[Rushtalk] Science says liberals, not conservatives, are psychotic

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Fri May 1 10:49:05 MDT 2020

Science says liberals, not conservatives, are psychotic 
By Danika Fears

June 9, 2016 | 11:18pm 


Audience members at a rally held by Democratic presidential candidate
Senator Bernie Sanders. Getty Images 
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CNN’s bias is now beyond laughable
Turns out liberals are the real authoritarians. 

A political-science journal that published an oft-cited study claiming
conservatives were more likely to show traits associated with
“psychoticism” now says it got it wrong. Very wrong. 

The American Journal of Political Science published a correction this
year saying that the 2012 paper has “an error” — and that liberal
political beliefs, not conservative ones, are actually linked to

“The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the
descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was
exactly reversed,” the journal said in the startling correction.

“The descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s
psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal;
and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism
and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more

In the paper, psychoticism is associated with traits such as
tough-mindedness, risk-taking, sensation-seeking, impulsivity and

The social-desirability scale measures people’s tendency to answer
questions in ways they believe would please researchers, even if it
means overestimating their positive characteristics and underestimating
negative ones.

The erroneous report has been cited 45 times, according to Thomson
Reuters Web of Science. 

Brad Verhulst, a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher and a
co-author of the paper, said he was not sure who was to blame.

“I don’t know where it happened. All I know is it happened,” he told
Retraction Watch, a blog that tracks corrections in academic papers.
“It’s our fault for not figuring it out before.”

The journal said the error doesn’t change the main conclusions of the
paper, which found that “personality traits do not cause people to
develop political attitudes.”

But professor Steven Ludeke of the University of Southern Denmark, who
pointed out the errors, told Retraction Watch that they “matter quite a

“The erroneous results represented some of the larger correlations
between personality and politics ever reported; they were reported and
interpreted, repeatedly, in the wrong direction,” he said.


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