May 09, 2012
Is conservatism a conspiracy of the stupid?
I was interested to read in the Church Times editorial of a study published last month in the 'Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin' in the United States.
It was entitled, 'Low-effort thought promotes political conservatism'.
The authors conducted four related studies, placing their subjects under the stresses of alcohol intake, distractions, time shortage and the request for first impressions.
In each study, the less effort given to thinking led to the endorsement of conservative values, defined by the researchers as 'a greater perception of personal responsibility and self-interest, an easy acceptance of heirarchy and a preference for the status quo.
The number of students participating was low, around 50, but the results are apparently consistent with other studies. The authors conclude:
'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 follows.'
As slogans and sound bites thrive on low thought, low effort response, we must suppose that the Right will always win the slogan campaign.
Labour's sound bite will need to be something like: 'Stop drinking, put away the distractions, take your time and think carefully before voting.'
But it's not very catchy is it?
Posted by Mr Bojangles at May 9, 2012 09:15 AM