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Rigging a study to make conservatives look stupid.
Slate ^ | Sept. 14, 2007 | William Saletan

Posted on 09/14/2007 1:29:14 PM PDT by neverdem

Are liberals smarter than conservatives?

It looks that way, according to a study published this week in Nature Neuroscience. In a rapid response test—you press a button if you're given one signal, but not if you're given a different signal—the authors found that conservatives were "more likely to make errors of commission," whereas "stronger liberalism was correlated with greater accuracy." They concluded that "a more conservative orientation is related to greater persistence in a habitual response pattern, despite signals that this response pattern should change."

Does this mean liberal brains are fitter? Apparently. "Liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty," the authors wrote. New York University, which helped fund the study, concluded, "Liberals are more likely than are conservatives to respond to cues signaling the need to change habitual responses." The study's lead author, NYU professor David Amodio, told London's Daily Telegraph that "liberals tended to be more sensitive and responsive to information that might conflict with their habitual way of thinking."

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bias; conservatism; conservatives; liberalism; liberals; psychobabble; psychology
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Political scientists and psychologists have noted that, on average, conservatives show more structured and persistent cognitive styles, whereas liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty. We tested the hypothesis that these profiles relate to differences in general neurocognitive functioning using event-related potentials, and found that greater liberalism was associated with stronger conflict-related anterior cingulate activity, suggesting greater neurocognitive sensitivity to cues for altering a habitual response pattern.

That's the abstract which is linked in the second sentence of the article at the source. You can't make this stuff up.

1 posted on 09/14/2007 1:29:16 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

If they did the same experiment with blacks and whites, the libs would go bezerk.


2 posted on 09/14/2007 1:30:56 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: neverdem

Summary: Liberals have no attention span.


3 posted on 09/14/2007 1:32:21 PM PDT by donna (A new study says that Ritalin may stunt growth. Men ARE getting shorter than women!)
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To: neverdem

I wonder how they know who’s conservative and who’s liberal?


4 posted on 09/14/2007 1:33:03 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: neverdem
conservatives show more structured and persistent cognitive styles, whereas liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty.

So if you are wishy-washy that somehow means you are more intelligent????? What a load of crap.

5 posted on 09/14/2007 1:33:13 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: neverdem

I read this and scoffed.

Liberals continued to be stimulated on a mindless exercise while conservatives tuned out faster.

Give a baby a rattle and it will entertain for hours.

(See? I can make specious claims based on these results, too!)


6 posted on 09/14/2007 1:33:48 PM PDT by bolobaby
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To: neverdem

Garbage in, garbage out!


7 posted on 09/14/2007 1:33:50 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
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To: Brilliant
I wonder how they know who’s conservative and who’s liberal?

Liberals were all driving hybrid cars with bumper stickers on the back.

8 posted on 09/14/2007 1:34:26 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: neverdem
We don’t need no study to show how stupid some of our conservative leaders are do we?
9 posted on 09/14/2007 1:34:26 PM PDT by hophead ( "Enjoy Every Sandwich")
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To: Brilliant; All

Read Saletan’s article if you haven’t. Is he Slate’s token conservative? I don’t read Slate much.


10 posted on 09/14/2007 1:34:42 PM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

So they pitted an 84 year old Republican against a 18 year old college student?


11 posted on 09/14/2007 1:35:15 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (California : home of the fruits, nuts and flakes.)
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To: neverdem

All I know is that our spelling, punctuation, and grammar beats the norm found at DU!


12 posted on 09/14/2007 1:35:45 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (THE SECOND AMENDMENT, A MATTER OF FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION)
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To: neverdem

I read somewhere else the sample size was seven. That’s not enough people to draw a conclusion from either.


13 posted on 09/14/2007 1:37:28 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls

Oh my god - if the sample size was seven... well... I’d crap myself over the foolishness of all the libs latching on to an obviously flawed study.

I also like that they used the letter “W”. We all know that libs have a HUGE reaction to that letter nowadays... ;-)


14 posted on 09/14/2007 1:39:28 PM PDT by bolobaby
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To: neverdem
From today's Wall Street Journal: Most Science Studies Appear To Be Tainted By Sloppy Analysis

This study appears to be a case in point.

15 posted on 09/14/2007 1:40:04 PM PDT by gridlock (I do not support Hillary Clinton because I am afraid of strong women)
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To: neverdem
and found that greater liberalism was associated with stronger conflict-related anterior cingulate activity,

a nice way of saying they are brain damaged?

16 posted on 09/14/2007 1:40:09 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: neverdem
suggesting greater neurocognitive sensitivity to cues for altering a habitual response pattern

Translation: liberals are more "flighty."

17 posted on 09/14/2007 1:40:25 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: neverdem

If liberals are so smart...why are they liberals?


18 posted on 09/14/2007 1:40:37 PM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: Always Right
Liberals were all driving hybrid cars with bumper stickers on the back.

Put enough bumper stickers on it, and the deputies mightn't notice that your tag has expired.

