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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Liberals and Conservatives

Another bleeding heart liberal!

Psychology Today magazine has an interesting piece about what drives peoples' political preferences. We like to believe that we make reasoned decisions about such things; but, as I've always suspected, one's politics, like one's personality, are, to some degree, imprinted at birth.

There was a study done by two professors at Berkeley, where they followed children over a period of years.
In 1969, Berkeley professors Jack and Jeanne Block embarked on a study of childhood personality, asking nursery school teachers to rate children's temperaments. ....Twenty years later, they decided to compare the subjects' childhood personalities with their political preferences as adults. They found arresting patterns. As kids, liberals had developed close relationships with peers and were rated by their teachers as self-reliant, energetic, impulsive, and resilient. People who were conservative at age 23 had been described by their teachers as easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and vulnerable at age 3. The reason for the difference, the Blocks hypothesized, was that insecure kids most needed the reassurance of tradition and authority, and they found it in conservative politics.
Karl Rove knows that quite well!

The article also notes other ways in which liberals and conservative differ:
Liberals are messier than conservatives, their rooms have more clutter and more color, and they tend to have more travel documents, maps of other countries, and flags from around the world.

Conservatives are neater, and their rooms are cleaner, better organized, more brightly lit, and more conventional.

Liberals have more books, and their books cover a greater variety of topics. And that's just a start.

Liberals are more optimistic.

Conservatives are more likely to be religious.

Liberals are more likely to like classical music and jazz, conservatives, country music.

Liberals are more likely to enjoy abstract art.

Conservative men are more likely than liberal men to prefer conventional forms of entertainment like TV and talk radio.

Liberal men like romantic comedies more than conservative men.

Liberal women are more likely than conservative women to enjoy books, poetry, writing in a diary, acting, and playing musical instruments.
My house is in a constant state of disarray. I have objects that I've collected on my travels all over the house, and the books are stacked almost three foot high along the upstairs corridor. I've got (somewhat abstract) paintings on my walls, lots of windows, lots of color. And I love all sorts of music, except teeny pop and modern country (love the old stuff, though). And I've got season tickets to the Detroit Symphony and Hilberry theater.

I wonder where I fit in?


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