Saturday, September 20, 2008

Conservatives Scare More Easily Than Liberals, Say Scientists

Conservatives Scare More Easily Than Liberals, Say Scientists
"...Asked whether the findings imply a fearmongering strategy for conservatives, New York University psychologist David Amodio responded, "Yes. And some people believe that they are actively using this strategy."

The Bush administration has been accused of exploiting fears, though it's hardly a new approach.

"The whole aim of practical politics," wrote journalist gadfly H.L. Mencken, "is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins."

Jost condemned such tactics. "From an ethical standpoint, conservative campaigns should not exploit feelings of fear in the general population," he said.

Of course, ethics tend to be forgotten during election seasons -- but fear-mongering may be counterproductive.

"From a practical standpoint, I think that there will eventually be a backlash against those tactics as it becomes more obvious how exploitative they are," said Jost."
Read full article here

"When the bio-survival circuit flashes danger, all other mental activity ceases."
Robert Anton Wilson


Anonymous said...

Hmm. I'm going to have to disagree. It must have been biased (perhaps liberal) scientists who came up with this. I consider myself to be outside of either ideology but from my perspective it is more the other way around, at least at the moment.

In general, it isn't that conservative scare more easily than liberals, it's more that adherents to those two ideologies are afraid of very different things. Those who are biased always think that their fears are rational and that their exploitation are justified, while the fears of the "other" are just paranoia.

In terms of the current election, I see this as playing out the other way around. It seems to me that the liberal crowd is behaving with a kind of irrationality, dishonesty, and hypocrisy that is obviously fear based. The difference is that the media is (currently) playing to them so they actually think that their irrational emotional reaction is based in neutrality. I see that hobgoblin approach being used just as effectively by the media and various pundits on my liberal friends who are in a state of hysteria and panic that is causing them to reveal some very ugly ugly sentiments.

JJ said...

I agree.

Borrowing from both camps, there is anxiety of the dreamer, and the one who was just awake.

The flower opens with all its pedals in place.

I wonder if Diogenes would roll his barrel again?