Sunday, February 04, 2018

Attractive people are more likely to be conservatives -- because they have it 'too easy'?

The basic finding below is a fairly well-established one so I am not going to question it.  It in fact fits in with three other well-established findings. The happiness research shows that your degree of happiness is inborn and largely fixed throughout your life and it also shows that conservatives are reliably happier.  And the third finding is from genetics research and shows that your degree of conservatism is largely inborn. And with the help of political history we can refine the conclusion from happiness research to say that the psychological basis for conservatism is contentment.  Contentment could be regarded as the chronic form of happiness.

So I draw a different but related conclusion from the one below.  I think it fits in best with  existing research to say that attractive people are more content and hence less aggrieved.  It is undoubted that they have an easier time in all sorts of ways so have little to complain about.  And that is the psychological foundation of conservatism: Contentment. 

Leftists on the other hand are characterized by complaint and grievance. They see all sorts of things that are wrong in the world about them and are unhappy about it, sometimes to the point of rage.  And that may be because they have not done well in various ways.  So what we see below is another instance of the generalization that conservatives are the contented people.  It's a great way to be.  And, fortunately it's not only good looking people who are contented. And if you want to be contented but are not, there is a myriad of self-help books which claim to make you more contented

It may be noted that we have here an example of something that every scientist aspires to:  A demonstration that a particular thing is an example of a more general rule.  In this case we see that attractive people are conservative because contented people in general are conservative. There is no need to postulate that attractive people are insensitive, uncaring etc.  We have no evidence of that.

So I think that is the straightforward explanation of the findings below.  But there may be other contributing factors.  It seems to me likely that Leftists on the whole take less care of their appearance, the extreme ones particularly.  Men with scraggly beards and dreadlocks may be quite happy about their appearance but will not generally be seen as attractive. And Leftist women who use little or no  makeup and wear baggy clothes will definitely contrast adversely with a carefully presented conservative lady. So the causal arrow can point backwards, with Leftism leading to unattractiveness. Leftism may be the egg that produces the chicken of unattractiveness.

And it seems likely that there is another influence of that kind.  Who looks more attractive, a person with a happy smile or a person with an angry face?  There is no doubt of the answer to that, is there?  So again, Leftism might lead to ugliness. And that could be permanent or semi permanent.  In the psychological literature on masking behaviour, we do come across examples of a habitual facial expression becoming more or less permanent.  So a face that is often angry may become normally angry, angry-looking regardless of the mood at the time. 

Trygve Braatoy's "psychomotor therapy" of the 1940s even claimed that if a mask is worn long enough it becomes the person.  There is some apparent experimental confirmation of that.

Perhaps I can close with a small personal anecdote.  Around 50 years ago, I noted that there was one person prominent in Australian public life who seemed to my judgment to be very good looking. He was David Flint.  He is now 80 but for decades now he has been remarkably and publicly conservative across the board, which is all the more remarkable since he is homosexual. And he still writes well, including praise for Mr Trump. His reaction to Trump's SOTU address:  "The West has at last a great leader who will not only make America great again, he will do that for the West"

Because the internet is less and less comprehensive the further back you go, I could find no pictures of the young Flint.  In the picture below he was in his 40s but it may give you some idea of his early looks.  He has some slight Asian (Indonesian) ancestry which may have something to do with his good skin. 

Scientists know that being attractive influences huge areas in a person's life, including how much they earn and what they enjoy doing in their spare time.

Now, a new study claims that beauty can make a person right-wing.

The research argues that people who are attractive are more likely to be conservative because they are 'blind' to the struggles of those who are less fortunate.

Attractiveness in a person often results in an easier life, which can cause desensitisation towards the need for many left-wing policies, such as financial aid

The study was conducted by Dr Rolfe Daus Peterson, a political scholar from Susquehanna University and Dr Carl Palmar, assistant professor in politics at Illinois State University.

The researchers claim that there is 'good reason to believe that individuals' physical attractiveness may alter their political values and worldviews'.

The scientists said in their study that attractive people have better social skills and are more popular, competent and intelligent due to something known as the 'halo effect' - where an individual's view of other people is altered by bias and stereotypes.

But their beauty also makes them less empathetic towards those who find life a struggle, making them more likely to be conservative.

The authors also noted previous studies have shown good-looking people are treated better than others, achieve higher status and are happier, and so are more likely to see the world as 'just' place.

To come to this finding, the scientists took figures from the 1972, 1974 and 1976 American National Studies surveys that asked those taking part to evaluate the appearance of others.

