By Your Nouns They Shall Know You February 25, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
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.