Ever suspect conservatives are just lazy thinkers? Well, you may be right. At least, if these two studies get to weigh in. The first was published in Psychological Science. It showed that children who score lower on intelligence tests are more likely to show conservative social/political views as adults. The second, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, shows that, “when under time pressure or otherwise cognitively impaired, people are more likely to express conservative views.” It used alcohol and time constraints while asking questions of subjects. When drinking or pressured, answers were more conservative.
This makes perfect sense. given a few moments’ thought. Why? Because conservatism is intellectually easy to handle. Conservatism means holding to the way things were. And staying in your comfort zone is easy. Good answers can be difficult for those that dislike thinking. The authors of the first mentioned study suggest that this may be because “conservative ideologies stress ‘structure and order’ that make it easier to understand a complicated world.”
The second study was done by asking questions to people in a bar and then in a laboratory. Sometimes, under a time constraint. Subjects were under the influence of alcohol. The more they drank, the more conservative their views tended to be. The researchers also offered this:
And when care, consideration, and cogitation increases, we find that endorsement of political conservatism decreases. These findings were again limited to conservatism; there were no comparable or contrastive effects found for political liberalism. There seems to be something unique about the ideological content of political conservatism and its relation to low-effort thought.
No big surprises here. After all, they offer proof again and again. Take the opposition to Obamacare. Republicans COULD offer a replacement along with repeals. However, a broad repeal seems simplest, and that’s what they go for. Social Security is running into solvency problems? Abolish it. Welfare fraud exists? Massive cuts to welfare. Rather than sitting down, figuring out problems, and working out solutions, the right chooses wilfull blindness. Lazy thinking at its finest.