Thursday, January 15, 2015

Are better looking  women conservatives?

The authors below are careful not to draw that conclusion but it is a reasonable inference from the findings reported.  We read below:  "But the women rated as more physically attractive by their peers were more likely to endorse values like conformity and tradition rather than values like self-direction and universalism".  That sounds like a pretty clear Left/Right split to me. The essence of conservatism is caution so that could well be perceived as being more conforming. Conservatives tend to be much more acceptant of the status quo than Leftists are and don't like to rock the boat.  The Leftist authors, of course, put quite a different spin on their results.  See particularly what they "suggest" in the last sentence of their journal abstract below.  Being unattracted by world government is apparently "self-promotion"!

Does being beautiful on the outside make you beautiful on the inside? Not necessarily, although attractive women are often thought to have more desirable personality traits in the eyes of strangers, new research shows.

In actuality, beautiful women might be more likely to have some less attractive values, favoring conformity and self-promotion over independence and tolerance, the study found.

Researchers from the Open University of Israel and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem recruited 118 female students to serve as "targets" in the study. These women completed questionnaires to measure their values (such as tradition, self-direction, conformity and benevolence) and personality traits (such as extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism). The participants, whose average age was 29, were then video-recorded for about a minute as they entered a room and read a weather forecast while looking into the camera.

Another 118 participants served as judges. Forty percent of this group was male and each watched the video footage of a different target, chosen randomly, before evaluating that woman's values, traits and attractiveness.

If a target was judged as physically attractive, the researchers found she was also perceived to be agreeable, open to experience, extroverted, conscientious and emotionally stable — all socially desirable traits. The judges were also more likely to believe that more attractive women valued achievement compared with less attractive women.

"People are warned not to 'judge a book by its cover,' but they often do exactly that," the researchers wrote in their paper in the journal Psychological Science.

Meanwhile, the questionnaires that the targets filled out about themselves showed no correlations between these personality traits and their perceived attractiveness. But the women rated as more physically attractive by their peers were more likely to endorse values like conformity and tradition rather than values like self-direction and universalism, which is linked to tolerance and a concern for others, the researchers said.

"Thus, whereas people hold the 'what is beautiful is good' stereotype, our findings suggest that the beautiful strive for conformity rather than independence and for self-promotion rather than tolerance," wrote the authors, led by Lihi Segal-Caspi of the Open University.



Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover, Revisited

Perceived and Reported Traits and Values of Attractive Women

By Lihi Segal-Caspi et al.


Research has documented a robust stereotype regarding personality attributes related to physical attractiveness (the “what is beautiful is good” stereotype). But do physically attractive women indeed possess particularly attractive inner attributes? Studying traits and values, we investigated two complementary questions: how perceived attractiveness relates to perceived personality, and how it relates to actual personality. First, 118 women reported their traits and values and were videotaped reading the weather forecast. Then, 118 judges rated the traits, values, and attractiveness of the women. As hypothesized, attractiveness correlated with attribution of desirable traits, but not with attribution of values. By contrast, attractiveness correlated with actual values, but not actual traits: Attractiveness correlated with tradition and conformity values (which were contrasted with self-direction values) and with self-enhancement values (which were contrasted with universalism values). Thus, despite the widely accepted “what is beautiful is good” stereotype, our findings suggest that the beautiful strive for conformity rather than independence and for self-promotion rather than tolerance.



In Denial About the Attack in France

When America was hit on 9/11, the world united around us. France just had its 9/11, and again the civilized world has come together, all except the United States. Where were America's leaders as the rest of the world united?

The reaction to Islamic terrorists killing 17 people in Paris in the name of their radical creed has been greeted with a very strange perceived need to deflect or just dismiss it in liberal political and media circles.

Most journalists tried to downplay or ignore Obama's failure to attend the huge Sunday "unity" rally in Paris, where 40 world leaders gathered in a show of support for France. While the New York tabloids mocked Obama, most national newspapers mentioned "World leaders link arms" and barely noticed the leader of the free world had stayed home to watch football games.

