Patterico's Pontifications

3/13/2015

WaPo: Scientific Study Proves Conservatives Have Tendency Towards Self-Aggrandizement

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am



The “science” is settled!

Previous work on the “happiness gap” between liberals and conservatives took a relatively simple route: Just asking. Study subjects were asked to self-report their own happiness levels. In several academic studies (and one by Pew) conservatives repeatedly came out as generally cheerier than their left-wing countrymen.

The new results, published Thursday in the journal Science, took a different approach. Led by Sean Wojcik, a doctoral student in psychology and social behavior at the University of California at Irvine, the experiment analyzed photos and language analysis from the LinkedIn and Twitter profiles of those identified as either liberal or conservative.

“Common sense would dictate that if you want to know how happy someone is, you can ask them,” said Peter Ditto, UCI professor of psychology & social behavior and co-author of the paper. “But what do you do if someone says they’re happy, but doesn’t act that way?”

Indeed, Ditto and Wojcik found more genuine smiles (as measured by standard facial analysis) and more positive language in the Web trail of liberals, even though other members of that group self-reported as less happy in the very same study.

The reason, they say, is that political conservatives have a tendency to self-aggrandize. When they compared happiness self-reports with tests that measured a tendency to enhance one’s better qualities, they found that the happiness gap could be explained by a self-enhancement gap. In other words, liberals were being more honest about their personal pitfalls.

I would bet a paycheck that Ditto and Wojcik are leftists, for many reasons. One of the top reasons is, only a leftist would look at a data point like “conservatives say they are happier” and reach a conclusion that this must be because “political conservatives have a tendency to self-aggrandize.” That conclusion is certainly catnip for Big Media, which is chock-full of like-minded sneering leftists, but it’s not “science.”

Norm MacDonald has a joke that illustrates the problem here:

A new study found that men with beards are more attractive. More great work from the University of Bob Seger!

As the saying goes, when all you have is a hammer sneering dismissiveness towards conservatism, every problem looks like a nail an opportunity to sneer dismissively at conservatives.

P.S. Your Faithful Blogger is a happy man who is feeling some Conservative Anger™ as he contemplates the likelihood that taxpayer funds were expended for this “research.”

99 Responses to “WaPo: Scientific Study Proves Conservatives Have Tendency Towards Self-Aggrandizement”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. What an embarrassment. I’m not usually one to slag off social science, but… damn. This is garbage.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  3. Standard Facial Analysis informs me that your smile is not genuine, comrade. Some of us find your lack of enthusiasm disconcerting.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  4. happy factchex mix says needs more of those yogurt covered raisin thingies

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  5. Is self-aggrandizement something like “we manage to feed our own selves and our kids and don’t depend on government charity”?

    nk (dbc370)

  6. Alternate headline: “Endless Liberal Studies of Conservative Psychology Demonstrates Liberals Have Sick Obsession With Conservatives.”

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  7. all that study shows me is that lefties have a propensity for passing gas.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  8. Conservatives tend to be “all business” in their approach to work, life, etc. Results are valued more than good intentions.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  9. There are so many problems with the design of this study.

    1) Were the individuals selected randomly?
    2) Were the photos that were evaluated taken at random moments in the poster’s life?
    3) How do they separate professional from social posts? After all, a conservative may seek to be a professional curmudgeon when the person is in fact quite happy.
    4) Why Linked-In and Twitter? Why not evaluate Facebook posts?

    I’ll have to read the full article, but that’s just a beginning.

    Nathaniel Wright (1e47ba)

  10. News: A new study has shown that the likelihood of a study of “conservatives”

    having a negative outcome is directly proportional to the liberal/progressive

    nature of the reporting organization.

    Strange that.

    jakee308 (49ccc6)

  11. Case in point: compare my arrogant and narcissistic Senator Jeff Sessions with the humble genius in the Oval Office. Oh, wait – I got that backwards.

    Beasts of England (025ba9)

  12. in more science news national soros radio has an article about how you can take fake but accurate pictures of space that aren’t pictures of space using everyday items found in your kitchen

    just something to think about as tax day rolls around

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  13. It may interest Professor Peter Ditto to know that during football season, just before each play when the teams huddle up – they’re talking about him.

    ropelight (eb732e)

  14. How about another study, on smugness. Starting with the editorial board of the WaPo.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  15. I suspect there is a strong negative correlation between conservative beliefs and the incidence of fibromyalgia, gluten-sensitivity and chronic Lyme disease, too.

    Xmas (bfaacb)

  16. What this study tells me is liberals have yet again, found a way to spend a ton of money on something that was easily answered by a simple question.

    justataxpayer (d115ca)

  17. The study was completed before they took down the American flag. Did that make a difference?

    jim2 (7a9df7)

  18. Science continues to blaze a trail into oblivion. It bears repeating that a “scientific poll” is one that can be repeated within statistical bounds if the same questions are asked in the same order to a group that is selected in the same fashion within a narrow window of time. There is nothing that ensures the “results” are related in any way to reality. In fact, since many of these polls incorporate a majority of liberals amongst those who bother to reply to the survey, one is almost guaranteed that the results have no bearing on reality. The only purpose they serve is to give the sponsoring agency grist for their talking points. This is very different from studies of spending habits based on actual data. Such studies, for example, demonstrate that conservatives are far more charitable than progressives. And this is born out every election cycle when Presidential candidates release their tax returns. Hillary!, for example, was quite generous with her donations of used underwear to charities for substantial in kind values, but as to monetary donations, not so much.

    Speaking of oblivion, the Israel elections are said to be favoring the removal of Netanyahu. A Jerusalem Post poll indicates that those favoring removal of Netanyahu from the PM position are at 48% and those wishing to keep him there are at 41%. The Labor candidate has run a campaign of “Hope” and the JPost reports that 72% of the electorate wants “change”.