The survey also looked at participants political beliefs, income, race, gender, and education.

The researchers then compared those results with the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) that looked at the characteristics of over 10,000 high school students who were rated by others on their level of beauty. 

By combining these results, the researchers said they found a link between political alignment and attractiveness.

They found that more attractive people have a 'blind spot' which results in conservatism. This blind spot stops them from seeing the need for government aid and support, which is a staple of the liberal manifesto.

In the study the researchers say: 'Even though this blind spot may not be universally held and physically attractive individuals do not always have easier lives, on average, physically attractive individuals face fewer hurdles navigating the social world.'

The results come almost a year after another study was published.  The study, led by the Research Institute of Industrial Economics in Sweden, looked at the correlation between attractiveness and political belief in candidates.

They found that being better looking made you more likely to earn more, and that richer people are typically more opposed to policies favoured by the left, such as progressive taxes and welfare programmes.

In their paper, published in the Journal of Public Economics, the researchers, led by Niclas Berggren, wrote: 'Politicians on the right look more beautiful in Europe, the United States and Australia.

'Our explanation is that beautiful people earn more, which makes them less inclined to support redistribution.'

Previous studies have found that the more attractive people perceive themselves to be, the lower their preference for egalitarianism – another value associated with the political left.

To assess the link between attractiveness and political values, the researchers showed people pictures of political candidates in Finland, the US and Australia, and asked them to rate them on attractiveness.

The results showed that right-wing politicians were seen as more attractive than left-wingers.



Primary Crisis in America Is Abandonment of Judeo-Christian 
Values, Dismissal of the Bible

Dennis Prager

I have believed all my life that the primary crisis in America and the West is the abandonment of Judeo-Christian values, or, one might say, the dismissal of the Bible.

Virtually everyone on the left thinks America would be better off as a secular nation. And virtually all conservative intellectuals don’t think it matters. How many intellectuals study the Bible and teach it to their children?

And yet, from the time long before the United States became a country until well into the 1950s, the Bible was not only the most widely read book in America—it was the primary vehicle by which each generation passed on morality and wisdom to the next generation.

Since that time, we have gone from a Bible-based society to a Bible-ignorant one—from the Bible being the Greatest Book to the Bible being an irrelevant book.

Ask your college-age child, niece, nephew, or grandchild to identify Cain and Abel, the Tower of Babel, or the ten plagues. Get ready for some blank stares.

I recently asked some college graduates (none of whom were Jewish) to name the four Gospels. None could.

But what we have today is worse than ignorance of the Bible. It is contempt for it. Just about anyone who quotes the Bible, let alone says it is the source of his or her values, is essentially regarded as a simpleton who is anti-science, anti-intellectual, and sexist.

Our society, one of whose mottos is “In God We Trust,” is becoming as godless as Western Europe—and, consequently, as morally confused and unwise as Europe.

Just as most professors regard most Bible believers as foolish, I have more or less the same view of most college professors in the liberal arts.

When I hear that someone has a Ph.D. in sociology, anthropology, political science, or English, let alone women’s studies or gender studies, I assume that he or she is morally confused and bereft of wisdom. Some are not, of course. But they constitute a small minority.

Whenever teenagers call my radio show or I meet one in person, I can usually identify—almost immediately—the ones who are receiving a religion-based education. They are far more likely to act mature and have more wisdom than their Bible-free peers.

One of our two greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, rarely attended church, but he read the Bible daily. As he said while president, “In regard to this great book, I have but to say, I believe the Bible is the best gift God has given to man.”

Were he able to observe America today, Lincoln would be shocked by many things. But none would shock him as much as the widespread ignorance of and contempt for the Bible.

I have taught the Torah, from the Hebrew original, for 40 years. Of the many things I have been blessed to be able to do—from hosting a national radio show to conducting orchestras—teaching Torah is my favorite.

When asked how it has affected my life, I often note that in my early 20s, when I was working through issues I had with my parents, there was nevertheless not a week during which I did not call them.

And there was one reason for this: I believe that God commanded us to “Honor your father and your mother.”

In my commentary, I point out that while the Torah commands us to love our neighbor, love God, and love strangers, it never commands us to love our parents. It was sophisticated enough to recognize that love of parents may be impossible but showing honor to a parent is a behavioral choice.

In America, there is an epidemic of children who no longer talk to one or both of their parents. In a few cases, this is warranted. But in most cases, adult children are inflicting terrible, unfair pain upon their parents.

This is one of a myriad of examples where believing in a God-based text is transformative.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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