Friday Funny: Study claiming psychotic traits linked to conservatism gets reversed–finds liberalism more likely to have those traits

From the friends of Stephan Lewandowsky, and upside-down Mann department

Fromm the movie "young Frankenstein" by Mel Brooks. Igor peruses the brain of "Abby Normal"

From the movie “Young Frankenstein” by Mel Brooks. Igor peruses the brain of “Abby Normal”

Ralph Dave Westfall submits this story:

Here’s an interesting example of possibly politicized research findings getting blown out of the water: Conservative political beliefs not linked to psychotic traits, as study claimed.

Researchers have fixed a number of papers after mistakenly reporting that people who hold conservative political beliefs are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness.

As one of the notices specifies, now it appears that liberal political beliefs are linked with psychoticism. That paper also swapped ideologies when reporting on people higher in neuroticism and social desirability (falsely claiming that you have socially desirable qualities); the original paper said those traits are linked with liberal beliefs, but they are more common among people with conservative values.

The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed. Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response. Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.

Andrew Gelman, a statistician at Columbia not involved with the work … said:

‘I don’t find this paper at all convincing, indeed I’m surprised it was accepted for publication by a leading political science journal. The causal analysis doesn’t make any sense to me, and some of the things they do are just bizarre, like declaring that correlations are “large enough for further consideration” if they are more than 0.2 for both sexes. Where does that come from? The whole thing is a mess.’

Pete Hatemi, a political scientist at Penn State University and co-author on three of the papers, explained why the swapped political beliefs and personality traits do not affect the conclusions:

We only cared about the magnitude of the relationship and the source of it … None of our papers actually give a damn about whether it’s plus or minus.

When we asked Hatemi to elaborate on what that magnitude was — how much more likely were people who held conservative or liberal views to exhibit certain traits? — he said:

[T]he correlations are spurious, so the direction or even magnitude is not suitable to elaborate on at all- that’s the point of all our papers and the general findings.

The reversal reminds me of the Alfred Kinsey research which initially indicated that more-educated females were less likely to be orgasmic. Later Kinsey said they had gotten the relationship backward due to calculation and sample size problems. (As reported in The Feminine Mystique (50th Anniversary Edition) by Betty Friedan, pp. 282-283).

The full story:

Note by Anthony: This episode reminds me exactly of another Penn-State researcher, Michael Mann, who famously used the Tiljander proxy data upside down in one of his hockey stick papers, and then claimed the sign of the data doesn’t matter, and then after a year of stonewalling, grudgingly corrected it. Must be something in the water at State College, perhaps also in Mt. Beauty, Victoria, Australia. 😉

137 thoughts on “Friday Funny: Study claiming psychotic traits linked to conservatism gets reversed–finds liberalism more likely to have those traits

    • Well ‘ stuff ‘ happens.
      When economist John Lott decided to find out how much it cost the US economy for us to have our self defense gun rights; he figured the crime committed by all of those gun holders, must run up a pretty penny.
      To his surprise, he discovered that the exact reverse was true and demonstrably so. His book: “More Guns, Less Crime ” details the huge windfall profit the US economy gets from private citizens who own guns under their second amendment guarantees.
      This resulted from private gun owners actually preventing some crimes that otherwise woyld have occurred, and often without actually having to fire the weapon.
      Well I’m not going to write his entire book out here, or his related follow on books. The point is he set out with open mind, thinking guns must result in heavy social costs to the USA, and he proved that the exact opposite is true.
      So it does happen that research pursued honestly and without bias, often discovers that popular beliefs can be horribly wrong.
      PS John Lott subsequently became a gun rights advocate, because he had convinced himself with his research that it saves tons of money, not to mention the elimination of lot of crime situations.

      • I preface this by affirming that the 2nd Amendment guarantees every citizen’s right to bear arms, and that should not be infringed. If gun violence kills 1/2 the U.S. population, it doesn’t change the Constitution.
        That said, I would caution you to not use John Lott’s studies as they are equally shoddy to these climate charlatans. Along with Gary Kleck’s DGU studies, they fall squarely into advocacy and not science.
        Calling Lott a “convert” is similar to the argument that Richard Muller was a skeptic.
        Bad science is bad science regardless of the subject matter.

