Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Science and Free Will

Despite the title of this article, the testing is about Free Will.
Why conservatives might be better at dieting than liberals

"Are conservatives more likely to stick to a diet than liberals? The answer might be yes.

In a paper published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers say there is a link between political ideology and the ability to exert self-control.

In a series of three studies with more than 300 participants, the authors found that people who identify as conservative perform better on tests of self-control than those who identify as liberal regardless of race, socioeconomic status and gender.

They also report that participants' performance on the tests was influenced by how much they believed in the idea of free will, which the researchers define as the belief that a person is largely responsible for his or her own outcomes.

For example, conservatives who are more likely to embrace the idea of free will overwhelmingly agreed with statements like "Strength of mind can always overcome the body's desires" and "People can overcome any obstacles if they truly want to."

"Conservatives tend to believe they had a greater control over their outcomes, and that was predicting how they did on the test," said Joshua Clarkson, a consumer psychologist at the University of Cincinnati and the lead author of the paper.

To screen for self-control, Clarkson and his colleagues relied on the Stroop test that asks participants to look at a list of color words such as "red" or "blue" that are printed in mismatching color fonts. (Picture the word "orange" printed in green letters.) Volunteers were asked to read the words, ignoring the color of the font, which can be challenging.

"If you see the word 'red' in blue type your mind wants to say 'blue' right away, but you have to suppress that," Clarkson said. "That's why it is a strong indicator of self regulation."

The authors found that while both liberals and conservatives were able to accurately read the words, conservatives generally were able to do it faster than liberals.

There was, however, one instance when liberals outperformed conservatives on the test.

During one of the experiments, participants were given a fake research article that suggested believing in free will is an obstacle to achieving personal goals. The volunteers were asked to read it before taking the test.

The fake article argued that people who take full responsibility for their outcomes can suffer from more frustration, anxiety and guilt compared with people who put less faith in free will. It concluded that those negative feelings are counter-productive to self-control performance.

After reading the article, conservatives did worse on the test and liberals did better.

Clarkson said one possible explanation for this result is that the article put doubt in the minds of the conservatives.

"For conservatives, their default when they experience struggle is to dig deep," he said. "But if all of a sudden you have a struggle, and then you think you are getting in your own way, you may start second-guessing yourself."

And that second-guessing takes up brain power that might otherwise be applied to the task at hand, he said.

Liberals, on the other hand, may have performed better on the test after reading that embracing free will is bad, because it allows them to better focus on the test, he said.

"You tell liberals that belief in free will is bad and they are like, 'Good, I don't have it anyway,' " he said.

The researchers ran a similar test with a different fake article that argued belief in free will is useful for self-control and can lead to better and increased effort. After reading that article, conservatives outperformed liberals once again on the test.

Clarkson said that the research team, which includes members from Saint Louis University, Indiana University and the University of North Florida, come from different places on the political spectrum.

"We've got liberals, conservatives, libertarians and people who aren't sure," he said. "We are not saying that conservatives are better in general. We just think this study gives us a novel way to think about self-control." "
And "believing that you are not responsible for your own outcomes" is directly logically linked to the victimhood ideology of the Left, and the resulting class system which is based on victimhood and messiahism.


Greg12 said...

It's been known since the beginning of times that Adults are better than Children at self-control. Could it be that liberals are not full grown adults? I think this article speaks for itself!

Stan said...

There's a maturation developmental stasis that occurs in substance abusers who start their substance abuse at some pre-adult stage. Their maturation ceases to progress for the duration of their addiction. For example, if a person becomes addicted at age 14 and uses until age 30, then at the age of 30 the person emerges clean but with the maturity of a 14 year-old.

Perhaps, hypothetically, this occurs for emotional addictions as well. A person who becomes convinced of a lack of personal responsibility for his own outcomes at the age of 14 enters a maturation developmental stasis period. But his conviction is a self-fulfilling belief where lack of personal responsibility guarantees low-value outcomes. So with this belief addiction installed, he is unable to emerge from it at all, since his entire life has demonstrated that he actually cannot control his own outcomes, and therefore, his viewpoint - now a worldview - is valid and true.

He thus becomes a permanent member of the Victimhood Class, and perhaps graduates to the Messiah Class if he decides to hate those who do actually succeed on their own merit, which he mistakes for privilege and also mistakes for discrimination against himself and his class. His hate becomes the pseudo-moral principle of Social Justice, and so his hate becomes his religion.

Stan said...

It's not necessary to be immature in order to be a SJW, though. All that is needed is the vision that Speech Control is a good first step toward behavior control and soon, total control in pursuit of Marxist totalitarianism. Those with that vision swarm into the Messiah Class and agitate for the Victimhood Class as a moral proposition, again creating Classism as a faux religion complete with principles of heresy and vidictiveness... but with no intent of making things better for the Victimhood Class.

Stan said...

One more thought: All of the above is the reason that Atheists and Leftist Philosophers deny the existence of Free Will. If there is no Free Will, then no one can succeed without prior privilege and discrimination being the cause. Personal responsibility cannot exist in the absence of Free Will; the only remaining possible causal factor, then, is prior advantage, which is "unfair", a moral sin.

Greg12 said...

Willingness to deny your own freewill seems like confirming you have freewill, yet they try anyway!

Stan said...

Heh. Yep, the internal contradictions are of no value in a subculture which acknowledges no truth outside their own proclamations. In fact, for many Atheists, logic is just a string of excuses which add up to "evidence" for their point. Some actually say that "you can prove anything with logic".