    The election is next Tuesday, 17 March. The conservatives were said to have stayed home last election. This sounds horribly familiar.

    However, it strikes me that in a parliamentary system, the PM is not necessarily a “majority” selection. The post usually goes to the leader of the largest party in the governing coalition, and so 41% might not be a bad result. This just demonstrates that the questions and the interpretation are designed by the sponsoring agency, and they mainly reflect the spin they are pushing this week. Which could well be a campaign to discourage conservative turnout. It worked for Obola.

    bobathome (ef0d3a)

  19. a better perspectives,

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/has-israel-got-the-six-year-itch-with-netanyahu/

    back then, Bibi had authorized two prisoner exchanges and had stood down on settlements,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  20. Israel has 13 parties sharing 120 seats. The last time I checked, Likud had 19. Way back, ok in the 90s, it reached its peak with 39 seats. I won’t guess what 41% poll votes means in seats, but it does not sound as pessimistic to me as Netanyahu’s foes want me to think it is.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. Peter Ditto, UCI professor of psychology & social behavior

    Does anything else need to be said ?

    I was once a member of the UCI faculty. Then I got scandal fatigue.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  22. The Labor candidate has run a campaign of “Hope” and the JPost reports that 72% of the electorate wants “change”.

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

    H. L. Mencken

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  23. 12. Case in point: compare my arrogant and narcissistic Senator Jeff Sessions with the humble genius in the Oval Office. Oh, wait – I got that backwards.
    Beasts of England (025ba9) — 3/13/2015 @ 8:45 am

    Jeff Sessions = self-aggrandizer

    Guy who gives speeches in front of styrofoam Greek columns, announce “we are the ones we have been waiting for, declares the moment of his coronation to be the very moment the seas stopped rising, the sick began to be healed, and the jobless began to get jobs = not self-aggrandizer.

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  24. Polls always show that Denmark has the happiest people. Does that mean Danes have a tendency to self-aggrandize? Oh, no, I forgot…it’s because they’ve got socialized medicine!

    Eric G (335ea0)

  25. Jealous, much? Who else do these nitwits think will do it?

    crazy (cde091)

  26. nk (dbc370) — 3/13/2015 @ 9:53 am

    I won’t guess what 41% poll votes means in seats, but it does not sound as pessimistic to me as Netanyahu’s foes want me to think it is.

    There are 120 seats..

    If all people voted strictly for Prime Minister, 41% would translate 41% would translate into 49 seats. More because of fractional and lost votes. This time the threshhhold was raised to 4 seats
    (before it was two seats and before that 1 seat bbut not 1/120 but 1%

    This whole thing could be a study in what an electoral system can do.

    It is rumored this that Avigdor Liberman, of Yisroel Beytenu, who comws from Molsovada, and is supposed to be right wing and somewhat corrupt, was responsible for this – the legislation raising the threshhold wa sone of 3 major pieces of legislation passed as part of a coalition agreement – because he thought that would throw the arab parties out of Parliament. Instead, as might have been expected they made a joint list, and that maybe actually will gain them an extra seat, and U.S. interference in the form of a get out of the vote drive will gain them another.

    The Arab parties, or some of them, would like to participate in a government but their international connections won’t let them, but they count as far as deciding who is Prime Minister is concerned, because they can recommend to the President that the Herzog be given the opportunity to forma coalition and he could create a minority government as long as they don’t vote against it in a vote of no confidence.

    These Arab partiers are all various forms of being anti-Israel. One used to be the Communist party and has some Jewish members or leaders. One is islamic and one is secular, if I am right. They are all pursely focused in the end on nationalistic type issues.

    There’s a Jewish religious party also, UTJ, that never participates in a government on aministerial level (so they shouldn’t have to personally endorse all policies) but has had deputy ministers in previous governments.

    Now what can happen is that Israelis might vote right and get left.

    Here are the Israeli polls:

    http://knessetjeremy.com/category/knesset/polls/

    25 [20] Zionist Union (Labor-Livni)
    21 [18] Likud
    13 [11] The Joint (Arab) List
    11 [20] Yesh Atid
    11 [11] Bayit Yehudi
    09 [02] Kulanu (Kahlon+Kadima)
    09 [10] Shas
    06 [07] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
    06 [13] Yisrael Beitenu
    05 [06] Meretz
    04 [02] Yachad (Yishai+Chetboun+Marzel)

    66 [63] Right-Religious-Kahlon (Parties that have not ruled out nominating Netanyahu in Phase 2)
    54 [57] Center-Left-Arab (Parties that have ruled out nominating Netanyahu in Phase 2)

    If you study this you will see that everything could depend on the new party Kolanu. Kalonu was founded by one person who says he is running for Finance Minister and doesn’t care who is Prime Minister, but his roots are more on the right. Koolanu also includes the rump of Kadima, the party founded by Ariel Sharon when he split off from Likud aznd took most of Likud with him. It barely made the last Knesset.

    Now its leader, former Foreign Minsiter Tzipi Livni, made an agreement with Herzog of Labor that they would alternate as Prime Minister and they called the party for this election the “Zionist Union” and she has nothing but her own reputation – she is someone whose origins are on the old right to bring to this. She’s still proud of having acheived UN Security Council Resolutrion 1701. You can look it up how much that matters.

    In the last Knesset, Lapid of Yesh Atid, made an agreement with Naftali Bennett of Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home, the more nationalist right wing movement whose core supporters of opne part of it were settlers – it is also the successor to the National Religious Party, which were more “modern” or secular religious Jews.)

    So Yesh Atid made a deal with Yisroel Beyteynu that neither would enter into a coalition with the other, and Lapid also said he wouldn’t enter into a coalition with the 2 religious parties, UTJ and Shas – and they feel betrayed because of the legislation on the draft and the cutoff of money whereever it might their people more, their institutions and also child support payments.

