Sunday, October 19, 2003

As is now well-known, psychologists Jost, Kruglanski & Co. summarized past psychological research as showing that conservatives are “dogmatic” -- which is a clearly derogatory description (even more derogatory if you realize that psychologists equate “dogmatism” with “closed-mindedness”). Under pressure from public ridicule over their article (particularly over their identifying Communist tyrants such as Stalin, Khrushchev and Castro as conservatives), Kruglanski and Jost did back off their claims considerably in a newspaper article, saying: "but it is also true that liberals could be characterized on the basis of our overall profile as relatively disorganized, indecisive and perhaps overly drawn to ambiguity -- all of which may be liabilities" I wrote a similar conclusion nearly 30 years ago as a result of one of my studies of dogmatism (just uploaded here and here): “We might, in other words, have to take care lest we on one hand condemn as dogmatic, what is in fact a highly adaptive need for simplification, and on the other tolerate as open-minded the merely vacuous”


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