtoFunny@sh.itjust.worksApex friend?
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    4 hours ago

    Ah yeah the Siberian fox experiment is interesting. They found that the tamer foxes had a tendency towards neoteny, ie. basically retaining juvenile features and slower development, and they even lost some of their intelligence too which was interesting. The same has happened with dogs, physically they’re closer to juvenile wolves and generally they’re also less intelligent than wolves.

    Didn’t know someone had tried the same with panthers and cheetahs though, that’s pretty surprising. Sounds like a bit of a project to tame panthers of all creatures when even housecats aren’t as domesticated as eg. dogs




  • hydroptic@sopuli.xyztoMemes@lemmy.mlMath
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    4 hours ago

    Yeah it was a middle school thing in Finland too, at least in the 90’s.

    I did an exchange year in the US in my 2nd high school year, and I was honestly a bit surprised at how… well, simple it all was. I was a senior in the US and I’d learned just about everything they taught that wasn’t specific to the US or the English language (and even some of those…) either in my 1st year in high school or in middle school.





  • Unline what some commenters have said, it’s absolutely not just “a Twitter thing”. Eg. one of Finland’s new MEPs is exactly this sort of person; a gay man dating an immigrant, but who belongs to an extremist right-wing party. He hates trans people, and like all conservative LGBT+ folks he is so oblivious that he apparently completely misses the fact that were his party to actually have their way, they would literally murder him for not being straight, and at best deport his boyfriend if they didn’t send him to the same extermination camp









  • My circle of friends has – for whatever reason – developed a habit of pluralizing names and things like kinship words (so it’s “moms” and not “mom”, for example. I swear this wasn’t influenced by Infinite Jest), usually when we want to be endearing to each other or refer to someone in an endearing way.

    So to use OP’s name as an example, if I was to send them a message I could eg say something like “How are the Vibias doing today?”

    We also mangle names in addition to that, so someone called eg. Timo (a Finnish name) who has the nickname “Timppa” (yes the nickname is mysteriously longer than the actual name. Finnish 🤷) would first get mangled to “Tinppa” (we do mp -> np a lot), and then “Tinpat” to turn it into a plural.