Finally! Scientific studies prove that Republicans are psychopaths. No one is shocked.
There have been quite a few articles recently pointing to studies about the intelligence of people who call themselves Conservative, Tea Partiers and Republicans. The studies are scientific, come from reputable universities and organizations and have been peer reviewed for accuracy. So, if you’ve ever wondered why so many extreme right-wingers and rich people act like psychopaths, it turns that may, in fact, be true. Scientific studies, despite what the right-wing thinks about science, has shown that some right-wingers — and the rich CEOs they serve — are actually psychopaths.
This could help to explain why extreme right-wingers in Congress won’t raise the minimum wage while CEOs pay themselves thousands of dollars per hour; why they spew toxic anti-government vitriol while toxic waste is being dumped by energy companies; why Wall Street bankers got away with criminal acts that blew up the economy but never did time in jail; and why, when big business hurts people and things American tax payers always wind up with the bill.
We often flippantly refer to rich, right-wingers —Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, the Koch brothers John McCain and Sarah Palin — as “psychopaths.” In most cases, because they’re mean and… well… psycho. But what is a “psychopath” really? A psychopath can have a variety of destructive and antisocial traits, but they always have one thing in common: Lack of empathy, and lack of remorse for the harm they cause.
Dictionary.com defines a psychopath as:
“A person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc. […] Also called sociopath: a person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such acts”
One particular type of psychopath is referred to as the “Dark Triad” of negative traits: Narcissism (a big ego), Machiavellianism (will do anything to get ahead, no matter how evil), and basic psychopathy.
Think about that when you trying to explain how right-wingers can sleep at night while talking about deporting children, cutting food stamps, destroying our natural resources, denying couples the right to marry, forcing women to bear children against their will (even in the case of rape), and expecting millions of their fellow Americans to work for slave wages.
Michael Cook from Bio Edge reporting on the results of two studies by the University of Fla. at Tampa’s Marcus Arvin, links right-wing views on current issues to “dark triad” psychopathy. The latest, published in the medical journal Neuro Ethics makes clear that hardcore right-wing views are “5 to 30 times more likely to be related to antisocial traits than socially liberal views.”
Paul Rosenberg from Salon writes about why right-wing blowhards like Rush Limbaugh (who is at least savvy enough to deny being a racist even though he is one) so quickly jumped to defend others of their ilk. To explain why these extreme right-wing positions so often seem contradictory, hypocritical, and crazy to the rest of us, Rosenberg writes, “the defense of hierarchy is what conservatism’s all about,” and quotes from a 2003 paper by New York University’s John T. Jost:
“The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat.”
Rosenberg also adds a new form of psychopathy into the mix: Social Dominance Orientation (SDO). Wikipedia defines, SDO is “a measure of an individual’s preference for hierarchy within any social system.” They add that this includes the “domination of lower-status groups.” Extreme right-wingers, of course, tend to have high SDO scores, believe in a “dog-eat-dog” world, and are hence more inclined to encourage — or at least accept — discrimination against women, people of color, LGBTs, non-Christians, immigrants, the poor, and even the merely not-rich in an Ayn Randian sort of way.
So when rich, certified right-wing psychopaths like Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Mike Pence, Tom Cotton, Louie Gomert and Ted Cruz screech hysterically about LGBT people, religious “freedom”, guns, immigrants, blacks, Muslims, Obama, women, etc. we start to understand where all that hate and anger comes from.
So why are people voting for psychopaths?
Recent studies – five in fact – prove that Republicans may be stupid. Five peer reviewed scientific studies have concluded that Republicans tend to be low on the IQ scale. Or as some articles put it, “stupid.”
The study published in the journal of Psychological Science found:
… that lower general intelligence in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology, lead researchers Gordon Hodson and Michael A. Busseri of Brock University, Canada, wrote in the abstract of the paper.
In addition, the report goes on:
[They] proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups.
Just last month Psychology Today published an article titled, “Why Liberals Are More Intelligent Than Conservatives,” in which they explains how “Liberal” is fairly new as a concept and a political bent. That, “liberalism is evolutionarily novel.”
The article states:
Humans (like other species) are evolutionarily designed to be altruistic toward their genetic kin, their friends and allies, and members of their deme (a group of intermarrying individuals) or ethnic group. They are not designed to be altruistic toward an indefinite number of complete strangers whom they are not likely ever to meet or interact with. This is largely because our ancestors lived in a small band of 50-150 genetically related individuals, and large cities and nations with thousands and millions of people are themselves evolutionarily novel.
It goes on to explain that while liberalism is a new concept, it’s been an intellectual evolution over time.
Even though past studies show that women are more liberal than men, and blacks are more liberal than whites, the effect of childhood intelligence on adult political ideology is twice as large as the effect of either sex or race. So it appears that, as the Hypothesis predicts, more intelligent individuals are more likely to espouse the value of liberalism than less intelligent individuals, possibly because liberalism is evolutionarily novel and conservatism is evolutionarily familiar.
And for those people on the right who think that Liberals control the media, it turns out you’re right.
Incidentally, this finding substantiates one of the persistent complaints among conservatives. Conservatives often complain that liberals control the media or the show business or the academia or some other social institutions. The Hypothesis explains why conservatives are correct in their complaints. Liberals do control the media, or the show business, or the academia, among other institutions, because, apart from a few areas in life (such as business) where countervailing circumstances may prevail, liberals control all institutions. They control the institutions because liberals are on average more intelligent than conservatives and thus they are more likely to attain the highest status in any area of (evolutionarily novel) modern life.
Yet another interesting addition to this mix is a study by the journal of “Behavioral and Brain Sciences” that as Chris Mooney of “Mother Jones” says, “You could be forgiven for not having browsed yet through the latest issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences. If you care about politics, though, you’ll find a punchline therein that is pretty extraordinary.” The report concludes that a large body of political scientists and political psychologists now concur that liberals and conservatives disagree about politics in part because they are different people at the level of personality, psychology, and even traits like physiology and genetics. In a nut shell, the report shows that people who identify themselves as conservative generally operate from a place of fear.
There is by now evidence from a variety of laboratories around the world using a variety of methodological techniques leading to the virtually inescapable conclusion that the cognitive-motivational styles of leftists and rightists are quite different. This research consistently finds that conservatism is positively associated with heightened epistemic concerns for order, structure, closure, certainty, consistency, simplicity, and familiarity, as well as existential concerns such as perceptions of danger, sensitivity to threat, and death anxiety.
That’s some compelling information, because we still operate in politics and in media as if minds can be changed by the best honed arguments, the most compelling facts. And yet if our political opponents are simply perceiving the world differently, that idea starts to crumble.
In short, what we’re looking at when we look at the right is a group of psychopaths at the top, who are playing on the fears of a frightened and not too bright constituency. Considering they’re the ones who get out and vote while the rest of us think it won’t make a difference may very well make liberals too smart for their own good.
Tell us what you think below about this new study.