    Lapid likes to say that the culture war is over and the religious people won, and look, he has some religious people and Rabbis in his party.

    The reason is there are elections is that Benjamin Netanyahu got fed up with Lapid, (and to some degree with Bennett) and threw him out of his government and Bennett too. He needs a new division of Parliament to make a new coalition. I think this time Netanyahu wants the Jewish religious parties in, and if that’s ot enough would try for a national unity government with Labor.

    This time Lapid says he will support Labor and Bennett says he will support Netanyahu. If you add together Likud and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) they get 35 to 38 seats and with Yachad that works out to over 40 -0 or it used to. The latest polls show them around 32 and with Yachad that’s 36.

    What’s Yachad?

    Shas is the Sephardic religious party founded by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the last chief Rabbi who could be taken seriously – there are two chief Rabbis one Ashkenazi and one Sephardi, something that dates from the British mandate – this is kind of ridiculous since religious law isn’t different except for known and respected differences. So they gave them different responsibilities now.

    Rabbi Ovadia Yosef founded this party after he was term limited in his job as Chief Rabbi back in 1982 which was the frirst time term limits were applied. I’d say he was actually better as a religious leader, too than the ashkenazim and some of what he wanted to do was restore the glory. He was going against the ben Ish Chai who lived in Baghdad till 1909 or so and that’s actually bad. he went back to Rabbi Joseph Caro in the 1500s, who wrote the Shulchan Aruch..

    Anyway Shas appeals also to more secular Sephardi Jews – or at least traditional ones who will go to synagogue on Saturday morning and then later go to a soccer game and has also taken on the cause of poorer people. A big problem now is the high cost of hosuing – rental housing, by the way, is mostly destroyed for decades, since the 1940s, because of rent regulations and everybody has to buy a house or apartment or they have very temporary arrangements.

    Shas is also, in principle, for making concessions for peace but it actually has to get peace. It is not for taking “risks for peace.” It puts saving of life above everything. And considers attempts in our day and age for Jews to go on to the Temple Mount to be wrong.

    Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef died in the last year or so, and there has been a split in the leadership. This could get to be a long story. One thing that came out is that Aryeh Deri persuaded Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to go along with the Oslo accords and not the other way around and the Ovadia Yosef didn’t quite trust and said things in private that were recorded about Aryeh Deri.

    Aryeh Deri was barred from politics for ten years, but now he is back and he even tried resigning but he was begged to return. Meanwhile his substitute, Eli Yishai who was the leader of the party, ran off and founded his own party, which is called Yachad, but says he intends to appeal to people who wouldn’t vote for a religious party. He also made a deal with the extreme right – a people who failed to meet the threshhold last time, and Baruch Marzel, a former supporter of Meir Kahane got the 4th seat and says he will split off into his own faction if they are elected. Eli Yishai says the difference between him and Aryeh Deri is that he will never form a coalition with Labor. The new party looks like it will get pass the threshhold and get 4 or 5 seats.

    Anyway, Lapid of Yesh Atid will not agree to Shas so that pushes the two relighious aprties toward Netanyahu anyway. They wants some concessions, though.

    Meanwhile Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisroel Beyteynu, has some risk of not meeting the new threshold
    that he himself is reponsible for. He is under investigation. Its not such a leading party any more.

    There’s also Meretz, which is the orginal (Jewish) left party. It’s smaller tahn labor. It’s leader says the difference between her and Herzofg is that she will under no ciorcumstances support a coalition with Netanyahu. You’re against Netanyahu? That’s the way to guarantee the party you vote for will not nominate him for Prime Minister.

    So again, now that I’ve given this explanation, we have

    25 [20] Zionist Union (Labor-Livni)
    21 [18] Likud
    13 [11] The Joint (Arab) List
    11 [20] Yesh Atid
    11 [11] Bayit Yehudi
    09 [02] Kulanu (Kahlon+Kadima)
    09 [10] Shas
    06 [07] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
    06 [13] Yisrael Beitenu
    05 [06] Meretz
    04 [02] Yachad (Yishai+Chetboun+Marzel)

    66 [63] Right-Religious-Kahlon (Parties that have not ruled out nominating Netanyahu in Phase 2)
    54 [57] Center-Left-Arab (Parties that have ruled out nominating Netanyahu in Phase 2)

    Now Kahlon could decide to support Labor. Or if Yachad fails to meet the threshhold, but Meretz does, or Yisrael Beitenu either fails to meet the threshold or decides to go with Herzog you could get a left wing government. It might fall apart pretty soon.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  27. Our Windy City barrister wrote:

    Is self-aggrandizement something like “we manage to feed our own selves and our kids and don’t depend on government charity”?

    Must be; apparently the people who did the study have a somewhat different definition of self-aggrandizing than I do, but, hey, they’ve prob’ly all got PhDs and stuff like that, so they are my betters and know much more than I do.

    The extremely self-effacing Dana (f6a568)

  28. I�m good enough, I�m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me.

    hehe Got Al Franken a job in Washington. That and a trunk full of last minute ballots with questionable provinance.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  29. Let’s see, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and Barack Hussein Obama are on the left, but it’s the conservatives who are self-aggrandizing, right?

    Oh, wait, wait, now I see it: Mrs Clinton and Messrs Kerry and Obama aren’t self-aggrandizing at all, because they deserve whatever aggrandizing they enjoy; it’s only the doofus conservatives, who merit nothing, who puff themselves up as though they merit something.

    If only I had been intelligent enough to catch that in the beginning.

    The Dana shaking his head (f6a568)

  30. but it does not sound as pessimistic to me as Netanyahu’s foes want me to think it is.

