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By Your Nouns They Shall Know You February 25, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Probably another useless sociological/psychological study on conservatives, but this one doesn’t sound too bad. So far.

The researchers found conservatives, more than liberals, tend to refer to things by names, instead of describing them in terms of features.

Examples of this would be saying someone is an idealist rather than describing them as idealistic, or that someone is a pessimist rather than calling them pessimistic.

If you describe someone as ‘a homosexual’ you’re more likely to be conservative, while calling someone ‘homosexual’ – without the ‘a’ – makes you more liberal.

This use of nouns, rather than adjectives, is thought to preserve stability, familiarity and tradition, all of which appear to be valued more highly by conservatives than liberals.

While I don’t have any particular objection to the last paragraph, it does seem completely speculative. It’s derived from the authors’ biases, rather than from some correlation to data.

But let’s assume that a preference for nouns does in fact reflect a value system based on stability, familiarity, and tradition (and certainty, from another line in the article). Doesn’t it follow that liberals then value instability, the unfamiliar, and uncertainty? And have little regard for tradition?

Doesn’t sound very appealing or very practical.

Comments»

1. geoff - February 25, 2016

<While I don’t have any particular objection to the last paragraph, it does seem completely speculative.

One could as easily attribute conservatives’ preference for nouns to a value system based on logic and hard facts. Or on a preference for fiscal responsibility.

2. Tushar - February 25, 2016

Liberals: Bill Clinton tends towards appreciating differently gendered humans and has a higher arousal level in their presence. This has an unfortunate tendency to devolve into a situation not amenable to mutually agreeable amorous exchange between the two parties.

Conservatives: Bill Clinton is a fucking pig who would fuck anything that moves.

3. lauraw - February 25, 2016

someone is a pessimist rather than calling them pessimistic.

So, they could say that conservatives label people, instead of traits, and examine why.

Or they could say that liberals are loath to assign people directly to their own actions, and examine them, for a damn change.

Or we could all just say that this is another ‘sciencey’ study saying “Hey! Dimwitted conservatives like simple definitions because that is the limit of their intellect! Haw haw haw!” Bob Loblaw.


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