June 05, 2009

Is This Dumb or What?

From Yahoo (no exclamation point, thanks) News, a news story headlined "Conservatives Are More Easily Disgusted."

People who squirm at the sight of bugs or are grossed out by blood and guts are more likely to be politically conservative, new studies find.

When I read "blood and guts," I think of butchering your own wild game, and I will let you readers think about which political party (rightly or wrongly) is associated with hunters.

Maybe this article is a case of shallow science journalism (or shallow news release-rewriting) meeting obsolete political categories and producing ugly offspring.

What is a "conservative," after all? We see Republicans desperately trying to decide that question after the Bush years (fiscal conservative? cultural conservative? which culture?).

Why do many so-called conservatives, of the Rush Limbaugh variety, seem so hostile to conservation, of the natural-resources variety?

Everyone wants to score sound-bite points, but few people think about first principles.


Holly Heyser said...

They studied undergrads, who, I think we can all agree, are under-developed humans. I'd rather see the study look at a broader cross section...

But yes, silly. (And my word verification here is "mentl" - coincidence? I think not.)

Anonymous said...

I read and blogged on a similar article on the idea of cleanliness and morality a while ago where - I am absolutely certain the MSM authors got the idea of the original study completely backwards.

How do those morons get - and keep - jobs?

LabRat said...

A lot of this stuff is based on work by Jonathan Haidt, and most of it is not nearly as good as he is. His moral emotions article is a lot better than this, for example.

More germane to the topic is his What Makes People Vote Republican? article, including all the responses, especially Michael Shermer's. The original article strikes one as a fish just beginning to realize it might have some call to name and understand the substance it swims in.