Psychology Today has just put out a big article on the psychology of politics. It purports to explain why people hew to the Left or the Right. It bases its conclusions, however, on research that has no scholarly worth whatsoever. The two main pieces of research it relies on to support the differentiations it proposes are by Jost et al and Block et al. Both pieces of research are within my area of academic specialization so the gaping flaws in both are more evident to me than they might be to others. I have previously pointed out how intellectually discreditable both studies are. See here and here. I was actually one of the authors whose research the Jost et al. article purported to summarize! Jost et al. showed vividly the usual Leftist talent for ignoring large bodies of evidence that did not suit their preconceptions. Their article must in fact rate as one of the most dishonest meta-analyses ever reported. They were very clearly guilty of “motivated cognition” — exactly what they accused conservatives of. Leftist projection and leftist denial do usually go hand in hand. Michelle Malkin and Jim Lindgren note the absurd “sampling” in the Block study. It seems unlikely that there were any actual conservatives among the individuals studied! That is not the first time Leftist psychologists have perpetrated such an absurdity in their mendacious claims to “explain” conservatism, however. See, for instance, here. Given the very dubious basis of the generalizations offered in the Psychology Today article, the generalizations offered by the article should detain no-one. Whether any of the statements made are true is simply unknown. Sadly, many in the blogosphere have assumed that there is some respectable evidential basis for the article. Cinnamon Stillwell and Fausta sum up some of the blogospheric reactions. For an account of the psychology of conservatism based on the actual history of conservatism, see here (For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

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