    IIRC, Israel now has two separate contests: a traditional party contest for the Knesset and a direct vote for Prime Minister. The latter contest has far fewer contestants and 41% might not work.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  31. In other words, liberals were being more honest about their personal pitfalls.

    as if anyone who’s ever dealt with a lieberal, even once, would agree with this utter bull5hit.

    just about all the ones i know personally are either dishonest, or, at least, in denial of the reality around them, because reality doesn’t agree with what their worldview tells them reality should be.

    it’s like the young lady who was brutally murdered here in Lost Angels a few years back by the homeless person she thought she was helping. her parents raised her to be delusional about her surroundings, it killed her, and they couldn’t/wouldn’t understand why things turned out that way.

    as for photos, on Linked In or otherwise, i rarely smile, assuming, of course, you can even get me to take a picture.

    hell, i don’t smile that much period: i’ve read history, and i follow the news.

    WTF is thee to smile about, other than my kittehs, a good meal or a trip to the range?

    redc1c4 (269d8e)

  32. bobathome @19.

    The only purpose they serve is to give the sponsoring agency grist for their talking points.

    Sometimes they can really push people into giving the answers they want, like Planned Parennthood did or does in its polls about abortion. I know one that was done in 1986.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  33. See when Dana says “doofus conservative” , (well anybody really) I think they are talking about me personally.

    That’s the extent of my self aggrandizement. It’s more of a pathological symptom of my insecurity.

    Using the Vulcan mental discipline of Kolinahr to supress my inner goblins, as I type.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  34. Study shows: liberals are more likely to fake their emotions!

    It’s science.

    bridget (226b59)

  35. Mr Tiger wrote:

    See when Dana says “doofus conservative” , (well anybody really) I think they are talking about me personally.

    Oh, I am, I am! But, don’t take it too personally, ’cause we are apparently all doofuses (doofi?) as far as our betters on the left are concerned.

    Nevertheless, I can take it, somewhat consoled by the fact that my apparently ignorant vote counts just as much as my Hahvahd educated betters.

    The Dana of little worth (f6a568)

  36. Maybe liberals are better at fake smiles.

    Mike S (89ec89)

  37. Semi-serious question: a leftist woman once condescendingly snarked at my NASA work, declaring it insufficiently engineering-y compared to my boyfriend’s mother’s NASA work (don’t ask), while her own claim to STEM excellence lies in writing reviews of videogames.

    Am I self-aggrandising for pointing out that my work was valid? Isour differential in happiness due to her underestimating herself?

    bridget (226b59)

  38. “Polls always show that Denmark has the happiest people.”

    What happened to the “Melancholy Dane ?”

    I guess that was Hamlet and with that mother, I would be melancholy, too.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  39. bridget (226b59) — 3/13/2015 @ 12:32 pm

    Depends. Is your last name Wolowitz?

    That was wrong. Dear Lord I apologise…

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  40. I’m pretty sure that study violated the Logan Act.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  41. And was also raaaaacist.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  42. teh fish rots at its narcissistic head…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. And this is supposed to be science, published in one of the most famous peer-reviewed journals. No wonder some people distrust scientists.

    pst314 (ae6bd1)

  44. @Steve57: I hope my attempt at satire prevailed. Sessions is so humble it almost hurts to be around him – totally selfless. I can’t praise the gentleman enough.

    Beasts of England (67721f)

  45. Team R should write a brilliant strategical letter to the moderate al qaedas and tell them how the cow ate the cabbage

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  46. I’m thinking that Brian Williams was a survey participant, and lied about his political affiliation as part of it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  47. LinkedIn is something mostly used by business people. It’s in the nature of an online resume. Resumes, online, tend toward self-aggrandizement. I’d expect to see a slightly higher concentration of conservatives on LinkedIn than in the general population, because there’s a slightly higher concentration of conservatives who have or want jobs.

    I would predict with a high degree of confidence that progressives outnumber conservatives on Twitter by at least a 10 to 1 margin. Now don’t get me started about that whole Twitter thang, my blood pressure shoots up and I have to go chase those kids off my lawn, but I can only take 140 steps when I do, gol’-darnit! But Twitter is a few big Tweeters with a ton of followers who may or may not ever bother to post their own profiles, and it is, by definition and intrinsic design, among the most shallow of social media. It pioneered “shallow,” in fact. Basically it’s stand-up comedy attempts that mostly fail. Twitter is about wry and hip; it’s easy to be coolly self-deprecating in 140 characters.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  48. Which is to say: I suspect this survey was designed to be GIGO.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  49. Danes are consistently happiest because they consistently have low expectations. I’m not sure how the Danes would explain it but I’m Danish by heritage and I would explain it like this: Life is much nicer when you appreciate what you have, instead of wishing for what you don’t have.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  50. GIGO can get you the results you want; what’s wrong with that? (/snark)

    htom (63a65a)

  51. During world war poll showed non jewish germans were much happier then german jews.

    truther (8d91d8)

  52. ==In other words, liberals were being more honest about their personal pitfalls.==

    C’mon. You know the “genuine smiles” of special snowflakes receive a separate, secret bonus point, weighted rating that Mr. Wojcik and Mr. Ditto used to skew the results.

    elissa (7d886e)

  53. The primary author explains his results this way (bold supplied):

    I find that groups predisposed to self-enhancing self-report styles often report greater levels of happiness than other groups, but that they express less frequent, less intense, and less genuine happiness in their linguistic and nonverbal behavior.

    He equates being happy with expressing happiness in online discussion and smiles in self-selected online business photos. There are reasons why people might be more careful in how they express themselves online, especially in forums where prospective employers and clients are reading. I think that’s especially true if you’re conservative.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  54. The supervising professor believes liberals and conservatives disagree on basic facts and those mistakes are why they can’t agree on policies or laws. I believe the professor thinks one goal of morality/psychology research is to identify these mistakes and/or help people agree on better laws. I wonder if this research helps move people to the kind of ‘intuitive morality’ that supports liberal policies and laws?