Even after the White House spokesman admitted it was an error for top American officials to skip the event, obviously in reaction to national and international outrage, still  some newspapers buried it inside their papers like it was no big deal.

There were other distressing signs of liberal deflection. CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour called the terrorists mere "activists" in her reporting on the shootings at the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo: "On this day, these activists found their targets, and their targets were journalists."

Amanpour was quoting one of the dead cartoonists, who said, "When activists need a pretext to justify their violence, they always find it." Words matter, especially to journalists, and this was the wrong word. Activists write letters to the editor, join a community organization or protest, volunteer for a political campaign, man a phone bank.

Men who terrorize by slaughtering innocent men, women and children are terrorists.

Even during an outbreak of terrorism, some leftists deflect, putting bizarre political spins on the events at hand. Some continue to insist that the terrorism du jour is caused by Bush's war in Iraq, or any other response to 9/11, like the prisoners held at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo.

Or it's those Jews. It was amazing to listen to Jimmy Carter (who simply refuses to leave the world stage, even decades after the curtain fell) suggest the Jews and "the Palestinian problem" bore responsibility. BBC reporter Tim Willcox upbraided a Jewish woman saying Jews are being targeted in France, insisting to her that "many critics though of Israel's policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well." (He later apologized for a "poorly phrased question," which it wasn't. It was an inaccurately stated declaration.)

After the terrorist attack, liberal journalists worried about the "backlash" from the "far right" that opposes rapid immigration or the spread of aggressive Islam. On MSNBC, for example, Andrea Mitchell lectured the attacks would be "a challenge for France," a country "where immigration and the Muslim population has been under fire." The challenge is not to "react negatively and not to paint people with a broad brush."

The left also loves to smear Christians and Jews into the conversation about radical religion. On MSNBC, former Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates compared the mass murder in Paris to Jerry Falwell's lawsuit against the porno magazine Hustler. "This isn't just Islamic extremism. If you go back to the '80s, during the Reagan administration, when Jerry Falwell sued Hustler magazine for portraying him having, I believe it was drunken incest with his mother in an outhouse." How on Earth can you compare Falwell filing a lawsuit to the mass murder of 17 people in France?

The left passionately attempts to inflame the world against such slow-emerging, life-threatening crises as "catastrophic global warming" or fast-food menus without calorie counts. But when it comes to Islamic jihad, they seem oddly incapable of outrage or alarm. They just deflect or dismiss.



Open Letter To Muslim World

by Abdennour Bidar

"Dear Muslim world: I am one of your estranged sons, who views you from without and from afar—from France, where so many of your children live today. I look at you with the harsh eyes of a philosopher, nourished from infancy on tasawwuf (Sufism) and Western thought. I therefore look at you from my position of barzakh, from an isthmus between the two seas of the East and the West.

"And what do I see? What do I see better than others, precisely because I see you from afar, from a distance? I see you in a state of misery and suffering that saddens me to no end, but which makes my philosopher's judgment even harsher, because I see you in the process of birthing a monster that presumes to call itself the Islamic State, and which some prefer to call by a demon's name—Da'esh. But worst of all is that I see that you are losing yourself and your dignity, and wasting your time, in your refusal to recognize that this monster is born of you: of your irresoluteness, your contradictions, your being torn between past and present, and your perpetual inability to find your place in human civilization.

"What do you [Muslims] say when faced with this monster? You shout, 'That's not me!' 'That's not Islam!' You reject [the possibility] that this monster's crimes are committed in your name (#NotInMyName). You rebel against the monster's hijacking of your identity, and of course you are right to do so. It is essential that you proclaim to the world, loud and clear, that Islam condemns barbarity. But this is absolutely not enough! For you are taking refuge in your self-defense reflex, without realizing it, and above all without undertaking any self-criticism. You become indignant and are satisfied with that—but you are missing an historical opportunity to question yourself. Instead of taking responsibility for yourself, you accuse others, [saying]: 'You Westerners, and all you enemies of Islam, stop associating us with this monster! Terrorism is not Islam! The true Islam, the good Islam, doesn't mean war, it means peace!'"

