Sunday, March 01, 2009

Junk Science & Political Ideology.

The search for the pathological conservative is one of the great missions among a certain part of academia. James Q Wilson comments on a certain aspect of it:

Another challenge is politicized assessment of the genetic evidence. Ever since 1950, when Theodor Adorno and his colleagues published The Authoritarian Personality, scholars have studied right-wing authoritarianism but neglected its counterpart on the left. In his study of identical twins reared apart, Bouchard concludes that right-wing authoritarianism is, to a large degree, inherited—but he says nothing about the Left. This omission is puzzling, since as Bouchard was studying twins at the University of Minnesota, he was regularly attacked by left-wing students outraged by the idea that any traits might be inherited. A few students even threatened to kill him. When I pointed this out to him, he suggested, in good humor, that I was a troublemaker.


In more 'pathological conservatives' news the New Scientist reports- "Porn in the USA: Conservatives are biggest consumers". This is based on a study which find that some of the more conservative states (based on voting) have higher rates of porn channel subscription, using this logic you could conclude that blacks in the US are overwhelmingly Republican because the states with the highest proportion of African-Americans are overwhelmingly Republican (ie Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana etc).

Furthermore it isn't as if more detailed evidence on porn consumption and political preference isn't available and the evidence from the US shows that 32% of Democrats have watched a X-rated movie in the past year compared to 26% of Republicans (and this is before carrying out any correction for the sex of respondents) confirming that the biggest wankers are indeed on the left.



TDK said...

The Adorno study is a bit of a Zombie. It has been killed dozens of times yet it gets up and walks again and again.

Here's one take by Jon Ray (more general here)

Ross said...

Interesting, I'll check them out.