    DRJ (e80d46)

  55. Conservatives only lie to themselves, not to everybody else in the room.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  56. Another view of Ditto’s research, which is interesting:

    Once someone’s emotions predispose them toward a political philosophy, they tend to pay more attention to information that reinforces their position, said Peter Ditto, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, who has collaborated with Haidt. Ignoring contradictory information is easier than ever, given the proliferation of partisan news sources and blogs.

    This fundamental gap is why liberals and conservatives often hit a wall while arguing issues with one another, Ditto said.

    “I’ve never won a political argument,” Ditto said. “You can never pin people down … These emotions organize our factual understanding of the world, and then you get stuck.”

    A search for common ground

    On a personal level, people can often overcome political differences, because they like one another and give each other credit for good intentions, Ditto said. But he worries about a media environment where both sides treat each other with suspicion.

    “There’s no more sort of ‘noble opponent,’ where we differ on things, but we all have the same goals,” he said.

    So given our differences and our psychological impulses to divide and conquer, is there hope for a return to national political cooperation and goodwill? Can political parties and the media ratchet down the drama to better reflect the electorate?

    “It’s hard to see how this just spontaneously heals itself,” Ditto said.

    “Not without a major crisis,” Haidt said.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  57. From the same link, this is the part I find more interesting:

    Researchers agree that the public’s political views are less polarized than those of elected officials. Still, the gaps between liberals and conservatives can run deep. That’s because political ideology is rooted in morality, Haidt said, and conservatives and liberals have very different understandings of what “moral” is.

    Across cultures, there seem to be five foundations of morality, Haidt said. Liberals care about the first two, harm and fairness. Conservatives care about harm and fairness too, but they also worry about the other three foundations: in-group loyalty, respect for authority and purity or sanctity, which ties into religious views. (Haidt’s study website, yourmorals.org, allows you to test where you fall on the spectrum.)

    People’s moral foundations are partially influenced by heritable traits, like a tendency toward disgust (which has been associated with conservatism) or empathy (reflected in the “liberal bleeding heart” stereotype). A study published this month in the Journal of Politics finds that a gene related to a love for novelty may be associated with a liberal outlook. People with the gene who had many friends as teenagers were more likely to be liberal as adults, revealing a gene-environment interaction, the researchers reported.

    Ditto explained his 2-factor/5-factor morality in the video at the link at my comment 58.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  58. Obama and Clinton do not self aggrandize. they do not need to. the media aggrandizes for them.

    On the Israeli elections, remember that the goal is a coalition, who is in the coalition matters for reasons not directly tied to the war with the Palestinians
    http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2015/03/the-peculiar-challenge-of-forthcoming.html

    kishnevi (adea75)

  59. kevin M. and kishnevi, thank you for clarifying the situation in Israel. I greatly fear that the courage that enabled the Jewish people to defeat four Arab armies in 1947 with little more than knives, pistols, mortars, hand grenades, automatic rifles, and ME-109s from behind the Iron Curtain has vanished. Has that now been replaced with infantile dreams of “hope and change”. How can people be so blind?

    Perhaps the immolation of Israel will awaken the American conscious.

    What a strange measure of evolutionary fitness if ISIS, Putin, and the liars who have made careers as Democrat politicians (not to mention their enablers in the nominal opposition party) are the survivors of what is about to occur.

    bobathome (ef0d3a)

  60. kishnevi,

    What do you think of this article?

    DRJ (e80d46)

  61. DRJ, take that article seriously.
    Complicating matters is that the religious parties are natural members of the Right. But lots of Israelis, both the secular and the Modern Orthodox, are not keen on the concessions and pork regularly given to the religious parties…and the latter massively resist any attempt to curb their privileges. Hence like the link I gave above, many are uneasy about voting for a party they know will take religious parties into the government. Synagogue and state are tangled up in ways bad for both, and a good example of why the US idea of separating the two is a good idea.

    Also, do not overestimate Labor’s penchant to cave in to the Palestinians. Livni was happy to support Netanyahu during Gaza last summer. It was the Right who criticized him, for not being aggressive enough. Labor would pull back on settlements, as a way of pacifying/deflecting Arab complaints (and complaints about settlers attacking Arabs and unjustly taking land, often with government assistance, have some trruth to them), and it would make a point of patching up things with Obama (he is after all helping them now in the election), but it would make substantive concessions to the Arabs only if it felt Abbas was willing and able to deliver on Palestinian promises.

    kishnevi (9c4b9c)

  62. 60. …I wonder if this research helps move people to the kind of ‘intuitive morality’ that supports liberal policies and laws?

    DRJ (e80d46) — 3/13/2015 @ 5:40 pm

    There’s no need to wonder.

    Across cultures, there seem to be five foundations of morality, Haidt said. Liberals care about the first two, harm and fairness. Conservatives care about harm and fairness too, but they also worry about the other three foundations: in-group loyalty, respect for authority and purity or sanctity, which ties into religious views. (Haidt’s study website, yourmorals.org, allows you to test where you fall on the spectrum.)

    The way they define what they consider the “foundations” of morality gives away their bias. It’s the free thinkers versus the Pharisees.

    Basically they set out to prove a fore ordained conclusion, and set the rules of the game to lead to that conclusion.

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  63. Is all science modeled on Soviet Psychiatry now?

    ErisGuy (76f8a7)

  64. No, some is modeled on Lysenko.

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  65. So, Soviet biology, too.

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  66. Let’s see, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and Barack Hussein Obama are on the left, but it’s the conservatives who are self-aggrandizing, right?

