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Another Obviously Flawed Poll

I think it was a psychology class on experimental design that taught me how to spot obvious flaws in methodology like this one....

How to spot a baby conservative

Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.

At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years.

I don't even need to read the rest of the article to spot the obvious problem with this study. If there were any conservative kids in Berkley then everyone really was out to get them. Simple.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Another Obviously Flawed Poll:

» Demonrats linked with Conservative Kids are the Whiners?

» two or three . net linked with Somebody learned the art of projection

Comments (22)

Hmmm.This is frank... (Below threshold)


This is frankly amusing because most of the conservatives I know were, until a decade or so ago, liberal Democrats.

The real problem with nonsense like this is that it continues the existing trend of turning science into little more than political justification. Have a political axe to grind? Just find some willing "scientists" to support your claims with "science".

1. Conceive nonsensical idiotic position.
2. Find scientists to support position.
3. ????
4. Profit!

It's a shame really. When I was a kid I was thrilled to meet scientists. Now as a middle-aged adult I have so much derision for the scientists of this day and age that the very first thing I think of when reading of a new study is:

"Ok. Just how much did this bastard f**k with the data?"

And I am rarely disappointed in this view, which is rather disappointing really.

Science has become nothing ... (Below threshold)

Science has become nothing more than one more branch of liberalism. I am afraid it's going to be up to the individual to do the heavy lifting.

why don't we see a disclaim... (Below threshold)

why don't we see a disclaimer after stupid crap like this, as we did after the iraqi documents?

I'm dissapointed to see com... (Below threshold)

I'm dissapointed to see comments like this about scientists. Yes, I'd agree, THIS study has flaws. I find myself looking at many studies like this questioning the methodology used and motives behind it. However, just because I'm a scientist doesn't mean I'm a liberal or mess with the data.

Little short sighted and narrow minded of you, don't you think?

Ed, it's not all scientists... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

Ed, it's not all scientists, it's mostly just the fuzzy ones. "Hard" scientists in the physical and biological sciences work in fields that matter. They usually have to be honest, because otherwist they are quickly found out, as was the Korean cloning researcher in the news recently.

... Although some global warming research and that recent "Thomas Jefferson fooled around with Sally Hemings" DNA study have turned out to be bogus, especially in their presentations to the public.

Social scientists are to scientists as "sanitation engineers" (e.g., Ralph Kramden's buddy Ed Norton) are to engineers -- in most cases calling them scientists is an undeserved courtesy.

RTA manFrom the ar... (Below threshold)

RTA man

From the article:

Jost welcomed the new study, saying it lends support to his conclusions. But Jeff Greenberg, a social psychologist at the University of Arizona who was critical of Jost's study, was less impressed.

"I found it to be biased, shoddy work, poor science at best," he said of the Block study. He thinks insecure, defensive, rigid people can as easily gravitate to left-wing ideologies as right-wing ones. He suspects that in Communist China, those kinds of people would likely become fervid party members."

Having grown up in Oakland,... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Having grown up in Oakland, right next to Bezerkeley, I can assure everyone that no conservative worth his or her salt would ever consider living in that town beyond the age of 18.

Hell, even mention the word "conservative" in Berkeley city limits and you'll be beaten to death with Birkenstocks.

This study will rank up the... (Below threshold)

This study will rank up there with the classics of "Would Prisoners Care if the Cell Block Was Painted Hot Pink" and the one that had the shocking revelation that Homer Simpson eats and drinks too much.

I'm more concerned for this Block fellow; he could dislocate an elbow patting himself on the back like that.

I wouldn't say "most" scien... (Below threshold)

I wouldn't say "most" scientist have axes to grind....but it appears half do.


"If there were any conserva... (Below threshold)

"If there were any conservative kids in Berkley then everyone really was out to get them."

They didn't study kids political attitudes, since at 5-6 you don't have any. Everybody in this partisan world is whiny though, so I don't think it means much.

Curious. That means the ki... (Below threshold)

Curious. That means the kids that threw sand, stole lunch money (and other things) and made fun of people who looked different grew up to be Democrats.

Hmmm.I've read of ... (Below threshold)


I've read of a number of secret polls taken of scientists and a huge number have admitted that they either falsified data, "massaged" data or cherry picked data to fit the hypothesis.

*shrug* look at that South Korean genetics scientist. There's a lot of money involved in research and if you want to keep that spigot open then you need to convince the money people that there's something useful there.

Either it's goofing up the data to make them happy, or it's politicizing the data to make them happy. It may work to keep the money flowing, research scientists need Ferraris too, but it's hardly science.

"Science has become nothing... (Below threshold)

"Science has become nothing more than one more branch of liberalism. I am afraid it's going to be up to the individual to do the heavy lifting."

You conservatives think everybody is out to get you. The study found that. You guys actually ARE fear driven and it has been proven in this thread.

I'm sure you're right, Dave... (Below threshold)
Literally Retarded:

I'm sure you're right, Dave. Both surveys have roughly equal sample sizes.

A more accurate summary wou... (Below threshold)

A more accurate summary would be that conservatives are the ones that *did* grow up and liberals are the ones that *didn't*.

I am sure the acid test for... (Below threshold)

I am sure the acid test for whinyness was how the kids responded when they were told to eat organic, free range brussel sprouts.

As one of my friends said a... (Below threshold)

As one of my friends said about Berkeley:

You know your living in a leftist environment when the Maoist on the City Council is regarded as the conservative.

The more I think about this... (Below threshold)

The more I think about this the more it makes a weird sort of sense.

If nothing else it explains why liberals think that foreign policy is a matter of popularity and prefer the sophisticate over the hick, and nevermind who has ideas that *work* in the world.

Hmmm.What find cur... (Below threshold)


What find curious is this deep need by liberals to somehow prove that people who don't agree with them are somehow mentally defective.

Frankly when people disagree with me I may think they're an asshat, but I don't think they're mentally defective.

Well unless they are a liberal of course.


"and nevermind who has idea... (Below threshold)

"and nevermind who has ideas that *work* in the world."

Not you.

My point has been proven even more since my last post. You conservatives do think everyone is out to get you and you ARE fear driven.

I reiterate, for those who ... (Below threshold)

I reiterate, for those who might have missed the delicious irony.

"I guess that means....the kids who called names (and made fun of people who were different)....grew up to be Liberals."

Thanks, Dave.

^I'm not making fun of peop... (Below threshold)

^I'm not making fun of people, I'm stating a proven fact that has been proven even more by the people in this thread. :-)






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