        • What exactly is wrong with Lott’s research other than the conclusion? So it is not accepted by anti-gun activists, but what pray tell would be? Most of the objections to Lott’s work was that examining actual crime statistics is invalid, and only something else, like funding the research of anti-gun activists, is valid.

      • The data selection and variable weighting in his work can produce darn near any outcome. While I would applaud an effort to develop an abstract approach to objectively measure the impact of gun ownership, concealed carry, and other laws on crime, his research demonstrates the same “cherry picking” techniques seen in climate science.
        He has also been found to make changes discretely to tables and stats without acknowledging errors. The same things McKitrick and Lewis have effectively ferreted out in their audits of these climate charlatans.
        I would further question the motives of a “scientist” who creates a persona (Mary Rosh) and surreptitiously “defends” his books and studies across the Internet.
        Our host here has uncovered this type of behavior among Skeptical Science minions, and it speaks to character and impartiality. This is not the behavior of someone “searching for truth”.
        Again, this is not a gun rights debate. These rights are definitively confirmed by the 2nd Amendment.
        My point is that ALL science should be an objective search for truth, and I would not place Lott’s work in that category.

    • Actually, Liberalism and psychotic behavior has been reproduced a number of times. This has been known. Why they would attempt to say otherwise is clearly political.

    • I had a subscription to “The Jounal of Irreproducible Results” back in the 60s. In fact I believe I saved one or two of them. I’ll never forget the article on the mating behavior if side hill gophers.

    • Green jelly beans, uh. Isn’t the green M&M’s that was supposed to make you excited. What’s up with green, other than a healthy planet.

  1. so I told the cop that ‘even though the sign is red and an octagon, stop doesn’t mean stop.’
    the cop said to me after giving me a ticket..”this piece of paper is not a ticket but if you don’t pay
    the fine [which is a fine] you may go to jail.” What’s the world coming to when ‘gov’t speak’ only works
    for the gov’t?

  2. The problem remains, that once the original report is released, the debunking or retraction never makes as much impact in the media. Take Lew’s 97% as example.

  3. Now that the findings are reversed, note how the two people quoted downplay it as much as possible. Pathetic.

    • “Pete Hatemi, a political scientist at Penn State University and co-author on three of the papers, explained why the swapped political beliefs and personality traits do not affect the conclusions:
      ‘We only cared about the magnitude of the relationship and the source of it … None of our papers actually give a damn about whether it’s plus or minus.’
      When we asked Hatemi to elaborate on what that magnitude was — how much more likely were people who held conservative or liberal views to exhibit certain traits? — he said:
      ‘ [T]he correlations are spurious, so the direction or even magnitude is not suitable to elaborate on at all- that’s the point of all our papers and the general findings.’
      First-Pete Hate-Me? Cool.
      Second-“We only cared about the magnitude of the relationship”..”The magnitude is not suitable to elaborate on at all”. Yet they wrote three papers about the magnitude of a relationship that was not suitable to elaborate on at all???
      I can’t tell if Pete is psychotic or neurotic!!!! The science….it burns!!!

      • If they had reported only “no significant correlation”, I would agree with him that the reversal was unimportant. However, given that they stated a large number of correlations as worth investigating, that’s untenable. It’s ludicrous. Juvenile. It’s not even a full step over “The vase was already broken, mom”.
        How do we have professors trying to get away with data analysis or errors that would be unacceptable at elementary school science fairs?

      • Psycho-ologist (or something) Pete Hatemi states Libs and Cons are interchangeable and what they do or say is indecipherable. Also, numbers are just symbols for things he doesn’t understand and arithmetic is hard and he would like someone to take him home now unless there is another grant available

      • Papers should never “give a damn.” Thet shouldn’t have any emotional involvement at all. What a jackwagon he is.