    And don’t forget Hillary’s husband, who’s notorious for having a big, all-consuming ego—which is, after all, a major manifestation of self-aggrandizing.

    In the private realm, I deal on occasion with a very liberal/leftwing person, and his so-called self-aggrandizing knows no bounds or is even off the charts.

    BTW, isn’t Hollywood chock full of liberals and yet isn’t it also notorious for all its self-aggrandizing people?

    Another thing: Since most people fall for the notion that liberalism and liberals imbue a people with humaneness, kindness, intelligence and sophistication, never forget that most communities throughout America that are loaded down with meanness, illiteracy, in-humaneness and general overall (even violent) dysfunction (ie, inner-city USA) are heavily of the left. Or keep in mind that if one assumes liberalism imbues a populace with the spirit of generosity, don’t overlook things like:

    townhall.com, December 2006: Americans are pretty generous. Three-quarters of American families give to charity — and those who do, give an average of $1,800. Of course that means one-quarter of us don’t give at all. What distinguishes those who give from those who don’t? It turns out there are many myths about that.

    To test them, ABC’s “20/20″ went to Sioux Falls, S.D., and San Francisco. We asked the Salvation Army to set up buckets at their busiest locations in both cities…. San Francisco and Sioux Falls are different in some important ways. Sioux Falls is small and rural, and more than half the people go to church every week.

    San Francisco is a much bigger and richer city, and relatively few people attend church. It is also known as a very liberal place, and since liberals are said to “care more” about the poor, you might assume people in San Francisco would give a lot.

    But the idea that liberals give more is a myth. Of the top 25 states where people give an above-average percentage of their income, all but one (Maryland) were red — conservative — states in the last presidential election.

    “When you look at the data,” says Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks, “it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more. And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money.”

    And what happened in our little test? Well, even though people in Sioux Falls make, on average, half as much money as people in San Francisco, and even though the San Francisco location was much busier — three times as many people were within reach of the bucket — by the end of the second day, the Sioux Falls bucket held twice as much money.

    Mark (c160ec)

  67. the focus, seems to be off in that rational judaism piece, there is no groveling that is acceptable to Obama,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  68. Well duh. When I think better of myself, I’m happier. When I’m being a whiny little putz, I think I’m a progressive.

    Skeptical Voter (12e67d)

  69. progressives like to tell other people what they should and should not eat

    this is not something happy people do

    happyfeet (831175)

  70. 52. I’m thinking that Brian Williams was a survey participant, and lied about his political affiliation as part of it.
    Beldar (fa637a) — 3/13/2015 @ 3:26 pm

    Army helo pilot = self-aggrandizer

    NBC nightly news guy who lied about getting shot down in Iraq = not self-aggrandizer

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  71. When it comes to science, I think this essay hits the nail on the head:

    https://medium.com/@writingben/a-disease-of-scienceyness-7b5571a34953

    I think that the way popular science works lends itself to political use, and also diminishes critical thinking. I really don’t care what deGrasse has to say about anything except astronomy.

    As pointed out by Steve above, there is a rich history of misuse of science by politicians. And a great cost in lives.

    Simon Jester (a9b313)

  72. 50. @Steve57: I hope my attempt at satire prevailed. Sessions is so humble it almost hurts to be around him – totally selfless. I can’t praise the gentleman enough.

    Beasts of England (67721f) — 3/13/2015 @ 2:22 pm

    Relax, lad. Your hope has prevailed.

    Now, it’s all the other f***tards I worry about.

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  73. Over at Twitchy we have a modest, self-effacing liberal contributor to MSNBC humbly referring to her marksmanship skillz without any exaggeration at all.

    http://twitchy.com/2015/03/15/american-sniper-ii-former-marine-goldie-taylors-recurring-typo-that-she-can-hit-a-target-at-1500-yards/

    Earlier tonight former MSNBC contributor and ‘former Marine‘ Goldie Taylor made what many on Twitter thought was the unbelievable claim that she was able to hit a target ‘center mass’ at 1500 yards during her first days in boot camp:

    Really? The same typo twice in one night? What about all of these other times the same typo appeared, going all the way back to 2011? From The Federalist’s Sean Davis:

    Just in case anyone is wondering, Marine Corps recruits don’t shoot beyond 500 yards in boot camp. Only Marine Corps Designated Marksmen and Scout Snipers are trained to shoot beyond 500 yards (DMs fill the gap between regular infantry riflemen and Scout Snipers and are trained to shoot from 500 to 1000 yards) and you don’t get that training in boot camp.

    So this chick wouldn’t have even seen a 1,500 target let alone shot at one. And I’ve never met a Marine who was ever confused about what ranges they shot at in boot camp.

    But it’s conservatives who self-aggrandize.

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  74. I think Chris Kyle said he made one shot at 2100 yards, but that was a reach even for him,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  75. Most progressives live in cities where their reference scale is about a block. I have a view of a neighbor that spans about 400 yards, and I always find it amusing to watch him chopping wood … swing … 1 second … whack! etc. I would have great difficulty seeing a person at 1500 yards.

    When my kids were growing up, my youngest became overly focused on guns, etc., so we enrolled in an NRA training program. We shot 22’s in a range beneath a stadium that was used by the UW ROTC. The range was lined with steel plates that were perforated with accidental discharges from AR-16s. At any rate, the experience gave reality a chance to educate my child, and he began to understand that hitting a target at 50′ wasn’t to be dismissed. It didn’t change his focus much, but I like to think that at least he didn’t take so much for granted.

    bobathome (ef0d3a)

  76. To put things in perspective, 2100 yards is nearly a mile and a quarter. That’s the kind of distance where the shooter has to account not just for bullet drop and wind but other factors including the curvature of the Earth.

