Liberals are intellectual, smart, and educated while those with more conservative views tend to be expressing their knee-jerk, oversimplified reaction to the world. That is the stereotype and, as it turns out, probably the reality as well. A new study published in Psychological Science shows that not only are many conservatives opposed to higher education for all (Rick Santorum anyone), the views they express are often a result of "low effort" thinking.
Wow. I am so shocked.
But seriously, in other obvious news: Did you know the grass is green? How about the sky? It turns out that is BLUE. Wow. Shocking, right? The fact is, anyone who has ever been drunk knows that the things conservatives believe in are the things liberals might believe in, too. If they were drunk.
In fact, the study used alcohol to make a point. Psychologists asked people about politics in a bar and in a laboratory setting. Those in the bar proved that people with higher blood alcohol levels were more likely to be conservative than those who were less tipsy. Awesome.
When the same questions were asked in the lab, those who responded quickly off the top of the head or who were distracted were more likely to be conservative.
Indeed, it's true. When people are in a bad mood or not in the mood to think, they tend to be more selfish. They tend to say things like, "I have to work hard, why can't everyone else?" Suddenly, the part of their brain that thinks about things deeply is shut off and hey, look! Everything is so simple! I am just like Mitt Romney!
This isn't the first study like this. Back a few months ago, there was also a study that showed prejudice, racism, and yes, conservative thinking was most prevalent in those with low IQs. How many times does it have to be studied before people will start believing it?
Memo to conservatives: Life isn't simple. It isn't black and white and it certainly isn't some oversimplified, knee-jerk response, easy answer-filled joy ride. If only it were.
This study is no surprise, but it's unfortunate. Given the time (and capacity) to think things out wholly and intellectually, more people might agree politically. Wouldn't that be amazing?
Does this study ring true to you?
Image via Fran Ontanaya/Flickr