      • At that point, their best way out is to try the classic: look! a squirrel!
        (It’s too late for “a dog ate my raw data”)

    • [T]he correlations are spurious, so the direction or even magnitude is not suitable to elaborate on at all- that’s the point of all our papers and the general findings.

      Funny how he still seems to think that the magnitude *could* have been meaningful even when the direction is wrong !
      Maybe someone should point out that political science is an oxymoron.

    • All of a sudden it’s all “correlation, not causation”? Funny how that never seems to be the case when the all-so-significant results go in the opposite direction.
      I’ll disown any child of mine who chooses to study a social science.

  4. I think it says something about a Progressive-Liberal’s willingness to be deceived or at least acceptance of someone being deceptive as long as they feel like they share values.
    It can be the only reason that +80% of registered Democrats consistently say Hillary and Obama’s lies don’t matter to them when voting.

  5. Just more political grudge masquerading as science. Liberals seethe with political hate, they can not contain themselves.

  6. I’m not sure if I read this right so please correct this if I have it wrong. It appears they released the original paper making the claim that conservatives measure higher on “psychoticism” with no caveats as to the magnitude of the effect. Now that they find the attribute applies in the opposite manner Hatemi says “The correlations are spurious, so the direction or even magnitude is not suitable to elaborate on at all- that’s the point of all our papers and the general findings.” Did they make this point originally as well?

    • Doesn’t seem like it. If the correlations were spurious they had no business making the assertion that conservatives measure higher on ‘psychoticism’ in the original paper, they should have simply said what they say now, “the correlations are spurious, so the direction and even magnitude is not suitable to elaborate on” — short version ‘we found nothing of interest in these relationships’, but then that conclusion would most likely NOT have gotten the paper published.

      • Commonly a research grant requires that the research be “reported” – i.e. published. Otherwise you hand all that cash back, since you did not fulfill the grant terms. The only exception I can think of is where the research is classified, in which case it is still “reported.” It just will not be published.

      • Donk31, The answer is one small change to the quote,,,
        “[T]he correlations are spurious, so the direction or even magnitude is not suitable to elaborate on at all- that’s the point of all our papers and the general Funding for our research.”

    • No, it’s just a bad excuse that their mistake didn’t matter. Laughable on its face and shameful that they would claim it.

  7. “Must be something in the water at State College, perhaps also in Mt. Beauty, Victoria, Australia. ;-)”
    It must be assification!

    • Noted, but didn’t understand, Anthony’s reference to Mt Beauty. This is a literally beautiful little town, and the doorway to the high country (and some of the great ski areas) in Victoria, Australia. Favourite place of mine. What am I missing?

      • When I saw his remark, I assumed it was the location of one of the academics involved in the retracted paper. But it does not appear there is a University in Mt. Beauty.
        I did find this:
        “The data for the current paper and an earlier paper (Verhulst, Hatemi and Martin (2010) “The nature of the relationship between personality traits and political attitudes.”Personality and Individual Differences 49:306–316) were collected through two independent studies by Lindon Eaves in the U.S. and Nichols Martin in Australia.”
        Not sure. Cheers.

      • Sue-whateverhernameis writing Hot Whopper lives in Mount Beauty. That’s what the reference is to. She’s another one who is loose with the truth and hates skeptics and WUWT.

  8. now it appears that liberal political beliefs are linked with….
    fear, paranoia, and insecurity

  9. There’s a measure for everyone and everyone can be measured with ones own measure. Thus, we can prove that the world is a giant egg.

  10. now it appears that liberal political beliefs are linked with
    f e a r, P a r a n o i a, and I n s e c u r i t y

    • This shouldn’t be a revelation to anybody. If you look critically at the body of law created by successive liberal governments around the world, it invariably tilts heavily to behavior control and personal risk mitigation, especially on a personal level (“selfing”). Very, very often, the laws created are directed at the behavior of those physically close to the lawmakers (or their assets, which are merely extensions of self). Liberals are beta personages – they need external protection and an order that is theirs, not somebody else’s. It is a mental disorder, akin to obsessive-compulsiveness.