    Math is involved. Math is hard.

    Goldie Taylor was claiming (until someone called her on it) she could hit a target at over three quarters of a mile. To be precise, .85 miles. In boot camp!

    I take it math isn’t her strong point. Neither is spelling, since she claims it was a typo. I can see accidentally fat fingering the “1” button once. But repeatedly on dozens of occasions between 2011 and 2015? I’d say somebody who’s good at math would have noticed over the years that 500<1500.

    On 8/11/11:

    Yes, I can tear the wing off a gnat’s ass at 1500 yards

    Apparently anatomy isn’t her strong point, either.

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  77. The authors/study in the post strike me leaning an left for various reasons that I won’t go into here. But the 2-factor/5-factor distinction between liberals and conservatives interests me. I think it’s true that liberals evaluate events and morality based on 2 factors — harm and justice. If something causes harm and/or there is something that seems unjust, it motivates liberals to demand a solution.

    I agree that conservatives are more likely to adopt a 5-factor approach — harm, justice, “in-group loyalty, respect for authority and purity or sanctity, which ties into religious views.” Conservatives care about harm and injustice but we also care about legal/religious morality and absolute truth, concepts the last 3 factors deal with. It could be the additional factors help explain why conservatives can have more trouble finding common ground with each other, since we have more areas that matter to us and on which we can disagree.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  78. The reason I posted my last comment is that the Goldie Taylor story reminds me that truth doesn’t seem to be an issue that matters as much to people on the left.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  79. you can see the problem:

    Taylor was born in University City, Missouri and raised in East St. Louis, Illinois. Her father was murdered on November 5, 1973 when she was 5, leaving her mother Mary to raise her and her siblings alone. She attended public schools in the metro St. Louis area before moving to Atlanta and graduating from Cross Keys High School in 1986. Taylor was an active duty US Marine trained in Public Affairs Broadcasting at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. She received an honorable discharge on medical grounds. Taylor then gained admission to Emory University in Atlanta where she studied Political Science and International Affairs.

    narciso (ee1f88)

  80. After a relaxing bath, Monica Lewinsky was looking at herself naked in a mirror…remembering her time with Bill Clinton.
    Her frustration over her inability to lose weight was depressing
    her. In an act of desperation, she decided to call on God for help…
    “God, if you take away my love handles, I’ll devote my life to you,” she prayed.
    And just like that, her ears fell off!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  81. UW ROTC.
    Which UW was that, Bob?

    FWIW, I once spoke to a military person who had an insignia with “Sharpshooter” on it, and I asked what qualified a person for that and how did it differ from “Sniper”. He said “Sharpshooter” meant he could hit the target at 1/2 mile, “Sniper” was 1 mile, plus the other stuff snipers do in getting into position, etc.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  82. 82. … At any rate, the experience gave reality a chance to educate my child, and he began to understand that hitting a target at 50′ wasn’t to be dismissed.

    bobathome (ef0d3a) — 3/15/2015 @ 7:40 pm

    Not to hijack the thread, but not only is hitting a target at 50′ nothing to sneeze at. It’s even also important to hit it quickly.

    This comes up a lot in hunting situations. It’s entirely possible to approach an animal, or have the animal approach you, to well within 100′ feet before one becomes aware of the others presence. And if it’s the hunter who becomes aware of the animals presence first you can be damned sure that the animal is going to become aware of the hunter’s presence within about a nanosecond.

    So the target isn’t going to be there all day.

    And most American hunters have the annoying habit of taking all damned day to get a shot off. It has to be because they always shoot from the bench.

    Here is where I self-aggrandize; I don’t take all day. But it’s only a matter of practice. Admittedly that can be easier said than done. Here in Texas (I love you Texas, but there are some things I don’t get) a lot of range masters look at like you have three heads if you don’t want to shoot from the bench. Some ranges won’t allow it. Others can’t allow it, as sometimes their selling point is that you can shoot from air conditioned splendor in a enclosed shooting house, and they only have tiny windows at bench height that you can shoot out of.

    But I’ve had the opportunity to hunt in parts of the world where I was required by law to have a guide. And one of the first things a guide wants to know is, can this guy shoot. I have unfailingly surprised these people because I don’t waste time getting off an aimed shot. Which is why I’m aware of how most American shooters take forever to get a shot off. People keep mentioning it.

    And I’m not Chris Kyle, Billy Dixon, or Wild Bill Hickock.

    In a lot of ways it’s easier to take a shot at 200 yards instead of 50′ feet because the animal isn’t nearly as likely to notice you’re there. You can take your time and take advantage of intervening cover if that’s the case (hell, you can even use cover and get closer), as opposed to encountering an animal at 50′ and needing to get the shot off before he shifts into fourth gear.

    Obviously this ability to shoot quickly and accurately would be useful in combat, too, but then the Marines don’t shoot from bench rests. Ever, I believe.

    Even in the Navy when we qualified with weapons we stressed field firing positions.

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  83. 84. …I agree that conservatives are more likely to adopt a 5-factor approach — harm, justice, “in-group loyalty, respect for authority and purity or sanctity, which ties into religious views.” Conservatives care about harm and injustice but we also care about legal/religious morality and absolute truth, concepts the last 3 factors deal with.

    DRJ (e80d46) — 3/15/2015 @ 7:54 pm

    This touches on the reason why I said earlier that the very categories give away the liberal bias.

    Not that respect for truth isn’t one of the categories. These researchers use pejorative terms to describe the factors they claim are important to conservatives.

    In-group loyalty? Yes, that’s how cults operate. Respect for authority? Apparently we believe what our leaders tell us to believe. Sanctity/purity? Of course; would anyone expect anything else from such judgmental holy rollers?

