Thursday, May 05, 2005

from UCalBerkeley via Science NewsWatch: Researchers help define what makes a political conservative

Politically conservative agendas may range from supporting the Vietnam War to upholding traditional moral and religious values to opposing welfare. But are there consistent underlying motivations?

Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:
Fear and aggression

Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity

Uncertainty avoidance

Need for cognitive closure

Terror management

'From our perspective, these psychological factors are capable of contributing to the adoption of conservative ideological contents, either independently or in combination,' the researchers wrote in an article, 'Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition,' recently published in the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin. (more)

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