  11. Being ignorant and knowing nothing about the law and politics watching the upside down American Presidential sideshow I have a question to ask:
    If a President is limmeted to two terms in office, and presuming that Hillary and Bill were married in Church, how can a wife of a former President run for that office?
    With all the negative publicity that she has this can only happen in America, like the Donald says” if she was a man she might, just might get 5% of the vote, Bernie looks like a God when compering them.

    • Ziiex-
      Separation of Church and State here in the Good ol USA.
      Americans pretty much hate Hillary. Even women.
      And Bernie doesn’t look like a God to anyone I know. They are all fruit bats.
      At least Donald would be entertaining and people would start watching summit meetings just to see how pissed off he could make whomever he was meeting with. 🙂

      • My two cents worth- Given two candidates who cannot be trusted, vote for the stupidest one ( Trump). Less chance anyone will actually let him do anything. Hillary is the dangerous one.
        P.S.- I’m not a citizen

        • john harmsworth June 10, 2016 at 10:51 am
          My two cents worth- Given two candidates who cannot be trusted, vote for the stupidest one ( Trump). Less chance anyone will actually let him do anything.

          That is actually a compelling argument. (:
          Just to be sure, shall I write in “The Stupider of two Weevils”?

      • Yeah, stupid like a fox… The only “stupid ones” are those continuing to insist The Donald is “stupid”….

      • Actually, this is more for John harmsworth – and by what gauge have you decided that Trump is the stupid one? And it’s okay that you aren’t a citizen, but that would say you must be an off-world alien since everyone other than “the man without a country” is a citizen somewhere. Hmmm, probably even off-world aliens are citizens somewhere, so you must be the NEW “man without a country.”

      • vote for the stupidest one (Trump). Less chance anyone will actually let him do anything

        That’s sounds like how it actually worked out with Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

      • Hillary – now a well polished politician, so, you can’t trust her farther than you could shoot her from a BB gun. Donald – mistakes politics for reality TV, could us have in a war with Mexico AND Russia AND Britain AND Canada AND … all at once, so can’t trust him any farther than he can be fired out of a BB gun either. Bernie, Bernie, Bernie, … at least half his advisors give him bad advice and it looks like he threw California on purpose when he could have easily won by telling the NPPs to go Democrat at the polls. His campaign could have gotten the word out on how to do that and it wasn’t difficult for people I know who did just that. So, Bernie believes in AGW, is either well meaning and incompetent, or deceptive (I think he pulled a subtler means of getting out of the election than McCain’s decision to pick Sarah Palin as a running mate). So, what we really, really need on the ballot is “None of the Above” – a guaranteed landslide win.

      • Yeah, stupid like a fox… The only “stupid ones” are those continuing to insist The Donald is “stupid”….

        I don’t think he’s stupid, I think he’s a childish ass.

    • That’s like asking if she could get locked up for a murder he committed. While a husband and wife are a legal unit, they aren’t the same person. Your post just doesn’t make sense.
      As for Sanders, I might disagree with him on most issues, but I will say that I at least respected the man. I can’t say that for either of our current candidates.

      • Ben of Houston — “As for Sanders, I might disagree with him on most issues, but I will say that I at least respected the man.”
        Daffy old Bernie? Who refuses to talk about the economic problems in Venezuela — that Socialist paradise?
        In a hot air balloon Bernie floats above us all shouting down to the “masses” tired old cliques lifted from 1930’s communist broadsides.
        Ben of Houstan, you give your respect too easily.
        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Give the man credit for openly admitting what he is. A socialist. The other socialists in the Democrat party do their best to hide it.
        As to his inability to defend socialism. Who can?

    • If a President is limmeted to two terms in office, and presuming that Hillary and Bill were married in Church, how can a wife of a former President run for that office?

      Assuming you mean how can she legally and Constitutionally run, Bill was the President, not her.
      Where they were married has absolutely nothing to do with it. I can’t figure out why you think it would.