    This whole exercise is amusing because of the glaring hypocrisy. Who is demonstrating blind faith in authority? It’s the people lapping this drivel up. Why, liberals are happier people than those conservative posers, and we have the full authority of SCIENCE behind that conclusion. Only a science denier would say otherwise. Like those bible thumping conservative science deniers, who don’t believe in science and who don’t believe in scientists.

    But you can’t argue against science because, it’s science! And there is not higher authority than science. The scientists have settled the debate; it’s conservatives who have blind faith in authority. So say the liberals who defer to scientific authority in all things remotely sciencey.

    I could go on, but why?

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  84. R.I.P. Mike Porcaro, bass player for Toto

    Icy (797871)

  85. 88. UW ROTC.
    Which UW was that, Bob?

    FWIW, I once spoke to a military person who had an insignia with “Sharpshooter” on it, and I asked what qualified a person for that and how did it differ from “Sniper”. He said “Sharpshooter” meant he could hit the target at 1/2 mile, “Sniper” was 1 mile, plus the other stuff snipers do in getting into position, etc.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84) — 3/15/2015 @ 8:24 pm

    Some of the things this guy told you don’t add up. I think someone was embellishing their resume, Doc. Marines qualify at up to 500 yards, the Army up to 300 yards. 500 yards is a hair over a quarter mile. It’s nowhere near half a mile, and the Army doesn’t train their riflemen even at those distances.

    Designated Marksmen will shoot at half a mile. But that takes special equipment (the Designated Marksman Rifle); they don’t carry the M-16 as it isn’t up to the task (although they are looking for if they haven’t settled on a DMR that looks like the M-16 as enemies have figured out the guy with the funky rifle that is not like the others is a high value target). And the way it works in the Marines is that among other requirements a candidate for designated marksman training has to qualify as an expert rifle shot.

    Qualifying as a sharpshooter, which is one level lower than expert, does not cut it. So they are not among the riflemen who are competent to hit a target at 1/2 a mile.

    I know the Army has a similar program, and also awards marksmanship badges, but I doubt they’ll send a sharpshooter to their equivalent of Designated Marksman training. Sharpshooters are good shots, but qualifying as sharpshooter is like getting a B on the final exam. Expert is the A grade, and you give the DMR to the A-list shooters.

    In case you’re interested, in addition to the fact that DMs don’t engage targets at the same ranges a Scout Sniper will, another difference is that the DM is integrated into an infantry squad and has all the duties of an infantryman, whereas Scout Sniper teams operate independently.

    Steve57 (d68bce)

  86. yeah. It’s marksman , sharpshooter, and expert. The three levels of badge you can get in Marine recuit training.

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=marine+shooting+badges&qpvt=marine+shooting+badges&qpvt=marine+shooting+badges&FORM=IGRE

    Crossed rifles is the best, iron cross next best, and the toilet seat for marksman bringing up the rear.

    I won the sharpshooter. One other nit for total clarities sake. Marines shoot on a range measured in meters. So it’s 200 meters shot in the standing position or offhand, 300 meters sitting and knealing, 500 meters in the prone.

    And that about covers it.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  87. Both of my daughters qualified as sharpshooters; the scoring is based on the number of shots out of 40 in which the soldier hits the target. In Basic Combat Training, at Fort Jackson, SC, the targets are pop-ups, and the scoring requirements are a bit lower; in training where the facilities only have stationary paper targets — Fort Dix and Fort Indiantown Gap, around here — it requires a higher score to qualify. The maximum range is 300 yards IIRC, but the ranges to the targets vary throughout qualification.

    The Army-daddy Dana (f6a568)

  88. FWIW, I don’t think he was a marine, maybe he was airborne, as a friend’s son was in airborne and that may have been how I started the conversation (in the airport).
    And one needs to realize he knew he was talking to someone who didn’t know better, so he may have simplified the explanation.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly at the moment) (deca84)

  89. “Maximum effective range” is what I remember. It was a formula based on the standard military rifle and round, M-14 in 7.61×51 ball, and standard recruit. It was 500 yards also called 460 meters and, as I understood it, it was producing a casualty versus turning taxpayer dollars into noise. A properly trained shooter can do better with an off the shelf Remington 700 in .308. Several factors. Tighter fit of action, barrel and stock; better sights and trigger; better cartridges (available commercially) such as the .308 National Match.

    nk (dbc370)

  90. DRJ @66

    This is Israeli Elections 101. Except that it is by Al Jazeera so it makes a big thing of Herzog opposing a particular Arab legislator.

    What has happened is that Netanyahu has now,. before the elections, offerred Kachlon of Koolunu the job of finanmce Minister. Kachlon is beleived to lean to Netanyahu buit says he won’t announce whom he will support for Prime Minister until after the election. This may be mostly because, in case Mapai -> Labor Alignment -> Zionist Union has a big victory, he might want to join a coalition.

    Koolanu has a surplus vote agreement with Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas with UTJ, Likud with Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi and the Zionist Union with Meretz. (Seats are apportioned bbetween parties the way members of Conngress in the United States are apportioned between states according to the Census. theer are fractional seats left and twopoarties can combine their surplus votes, and the one that came closest to getting an extra seat will get that seat if theer is an extra seat to be apportioned. If a party fails to meet the threshold, all votes cast for it are lost even with avote sharing agreement.

    This election the minimum threshold was raised from 2 to 4 seats and it used to be 1% – which was equal to 1.2 seats. Two seat parties were not that rare, but a 1 seat party was rather uncommon becaus ethe difference between qualifying fior 1 and q.

    Sammy Finkelman (302bdd)

  91. Under the original system, the difference qualifying for 1 and qualifying for 2 seats was not that great. 1.2% was needed for 1 but say, 1.8% or less got you 2.

    Sammy Finkelman (302bdd)


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