"Oh my dear Muslim world, I hear the cry of rebellion rising within you, and I understand it. Yes, you are right: Like every one of the great sacred inspirations in the world, Islam has, throughout its history, created beauty, justice, meaning and good, and it has [been a source of] powerful enlightenment for humans on the mysterious path of existence... Here in the West, I fight, in all my books, [to make sure that] this wisdom of Islam and of all religions is not forgotten or despised. But because of my distance [from the Muslim world], I can see what you cannot... and this inspires me to ask: Why has this monster stolen your face? Why has this despicable monster chosen your face and not another? The truth is that behind this monster hides a huge problem, one you do not seem ready to confront. Yet in the end you will have to find the courage [to do so]...

"Where do the crimes of this so-called 'Islamic State' come from? I'll tell you, my friend, and it will not make you happy, but it is my duty as a philosopher [to tell you]. The root of this evil that today steals your face is within yourself; the monster emerged from within you. And other monsters, some even worse, will emerge as well, as long as you refuse to acknowledge your sickness and to finally tackle the root of this evil!

"Even Western intellectuals have difficulty seeing this. For the most part they have forgotten the power of religion—for good and for evil, over life and over death—to the extent that they tell me, 'No, the problem of the Muslim world is not Islam, not the religion, but rather politics, history, economics, etc.' They completely forget that religion may be the core of the reactor of human civilization, and that tomorrow the future of humanity will depend not only on a resolution to the financial crisis, but also, and much more essentially, on a resolution to the unprecedented spiritual crisis that is affecting all of mankind."

"Will we be able to come together, across the world, and face this fundamental challenge? The spiritual nature of man abhors a vacuum, and if it finds nothing new with which to fill the vacuum, tomorrow it will fill it with religions that are less and less adapted to the present, and which, like Islam today, will [also] begin producing monsters.

"I see in you, oh Muslim world, great forces ready to rise up and contribute to this global effort to find a spiritual life for the 21st century. Despite the severity of your sickness, you have within you a great multitude of men and women who are willing to reform Islam, to reinvent its genius beyond its historical forms, and to be part of the total renewal of the relationship that mankind once had with its gods. It is to all those who dream together of a spiritual revolution, both Muslims and non-Muslims, that I have addressed my books, and to whom I offer, with my philosopher's words, confidence in that which their hope glimpses."

"But these Muslim men and women who look to the future are not yet sufficiently numerous, nor is their word sufficiently powerful. All of them, whose clarity and courage I welcome, have plainly seen that it is the Muslim world's general state of profound sickness that explains the birth of terrorist monsters with names like Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Al-Nusra, AQIM, and Islamic State. They understand all too well that these are only the most visible symptoms of an immense diseased body, whose chronic maladies include the inability to establish sustainable democracies that recognize freedom of conscience vis-a-vis religious dogmas as a moral and political right; chronic difficulties in improving women's status...; the inability to sufficiently free political power from its control by religious authority; and the inability to promote respectful, tolerant and genuine recognition of religious pluralism and religious minorities."

"Could all this be the fault of the West? How much precious time will you lose, dear Muslim world, with this stupid accusation that you yourself no longer believe, and behind which you hide so that you can continue to lie to yourself?

"Particularly since the eighteenth century—it's past time you acknowledged it—you have been unable to meet the challenge of the West. You have childishly and embarrassingly sought refuge in the past, with the obscurantist Wahhabism regression that continues to wreak havoc almost everywhere within your borders—the Wahhabism that you spread from your holy places in Saudi Arabia like a cancer originating from your very heart. In other ways, you emulated the worst [aspects] of the West—with nationalism and a modernism that caricatures modernity. I refer here especially to the technological development, so inconsistent with the religious archaism, that makes your fabulously wealthy Gulf 'elite' mere willing victims of the global disease— the worship of the god Money.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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