    • The U.S. Constitution doesn’t restrict anyone from running for president because of marriage.
      If Hillary wins, she will be the president, not Bill. Bill will be First Molester.

    • What is most ironic about this election is that the people supporting their given candidate are the ones most injured by their prior actions.
      Trump’s history of litigation shows that he has consistently taken advantage of working class citizens. Be it investors in his failed Trump towers like here in Tampa or the 100s of small business contractors that he has failed to pay as well as his defrauded students.
      Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary have grafted money from the poor and continuously provided favors to the super rich and Wall Street at the expense of minorities yet she carries the lion’s share of the minority vote. Their CHIA fraud in Africa literally left HIV patients with known to be useless drugs extending misery to millions.
      It seems our primary electorate is afflicted with Stockholm Syndrome purposely voting in their own worst interests. Now we are left with no choice at all.

  12. “Projection” is well-known to psychologists as a defense mechanism.
    “Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. … It incorporates blame shifting.”
    When one examines the use of pejoratives and ad hominem attacks so well-favored by liberals, one cannot help but notice they are more often than not guilty of the very charges they are leveling against their opposition.

    • It’s the grown up version of “I know you are but what am I?”
      Projection is one of those brilliant, psychological, magic bullets that shoots no one but injures everyone. After all…if it’s unconscious, then a person doing it can’t be blamed for it…it’s a common ego defensive response! And if you are NOT projecting and are actually calling out observable, demonstrable traits another person has, all they have to do is say that you ARE “projecting” to get themselves off the hook.
      From your link-
      “Projection tends to come to the fore in normal people at times of crisis, personal or political, but is more commonly found in the neurotic or psychotic in personalities functioning at a primitive level as in narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder.”
      So-just like the research above points out, conservatives and liberals are equally neurotic and/or psychotic, and mere primates pretending to be socially desirable. 🙂

  13. When you enter into irrational dialog masquerading as some kind of science then there is no net reason based benefit to be gained.
    Better to just do objective science and let the stark comparison to ‘the irrational dialog masquerading as some kind of science’ be obvious.
    Lewandowski and Oreskes are just out-dated marketers of ‘the irrational dialog masquerading as some kind of science’. Mann and his sympathetic fellow climategate associates are just following L’s & O’s marketing; following them wholesale and reselling to fellow climate exagerationists.

  14. Whoops, mistakes happen when you start your research with conclusions and then work backwards from there.

    • Similar to when you decide what you want the law to say and THEN consider what the law actually says and whether it supports your decision…and then ignore the fact that your legal decision is not supported by law/precedent, because now your decision IS precedent!
      I am talking about you, Supreme Court bloc.

  15. Now that the signs are reversed .2 r correlation doesn’t mean anything? It doesn’t mean much even if it agrees with your prejudices.

  16. I see my alma mater is under attack again. Let me assure you, in the only place I am ever around, the Olympic Regional Training Center for Wrestling.. if you score, you get the points and not the other guy. And the guys in the lineup are the guys that won the position. And the magnitude of wins is such that we often get bonus points. That part of PSU is certainly doing something right, since they have been national champions in 5 of the last 6 years. Of course in wrestling, feelings are not a very big factor, there is a bottom line and there are conclusions supported by reality of who did what. So from my little corner of the world things are still the same as in the wrestling room as they were 40 years ago. Results matter

    • Careful Joe, someone will discover that PSU has an outlying department that believes in awarding winners and not losers and take care of that ASAP! Soon, everyone’s trophies will be taken away due to this egregious error by the coaching staff there, and replaced with “I Participated” stickers for all involved.
      It would be a “spurious” correlation mind you, but I’m sure Lew could find a way to link the competitive success of PSU’s wrestling team to the competitive failure of their science department within 30 seconds or less. 🙂 Expect his paper within weeks.

    • According to your stats dept. they have lost 6 out of the last 5 years and the results DON”T matter

    • Fairest system in the world. You beat the other guy, you’re Varsity. It’s hard for politics to intrude.

      • Unless you are a real girl/woman, competing on the female team. Then you might have to compete against a male who thinks he is female. And change in the same locker room.

