Let's Study The Study

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by g5000, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. g5000
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    g5000 Diamond Member

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    Since the "Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism" study keeps coming up on this forum and in various print media, it will probably be cited frequently in the future.

    The last topic on this study got stupid, and so let's have a rational discussion about it.

    I have yet to see a single article or forum topic actually link to the study itself. All kinds of spin and interpretations and jokes are made about it, but no one ever seems to go to the trouble to examine the actual study, which is pretty ironic when you consider the judgements of mental capacity that are made based on it.


    Soooooo...in one part of the study, the people doing the study got some people drunk and then put some statements to them and asked them how strongly they agreed or disagreed with those statements. It turns out the more drunk the people were, the more likely they were to give a "politically conservative" answer.

    After reading and talking about all this, no one has yet thought to ask what the questions were?

    Here's the paper on the study: Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism


    10 items from the Eysenck survey. Okay.

    H. J. Eysenck, POLITICS AND PERSONALITY

    About halfway down are the 60 items of the Eysenck survey, from which 10 were drawn for the study which is the subject of this thread.





    This is clearly not an aptitude test.

    The paper does not indicate which 10 questions were used.

    Some questions are obviously phrased in such a way that if you answer in the affirmative, you are Conservative. Others are phrased in such a way that if you answer in the affirmative, you are a Liberal. So the "grading" of the test is not done by how many affirmatives you give, but by which specific items you agree with in the affirmative.

    So let's take the question, "It is wrong to punish a man if he helps another country because he prefers it to his own." This is one phrased in such a way that a negative response is the Conservative position.

    I would strongly argue that someone who believes punishing traitors is the right thing to do is not a stupid person. And it certainly does not take a lot of mental effort to see why punishing traitors is the right answer.

    So you see, this test does not gauge intelligence. It gauges one's political beliefs.

    The people doing the study noticed the more drunk people were, the more they gave "politicaly conservative" answers. And since the subjects were drunk, they correlated the mental incapacitation that comes with drunkeness with political conservatism. They committed a basic post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.

    There is another problem, as well.

    Suppose the study used this item from the Eysenck survey: "Compulsory military training in peace-time is essential for the survival of this country."

    Is an affirmative answer really the Conservative position? Eysenck thought so at the time he created this question shortly after WWII at the peak of the Cold War. But very few people today, not even Conservatives, believe in conscription.

    So that is no longer an accurate gauge of the Conservative position. Therefore, if that item, or other such superannuated items, were used on the drunks in the study, the results are plainly erroneous.
     
  2. occupied
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    occupied Gold Member

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    This is not the kind of academic study that definitively answers a question but rather the kind that suggests a course of further study although no conservative on this board should be a stranger to accusations of being intellectually lazy.
     
  3. g5000
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    g5000 Diamond Member

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    :mad:


    :razz:
     
  4. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    You've misinterpreted the study. Low effort thought is merely operating on an emotional level.

    You didn't put much thought in to this, did you?
     
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  5. ThinkCritically
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    ThinkCritically Open to opinion

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    I thought drinking just makes you more honest.....I mean conservative:D
     
  6. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Accusations are only proof in the minds of lazy people.

    Are you lazy? If not, why don't you condemn studies that are not scientific studies that are not scientific? How does a non scientific study suggest further study?
     
  7. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Who misinterpreted the study? Have you ever met anyone who, after getting drunk, became more conservative? Do frat boys at colleges typically go out and vote for conservatives after a kegger?

    Given that the study somehow linked an increase in alcohol levels in blood to conservative political thought the only people that could possibly be accused of misinterpreting it would be people who know other people who, after getting drunk, are less likely to sleep with each other. Frankly, I doubt people like that actually exist.
     
  8. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    Are you drunk?
     
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  9. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    I had a glass of wine about 4 years ago, I doubt it.
     
  10. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    "It's true because I WANT it to be true!!"

    /leftist
     

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