March 20, 2006

Study: Whiny Berkeley Kids Grow Up To Be Conservatives

I know what you're thinking: "Wha wha wha??? The whiny ones in Berkeley turn out to be conservative???" Maybe they're grading on a curve, I don't know. But a UC Berkeley sociology professor, who's on the business end of a decades-long study following Berkeley preschoolers from the 1960's, has found that the whiny kids turned into rigid, insecure adults who craved authority and structure--and were most likely to be conservative--while the self-reliant, trouble-free kids have become open-minded, slightly introspective, adventuresome--and liberal.

There are a million qualifications, of course, and all sorts of details, but why bother delving into the findings' nuance, the actual correlation methodology that's common in sociology but complicated in the real world, etc., when there's a good old-fashioned ivory tower-storming to be had? Karl Rove's henchmen'll be villifying themselves a pointy-headed Berkeley professor in no time [even if you can TOTALLY imagine Rove as the wimpy, whiny little chump in preschool. Truth hurts, but I bet unchecked power makes up for a lot of childhood pain.]

How to spot a baby conservative
[, waitaminnit. That's Toronto! Even the conservatives are liberals up there... via robotwisdom]
Previously: British study: have more girls=vote more conservatively


Or maybe it had to do with the kid hearing their conservative parents whining about all these long-haired hippy freaks and how they're destroying the world...

[yeah, a conservative raised in Berkeley in the Sixties would have a particularly bleak view of the world. -ed.]

Interesting. That could explain a lot about my sister-in-law. But did you read this USA Today article that liberals are actually being bred out of existence?

[yes, it's true, and the civilized protestant race is under threat from the influx of the overly fertile hordes of immigrants from such dark-skinned countries as Italy. That kind of narrowly extrapolated demographic scare-mongering has been around for a looong time. -ed.]

"bred out of existence" ??

That sounds like crazy evolution talk! There's no place for that in God's America!

[who do you think's doing the breeding? And you call yourself a conservative... -ed.]

There's been numerous studies that show that politically conservative parents have more children, on average, than politically liberal parents.

Politics aren't genetic, but, obviously, like religion, are heavily influenced by parents.

[the distinction about "influence" is probably the crux of the whole study. Personality is one of many influences on an individual's political POV, too, and that's all these findings ultimately show. How strong or determinative that influence is is another question. -ed.]

Okay lets think about this....its highly unlikely that anyone from UC Berkeley would be able to be bias in a liberal vs. conservative study...lets try the same study with researchers and kids from Alabama and see what results. I bet we would have yet another bias result. Really aren't there better things to research....typical Berkeley liberals!

[glad to see you're jumping on the "jump to biased conclusions based on inflammatory, self-serving summaries without actually reading the underlying article, much less the actual research findings themselves" bandwagon, Chesie. What the study actually found, how it's reported, and how it's interpreted are all subject to bias. It's just a matter of identifying which bias is yours, mine, the reporter's, and the scientist's. -ed.]

.....thank you so much for the much needed clarification. Your comment only leads me back to my previous conclusion that UC Berkely is really putting out some profound and thought provoking stuff. In celebration of this mind altering study, how about we go and hug some trees?

[I'd go, but my Prius is recharging. And anyway, I have a week's worth of Hannity on the TiVo that I have to catch up on. -ed.]

Don't worry - two more years of the Bush administration and there'll be no more trees left.

I hear you loud and clear treehugger. I don't always understand the lefties view points all the time, but I have spent time cleaning local streams and Ed brace yourself for this one....I do recycle......

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