    • Results matter, unless you are wasting time and spending other people’s money while superiority-signalling to your tribe to gain their approval noises. In that case, maintaining your job, status and ego really matter.

  17. Science in service of asserting or reinforcing a political or cultural narrative. There’s a term for that…

  18. Anthony, the definition for social desirability is actually the definition for social desirability bias as explained in the link.
    I first read about this a couple of days ago:
    From the article, “Here I must explain that “Social Desirability” is a social science term that essentially translates into common sense language as someone who self-consciously wants to get along. “

    • Wayne,
      With all due respect to Steven Hayward who wrote the powerlineblog article, social desirability (bias) is more than” someone who (just) self-consciously wants to get along”. Someone who just wants to get along is called things like affable, “easy going”, or cooperative. Social desirability bias creates a need in the person to be viewed favorably, to perform in a manner in which others will find them more acceptable, or “desirable” in some way.

  19. Exact opposite of published findings?
    Can we now apply this same scrutiny to the widely accepted term: “Carbon pollution”?
    Pollution is something that is harmful to life.
    Carbon based life forms represent all life as we know it.
    Carbon based life forms require carbon.
    Carbon is necessary for all life.
    For carbon to be considered pollution, a compelling and quantifiable definition is required, otherwise it’s an oxymoron.

    • This is a war on trees and other plant life. They, in turn, will retaliate by dying and starving us all to death not to mention, no more oxygen production for ungrateful creatures.

  20. Comrade, you will be reprogrammed to recognized the Dear Leader’s reality. All hail our Great Leaders.

  21. What does it matter that science is being disgraced, that objective truth is being raped, that knowing something real can no longer be said about anything because political bias is so rampant at colleges and universities, as long as our diaper clad post-graduates get their Ph.Ds and someone else changes their nappies. The credential is all-important, and everyone needs one to get a good government job.
    And don’t even THINK about wondering where the /snarkysarc indicator is. I’m serious.

  22. Modern Progressivism is really just counter-culture gone mainstream, so it’s only natural that social malfeasance and deviancy would be an inherent quality – all to be projected upon the parent culture it evolved to parasite off of – a natural reflexive defense mechanism to draw the onus off of the real offenders. Works like a charm once it’s infiltrated schools and popular media – especially when individuality has become vilified in favor of conformity.

    • Have you ever noticed that the same kids who demanded the right to do their own thing when young, now that they are in control are demanding conformity from everyone else.
      In fact they are much more dictatorial and uncompromising then even the most hide bound conservative of their youth.

      • Absolutely. That was an instrumental factor in my migration from the Left. It’s called hypocrisy.
        Unfortunately, it does no good to call a hypocrite, a hypocrite. By definition, they don’t care.

      • When someone doesn’t understand why limited government is best for a free people, they tend to think in a tyrannical mode and will utilize government power to force compliance among the population.

  23. I suspect that your beliefs don’t matter per se. What does matter is how you came to them. If everything you believe is based on theory and is otherwise divorced from reality, I would say that you are in danger of being a psychopath.

