Thursday, March 1, 2007

Mentally and Emotionally Deficient . . . And Proud of It

Well, I am mentally and emotionally deficient according to certain psychiatrists who would label me a conservative. Their research, they claim, shows all conservatives to be mentally and emotionally deficient. But according to the Iron Shrink, that may be a suspect diagnosis.

Psychology Today recently offered an entirely uncritical account of two studies that characterize mainstream American conservatives as mentally and emotionally deficient. Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition (John Jost et al., 2003) and Nursery School Personality and Political Orientation Two Decades Later (Jack & Jeanne Block, 2006) defamed conservatives and were treated as gospel.

PT wasn’t the first to endorse the studies, and it won’t be the last. They have gained favorable treatment in both the professional literature and the mass media. But beneath a thin veneer of integrity, these studies are a morass of furious political ideology, circular reasoning, self-serving definitions, and a baffling degree of confirmation bias. Consider some of the sentiments tucked away in the footnotes and references:
. . . .
. . . Last year, our professional journals contained nearly 700 articles on the topic of cultural competence, which reportedly eschews maliciousness and degradation. Conservatives are excluded from that protection because – make no mistake about it – these “studies” are a shameless attempt to shape politics by vilifying the left’s ideological opponents. . .
Read the whole post here.

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