Tories - Natural Born Cowards?

Discussion in 'The Science Forum' started by rampant, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Ok maybe over egged the title of the thread but it did make me laugh and raises interesting questions regarding developmental psychology, the nature v nurture debate and the attitudes and reactions of many people in the world:

    On the other side from earlier this year:

  2. How have they determined what the political views are though? (apart from asking who they vote for, which may not be the same thing)

    For example in this country Labour are seen as left wing and conservatives are right wing, but when you think about it, your old school socialist working class miner/steelworker/car maker would be a white man who wouldnt want any foriegner immigrants because they might take their jobs, where as your average evil capitalist factory owner wants a bigger pool of manpower (to keep costs down) and give them a bigger market to sell to.
  3. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    If anything it raises questions, it's hard to provide any definative answers given the nature and make-up of the study. To provide a more accurate study it would be necessary to follow a large number of subjects from a vast cross section of society from birth, where scans are regularly carried out as well as regular questionnaires and analyses of environmental and educational factors all of which may play a part in the formation of views in later life.

    I will use it to tease people though :-D
  4. I also suspect that nurture would have more to do with the results than nature.
  5. Caecilius

    Caecilius LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I suspect that a pisspoor methodology may have been an even bigger factor.
  6. They are conflating fear and cowardice. People who aren't afraid when it is dangerous are commonly called "idiots" (or "drunks".)

    I always thought that cowardice is when you allow your fear to drive your actions.

    Anyway - I'm scared of the ineptitude and ulterior motives of politicians.
  7. I'm suspicious of the guardian one because it was published in the journal of politics.

    There are plenty of good imaging journals out there, and the Journal of politics doesn't sound like an obvious choice, tbh. Usually when authors publish imaging studies in inapproproate journals, it's because they were refused by the more appropriate ones.

    Sadly, it's a fact that some imaging studies are like the emperors new clothes, with authors unaware that they are practising modern day phrenology.

    Edit - Just re-read (I'm reading on a smart phone), and saw the second article didn't use neuroimaging. Although I suspect he point still remains as to why a genetics study was published in an appropriate journal.
  8. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Excellent point, as it highlights the nature of these studies to suffer somewhat from confirmation bias of preconcieved notions.

    The Torygraph article exaggerates the idea of fear in right-wing politics, a pre-concieved notion all too asscociated with the right in politics. I exaggerated further a la Daily Mail Stylee by deliberately using the word "Cowards" to draw in response.

    As I have already stated I have a number of issues with the methodologies of the studies in question, which I will not bother to repeat. Needless to say the study is suggestive and best considered as anecdotal rather than conclusive. In reality all that the fear study indicates is that Fear is conflated with reactionary politics, this is equally an issue that both Left & right suffer from, and in everyday thinking reactionary politics is nearly always conflated with the Right Wing - which is sloppy thinking - further it raises issues with how science is often reported in the general media.

    Still gonna use it to tease people though.
  9. I think I've spotted the fundamental flaw in their methodology.

    Perhaps instead they should have examined the organs both groups actually use to do their 'thinking'?
  10. Caecilius

    Caecilius LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Interestingly, that's exactly how my neurophysiology supervisor at university described such studies. He was particularly damning about the work of the Imperial College team responsible for the old TV series 'Einstein's Brain' when I mentioned it at an admissions interview. For those who dont know the series, they concluded that Einstein was so good at theoretical physics because he had more grey matter between his visual cortex and what they called 'the mathematical centre'. That really is phrenology on a grand scale.
  11. I think there are a lot of loaded words being used. If I were to paraphrase the conclusion as, conservatives are cautious and liberals are reckless, then I expect most conservatives would agree with the study.