  24. This paper was another item in a body of “peer-reviewed litrachur” that has been built up over a period of years purporting to pathologize conservative thought. See
    The psycho-boffins have come up with a four-question authoritarianism survey which they claim (a) detects an authoritarian personality and (b) predicts conservative political beliefs. Those scoring low on the index tend towards liberalism. The low-authoritarian-index scores self-sort into the Democrat party while the high-index folks self-sort into the Republican party. Naturally, a number of pejorative labels are applied to the authoritarian/conservative/Republicans and and virtuous labels to the non-authoritarians. The fate of the Republic is seen to be imperiled by the fascistic tendencies of authoritarians.
    There was a small problem, however, in the development of this theory. There was a group of people who scored low on the authoritarianism index but nevertheless endorsed conservative political beliefs.
    Did they conclude that this group disproved the predictive validity of the authoritarianism index and go back to the drawing board?
    Nope. They decided that these people were “latent authoritarians,” saving the theory for further grant applications. Hooray!
    These people write papers about “motivated cognition” that pathologize conservatives. Self-awareness score = 0.
    So, I intend to gain academic renown with a four-question Gullibility-Stupidity Index(TM) of my own creation. It is intended to identify people who are gullible and stupid enough to fall for history’s most discredited and foolish economic philosophy, the idea that the government can give you free stuff forever and that you never have to work, and that it can all be paid for by the top 1%, who will be happy to continue working their tails off to achieve this social nirvana.
    So here is my Gullibility-Stupidity Survey:
    1. Do you think that from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs is a good plan?
    2. In the story about the Ant and the Grasshopper, who’s side were you on?
    3. If you buy something for $3,000 that normally costs $6,000, is your net expenditure zero since you have saved $3,000?
    4. Do you agree that all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others?
    Follow-up studies/grants will focus on (1) odious personality traits that correlate with high scores, (2) genetic and brain defects that correlate with and perhaps cause high scores (3) the danger to the republic from high scoring people gaining an electoral majority, (4) therapies for the personal, moral, genetic and cognitive defects of those with high scores, and (5) a catalog of the virtuous personality traits that correlate with low scores, which, by pure coincidence, happen to describe me and the people I agree with.
    Who’s with me?

    • @Quinn, you make me wanna jump for joy…
      Note how authoritarian regimes try to homogenize society and eliminate freedom. Political correctness is nothing but Newspeak.
      Follow-up studies/grants shall be conducted by the following:
      The Leon Trotsky Institute Ideological Purity
      Pol Pot School of Optometry and Pure Vision
      Mengele Genetic Institute for the Racial Purity
      Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood of America

  25. Umm, does this mean my “psychotic traits” are just that ???
    Guess I’ve got some more thinking to do.
    Get back to you on that.

      • You know, now that I think about, maybe ‘skepticism’ has an image problem? But then again, we have yet to form a platform to subscribe to so…free spirits will never reign I suppose.

  26. As far as Mann goes…I believe when he was confronted with the fact that he had used the data upside-down, he said the claim was “bizarre.”

  27. Establish that there is something psychologically “wrong” with those who disagree with you and then you have justification to ignore them/”treat” them/”protect” others from them.
    Nothing new about the concept. We just use bigger words now.

    • I have to wonder if those who seek to do such things have an aversion to mirrors? Or maybe they’re like vampires. When they do look in a mirror, they don’t see themselves?

  28. Many years ago I was fascinated with the works of Bertrand Russell. I believe I read in one of his books the idea that one should be most suspicious of the beliefs one holds most passionately. Maybe he didn’t use those words but the idea did influence me during my science career. I tried to be particularly suspicious of models I built that produced the results that I had expected.
    It is an attitude I believe would benefit the current generation of scientists.

    • Similarly, more journalists should apply the old saying: “If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.”

  29. Judge a philosophy by its principles. A viable philosophy will be internally, externally, and mutually consistent (i.e. not Pro-Choice — selective, liberal — variable, or progressive — monotonic) as it is applied to reconcile moral and natural imperatives.

  30. Our local weather changes by more than 50 degrees F in ONE DAY all the time! No one around here expects otherwise either.

  31. The Retraction Watch article includes an extremely important sentence:
    “We found the source of the error only after an investigation going back to the original copies of the data”.
    It is important to *keep* raw data and to *provide* it to other researchers and critics.

