Tuesday, September 04, 2007

An amusing response from Pyszczynski

Who says that conservatism is produced by a fear of death

Pyszczynski did respond promptly to the criticism of his research that I posted yesterday. After the burst of personal abuse that one expects from Leftists he did have two actual points to make:

He said that the "priming" experiment that he does has now been repeated worldwide to a total of about 350 times and always gives a similar outcome. He seems to think that doing unrepresentative sampling 350 times is in some way as good as doing one really representative sample. No logic there at all, of course. So I replied simply that doing a silly thing 350 times does not make it right.

His second point concerned the "God" research that I mentioned. He commented quite reasonably that the outcome you get would depend on the concept of God involved. That the usual Christian concept of God as a God of Love might have been behind the finding I mentioned -- that thinking about God makes you more altruistic -- he did not address, however. He preferred abstract argument to research results. But it is consistent with his argument that the usual Christian view of God makes Christians better people. How embarrassing for him!

But as in the story by Conan Doyle ("Silver Blaze") about the dog that did not bark, the most interesting thing was what Pyszczynski did NOT mention. His theory claims that worrying about death is behind a lot of conservatism. But my research in a general population sample has shown that conservatives worry about death and worry in general no more than do others. So his theory is disconfirmed at the bottom line. No matter what groups of tame students do when confronted by Pyszczynski's little experiment, the conclusion from those experiments does NOT generalize to the population at large. So he is talking about something of no real-world significance. He had no reply to that whatever. I guess he didn't reply because he couldn't!

He also did not reply to my point that he was overinterpreting his data. In science the most parsimonious (simplest) explanation for a finding is always preferred and I offered an explanation for his basic finding that was a lot simpler than the fanciful edifice he has erected. I guess he couldn't reply to that either! He has devoted decades of work to his little theory, however, so I don't expect that mere evidence and logic will cause him to drop or even modify it. Jim Sidanius had the grace to go into a major backdown when I confronted him with evidence and logic about his "Social Dominance Orientation" theory but there is no sign of that from Pyszczynski -- at least so far.

By the way, my Polish is not up to much but I think Pyszczynski is pronounced as "Puzinski". You will never guess how the name of the Polish city of "Lodz" is pronounced, though. Ask a Pole some day. You will be amazed.



Senate Adjournment debate. Senator Cory Bernardi (Lib SA)
Islam's unholy alliance
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Warning to West on 'evil of Islam'
The perversity of denying genocide
Teenager bashed in anti-semitic attack
Australian appointed to combat academic boycott
Islam's poison cells
Rudd's $20m security for Jewish schools
Jihadists owe Kirby a thank you
Left blind to an Iranian rebellion
The vanishing jihad exposes



Israel Warned U.S. on Iraq: "Israeli officials warned the Bush administration that an invasion of Iraq would be destabilizing to the region and urged the U.S. instead to target Iran as the primary enemy, according to former Bush administration official Lawrence Wilkerson, a member of the State Department's policy planning staff and later chief of staff for secretary of state Colin Powell. After the Israeli government picked up the first signs that the Bush administration was thinking of war against Iraq, said Wilkerson, "The Israelis were telling us Iraq is not the enemy - Iran is the enemy." Wilkerson describes the Israeli message to the Bush administration in early 2002 as being, "If you are going to destabilize the balance of power, do it against the main enemy." The warning against an invasion of Iraq was "pervasive" in Israeli communications with the U.S. administration"

The "demise" of American manufacturing: "The United States makes more manufactured goods today than at any time in history, as measured by the dollar value of production adjusted for inflation -- three times as much as in the mid-1950s, the supposed heyday of American industry. Between 1977 and 2005, the value of American manufacturing swelled from $1.3 trillion to an all-time record $4.5 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. With less than 5 percent of the world's population, the United States is responsible for almost one-fourth of global manufacturing, a share that has changed little in decades. The United States is the largest manufacturing economy by far. Japan, the only serious rival for that title, has been losing ground. China has been growing but represents only about one-tenth of world manufacturing"

America's Borders Are No More According To Mexico's President: "President Felipe Calderon blasted U.S. immigration policies on Sunday and promised to fight harder to protect the rights of Mexicans in the U.S., saying "Mexico does not end at its borders." The criticism earned Calderon a standing ovation during his first state-of-the nation address.... He also reached out to the millions of Mexicans living in the United States, many illegally, saying: "Where there is a Mexican, there is Mexico." [Blue Crab has some comments]

The Leftist attack on Senator Craig: "Remember a few years back, the celebration on the left when the Supreme Court overturned the sodomy laws in Texas? This was on the premise that sexuality is an entirely private matter, and that the state had no business legislating what people do with their bodies behind closed doors. Fair enough. Why then is it the government's business to target homosexuals who like to pick up men in public restrooms? On what possible basis can they object to this? They're not hurting anyone, right? After all, all he did was tap his foot and brush his hand. I don't like the idea of being propositioned in a public restroom, but why do leftists object? Normally they wouldn't. Again, I think it's the unhinged moral impulse of the left, that has no traditional boundaries and no fixed standards. Therefore, they blindly lash out in an incoherent way, based upon the needs of the day. They say that they are offended by Craig's "hypocrisy," but the obvious hypocrites are the leftists who would normally see a homosexual being persecuted by the state as a quintessential victim."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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