PsychNotes • Get Me Some Numbers, Stat!

Here’s a fact of life as comforting as it is troubling: most everything regresses to the mean. The good news: every sweltering day will eventually be followed by a cooler one. The bad news: every eight-year-old with a stratospheric IQ will be closer to average by the time they’re 10. Numbers are so beautiful and so heartless. Here are five (5) stories on the subject. No more, no less. Continue reading

Are Liberals More Intelligent than Conservatives? Another Broken Study Says It Is So

anti-conservative-researchIt happens like clockwork. Every few years, researchers contrive yet another study to prove that conservatives are mentally deficient. This time, the attack comes from evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa in his current paper, Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent. To be fair, gunning for conservatives does not appear to be his primary motive. Instead, he seems to have tied himself in knots trying to affirm a pet theory. Either way, he has recklessly disparaged millions. The methodology is atrocious. Continue reading

Dial M for Misinterpretation: Psychology’s Latest Attack on Conservatives

Q: In light of your previous intellectual truck-bombings of such junk-psych as the “conservative crybaby” study, I was interested in getting your opinion on a new study put out by NYU and UCLA’s psych departments claiming that the brains of left-wingers are more “tolerant of ambiguity and conflict” than those of right-wingers, based on a simple letter-recognition test. Continue reading

Curing Conservatism: Psychology’s Abuse of Research

biased, anti-conservative psychological researchIn 1994, the controversial book The Bell Curve examined intelligence in American society and asserted that whites outperform other races on IQ tests. The American Psychological Association was quick to respond, launching a task force to meticulously scrutinize the methodology behind the book. Throughout dozens of publications, a veritable contest took place: who could most eloquently and irrevocably discredit The Bell Curve? The book was called polarizing, biased, and specious. Continue reading

How to Spot a Broken Study: The Baby Conservative Project

baby-conservative-studyLast month, I examined one of the studies embraced in the current Psychology Today article, “The Ideological Animal” (Dixit, 2007). That study asserted that conservatives, among numerous other deficits, are lower in openness to experience and integrative complexity than liberals, and that people choose conservatism because it serves to reduce their inherent fear and anxiety (Jost, et al., 2003). The poor dears. Continue reading