  32. All I would say about such ‘studies’ is this: do they evaluate accurately what the values of the subjects are, based not on what they say but on how they act? I’ve met huge numbers of people whose claimed political ‘values’ or ‘beliefs’ are the exact opposite of how they actually behave in reality.
    The classic behavioural trait is a psychotic personality stating that ‘you can do anything you want’ in abstract terms when decisions don’t have to be taken. Then, come decision time, they use every Machiavellian trick in the book to shoehorn the person into doing whatever it is that they want. Up to and including telling them exactly what it is that they are going to do.
    Another classic one is saying you can hold whatever views you like, but using every form of emotional abuse in conversations whenever there is any suggestion that the person might not subscribe to their own beliefs. This says that the forces of coercion and control are strongly present and the only question is whether that is due to neurotic inadequacy demanding that their own views be confirmed by their family agreeing with them or whether they really are totalitarian psychopaths getting sexual frisson from subjugation and control.
    Psychotic personality traits are measured behaviour.
    Political values are things claimed by subjects.
    The first is a scientific measurement, the second a stated opinion.
    The way to measure true political values is to draw up a list of behavioural choices in certain situations and correlate different choices with true personality traits and true political values.
    Here are a few examples:
    1. If you believe in aspiration, you cannot believe in preventing others from furthering their careers in ways which have zero effect on your own career. If you do engage in that, you are a psychotic control freak seeking to crush and control.
    2. If you believe in freedom of choice, whatsoever football club another person chooses to support has no effect on your life. If through freedom of choice, someone else causes you to take actions of coercive control, you do not believe in freedom of choice, you believe in totalitarian hierarchies.
    3. If you take the Hippocratic oath, you have to make fundamental choices between pursuing the mind-controlling goals of the security services and practicing medicine according to humane principles. You cannot be a true doctor if you are a psychopath working for MI6.
    4. If you believe in democratic accountability, you cannot support an EU which actively destroys the link between elected representatives in the European Parliament and the law-making authority which should result from such democratic elections. If you believe that only unelected officials can propose and draft legislation, you do not believe in democracy, you believe in oligarchy or tyranny.
    5. If you believe in sporting competition, you cannot demand guaranteed entry into tournaments reserved for those having achieved the necessary qualifying standard. If you believe in the latter, you believe in closed shop cartels, not sporting excellence.
    The most common trait in modern business is spouting one set of values whilst ruthlessly behaving in the opposite manner behind the scenes. The reason for that is quite clear: society has stated that it sanctions the behind-the-scenes behaviour as unacceptable rubbish not consistent with a modelling role in senior levels of society.
    As a result, no study is ‘scientific’ if ti correlates opinions with scientifically measured reality.
    Go and measure the true behaviour patterns of senior people of all political persuasions: you will be horrified by the conclusions you will draw.
    The most likely one is that there are psychopaths in both liberal and conservative camps, since liberal and conservative camps are merely routes to power dependent not on true behaviour but on the perceptions of electors not granted sufficient facts to discern the difference between truth and dissembling publicity.

  33. What does matter us that science is being ruined by corrupt scientists. And that nearly all scientists are left leaning.

    • Where have you heard that nearly all scientists are left leaning.
      I will concede that may be the case in many of the social sciences, since these, for the most part, are not real scientists anyway.
      As for the hard sciences, I’ve met scientists from all corners of the political spectrum.

  34. Psychotic refers to schizophrenia, it is not related to Psychopathy.
    I haven’t heard of Psychoticism, so I looked it up:
    It’s an old personality theory (1950), the Big Five personality traits are modern.They need to teach that activism and science don’t mix in their ethics course.

    • Eric
      This is my favorite quote from the retraction watch piece-
      “Brad Verhulst, a researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University and a co-author on all four papers, said that it’s unclear whether the error originated from the authors, or the group that conducted the surveys:
      ‘I don’t know where it happened, all I know is it happened. It’s our fault for not figuring it out before.'”
      Muhahahahahahahahaha! It’s not OUR fault we published a completely mistaken paper! People who publish papers don’t have to figure out whether or not things are correct or not, before they publish! I just put my name on them…I don’t actually CHECK to make sure they are correct.

      • Sorry…hit enter too soon. Meant to add-“Cook et al 2013 could learn something” before the Muhahahahahaha part.

      • FYI, I don’t believe many people read past the “Muhahahahahaha part”.
        It could just be me ??

      • @MarkW,
        Yes, that is what he admitted to doing. That said, one of the things that bugs me the most is that very few seem to ask themselves if they’re asking the wrong question and even fewer seem to want to do an error analysis and propagation as thoroughly as possible.

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