19 posted on 09/14/2007 1:41:24 PM PDT by thulldud (Millete adi politikacilar gibi yalanci vaadlerde bulunmaktan nefret ederiz. -- (Ataturk))
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To: neverdem

20 posted on 09/14/2007 1:41:34 PM PDT by RightWhale (Snow above 2000')
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To: Brilliant
See article in todays WSJ by Robert Holtz, “Most Science Studies Appear Tainted By Sloppy Analysis”. Basically researchers are manipulating the data to meet their preconceived opinions. The supposed peer review is more of the same.
21 posted on 09/14/2007 1:42:12 PM PDT by stubernx98 (cranky, but reasonable)
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To: donna

DING, DING, DING!!!!!! We have a winner!


22 posted on 09/14/2007 1:42:16 PM PDT by avacado
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To: Always Right
Liberals were all driving hybrid cars

Actually, they're telling US to drive hybrids while they do as they please.

23 posted on 09/14/2007 1:42:31 PM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: neverdem

The whole basis for prejudice, bias and ignorance are these pseudo-scientific generalizations to justify them.

Of course “liberals” are so much smarter than everybody else — and why they should do the thinking for everybody else and tell everybody else what to do. That is their “divine right” as kings or God wouldn’t have created them smarter than everybody else — and made them entitled to more money, power and status than everybody else.

And they’re so democratic too.


24 posted on 09/14/2007 1:42:46 PM PDT by MikeHu
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To: neverdem
Good article. Salatan's a liberal, but like his colleague Mickey Kaus, he lets the chips fall where they may and is fair more often than not.

Any study done among college students isn't likely to accurately explain adult behaviors. Also, I don't know if they adequately account for the demographics: if more college women consider themselves liberal and more college men are conservatives, that in itself is going to skew the results.

25 posted on 09/14/2007 1:43:20 PM PDT by x
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To: FreedomCalls

26 posted on 09/14/2007 1:44:43 PM PDT by RightWhale (Snow above 2000')
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To: neverdem

“There is terror in numbers,” writes Darrell Huff in How to Lie with Statistics. And nowhere does this terror translate to blind acceptance of authority more than in the slippery world of averages, correlations, graphs, and trends. Huff sought to break through “the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind” with this slim volume, first published in 1954. The book remains relevant as a wake-up call for people unaccustomed to examining the endless flow of numbers pouring from Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and everywhere else someone has an axe to grind, a point to prove, or a product to sell. “The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify,” warns Huff.
Although many of the examples used in the book are charmingly dated, the cautions are timeless. Statistics are rife with opportunities for misuse, from “gee-whiz graphs” that add nonexistent drama to trends, to “results” detached from their method and meaning, to statistics’ ultimate bugaboo—faulty cause-and-effect reasoning. Huff’s tone is tolerant and amused, but no-nonsense. Like a lecturing father, he expects you to learn something useful from the book, and start applying it every day. Never be a sucker again, he cries!

Even if you can’t find a source of demonstrable bias, allow yourself some degree of skepticism about the results as long as there is a possibility of bias somewhere. There always is.
Read How to Lie with Statistics. Whether you encounter statistics at work, at school, or in advertising, you’ll remember its simple lessons. Don’t be terrorized by numbers, Huff implores. “The fact is that, despite its mathematical base, statistics is as much an art as it is a science.” —Therese Littleton


27 posted on 09/14/2007 1:44:46 PM PDT by Stark_GOP
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
All I know is that our spelling, punctuation, and grammar beats the norm found at DU!

And our vocabulary is larger than the repetitive 4 letter words that fill their posts as well

28 posted on 09/14/2007 1:45:13 PM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: donna

I was thinking more along the lines that liberals are knee jerk and don’t think about things. Whereas a conservative will give something due consideration before making a decision.


29 posted on 09/14/2007 1:45:17 PM PDT by misharu (US Congress = children without adult supervision)
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To: Brilliant
I wonder how they know who’s conservative and who’s liberal?

The liberals were the PhDs and the conservatives were the cleaning people.

30 posted on 09/14/2007 1:45:17 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Brilliant
"I wonder how they know who’s conservative and who’s liberal?"

We conservative men sport a larger "package" and have to shave once a day. Lib men only need to shave the fuzz about once per weak and have no evident "package" to the casual observer.

As for the women, that's easy... conservative women are hot and lib-chix sport under arm hair.

31 posted on 09/14/2007 1:45:26 PM PDT by avacado
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To: neverdem

>Are liberals smarter than conservatives?<

Liberals are more devious than conservatives. Unprincipled people may call that smart. I call it dishonest.


32 posted on 09/14/2007 1:46:08 PM PDT by Paperdoll ( Duncan Hunter '08)
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To: MikeHu
And they’re so democratic too.

Kinda like the 'Democratic People's Republic of Korea' (ie. Kim Jong-il's paradise on the 38th parallel).

33 posted on 09/14/2007 1:46:39 PM PDT by bassmaner (Hey commies: I am a white male, and I am guilty of NOTHING! Sell your 'white guilt' elsewhere.)
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To: neverdem; Brilliant; donna; Always Right; bolobaby; Revolting cat!; notpoliticallycorewrecked; ...
Political scientists and psychologists have noted that, on average, conservatives show more structured and persistent cognitive styles, whereas liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty.

What this tells me is that if you want a bridge built, get a conservative to do it. Oh, liberals can build a bridge, but they will get it sorta kinda maybe right.

34 posted on 09/14/2007 1:47:33 PM PDT by Enterprise (I can't talk about liberals anymore because some of the words will get me sent to rehab.)
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To: neverdem
So how come liberals can’t understand the simple concept that lowering taxes shrinks the deficit?
35 posted on 09/14/2007 1:48:36 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: avacado
"Lib men only need to shave the fuzz about once per weak and have no evident "package" to the casual observer."

And they get easily confused about which part of the body they shave the fuzz from.

36 posted on 09/14/2007 1:48:59 PM PDT by Enterprise (I can't talk about liberals anymore because some of the words will get me sent to rehab.)
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To: neverdem
"Liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty

means if your information is complex, ambiguous, and new, the liberal will believe it without question...

37 posted on 09/14/2007 1:49:54 PM PDT by Edgerunner (If you won't let the military fight your battles, you will have to. Keep your powder dry...)
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To: FreedomCalls

So I read the slate.com article - something I rarely do.

They take from whether you push the button correctly quickly or not that Liberals are smart and Conservatives are dumb -

This study is informative - it explains why liberals believe in Global warming so easily, and don’t understand a thing called the “Scientific Method.”

Got it!


38 posted on 09/14/2007 1:50:16 PM PDT by fremont_steve (Milpitas - a great place to be FROM!)
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To: neverdem
liberals tended to be more sensitive and responsive to information that might conflict with their habitual way of thinking."

Or, if the collectivists sense that the herd might be changing direction, they're quick to fall in line.

39 posted on 09/14/2007 1:50:33 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: neverdem
In a rapid response test—you press a button if you're given one signal, but not if you're given a different signal—the authors found that conservatives were "more likely to make errors of commission," whereas "stronger liberalism was correlated with greater accuracy."

If they controlled for average lifetime video game usage they would have a different result,

40 posted on 09/14/2007 1:52:44 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: Right Wing Assault
suggesting greater neurocognitive sensitivity to cues for altering a habitual response pattern

Doesn't mean the response they altered to was the correct response, it just indicates they changed.

41 posted on 09/14/2007 1:52:47 PM PDT by EBH
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To: Enterprise

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!


42 posted on 09/14/2007 1:53:24 PM PDT by avacado
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To: neverdem

Sure you can, I do it all the time without even thinking about it.


43 posted on 09/14/2007 1:54:47 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: gridlock

Thanks for the link!


44 posted on 09/14/2007 1:56:05 PM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

ping for later


45 posted on 09/14/2007 1:57:44 PM PDT by ocr1
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To: neverdem
Seems there's one of these studies every three months.

My study concludes that liberals are more adept at mental masterbation, and every three months there is additional evidence to confirm my conclusion.

46 posted on 09/14/2007 1:58:23 PM PDT by Doctor Raoul
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To: gridlock
From today's Wall Street Journal: Most Science Studies Appear To Be Tainted By Sloppy Analysis

Who da thunk?

47 posted on 09/14/2007 1:59:54 PM PDT by notpoliticallycorewrecked (California : home of the fruits, nuts and flakes.)
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To: x
Salatan's a liberal, but like his colleague Mickey Kaus, he lets the chips fall where they may and is fair more often than not.

Thanks for the feedback.

48 posted on 09/14/2007 2:00:51 PM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem
If the largest portion of newspaper reporters are liberal, I’d say the opposite is true. There have been so many article titles that make absolutely no sense.

The same with TV reporters. I don’t think many intelligent people would stand outside hanging onto trees or signs in 100+ MPH wind reporting on hurricanes.

49 posted on 09/14/2007 2:01:34 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (DC scandals. Republicans address them, Democrats reelect them. (Tom DeLay 8/30/07))
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To: Brilliant
I wonder how they know who’s conservative and who’s liberal?

As explained...

Political attitudes questionnaire. A measure of political attitudes was embedded in a larger set of personality and attitudes surveys completed at the every beginning of the experimental session. Participants completed these questionnaires in private. Participants were instructed to not make any identifying marks on the questionnaires and, upon completion, to place the questionnaires into a large envelope. These questionnaires remained in these envelopes until the completion of the study, at which time they were entered into a computer database.

The critical political orientation item asked participants to indicate their political orientation on a scale ranging from Extremely Liberal (–5) to Extremely Conservative (+5), with neutral corresponding to 0. This single item has been shown to provide a valid and reliable measure of political orientation that is very strongly predictive of intended and actual behavior (e.g., voting decisions).

References:

Knight, K., in Measures of Political Attitudes, J.P. Robinson, P.R. Shaver, & L.S. Wrightsman, Eds. (Academic Press, San Diego, 1999), pp. 59-158.

Jost, J., Am. Psychol. 61, 651-670 (2006).

50 posted on 09/14/2007 2:02:15 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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