Are all conservatives alike? A study of the psychological correlates of cultural and economic conservatism.

University of Oklahoma, Department of Educational Psychology, 820 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019, USA.
The Journal of Psychology Interdisciplinary and Applied (Impact Factor: 0.86). 10/2009; 143(5):449-63. DOI: 10.3200/JRL.143.5.449-463
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The author addresses the question of whether cultural and economic conservatism differ among American citizens in their relation to measures of epistemic beliefs and motives, dogmatism, death-related anxiety, and the tendency to exhibit dogmatic aggression against those who hold beliefs and values that diverge from one's own. Data from this study suggest that these types of conservative attitudes exhibit different correlational patterns with the aforementioned measures. Research participants who held more culturally conservative attitudes were more likely to score higher on measures of the belief that knowledge is certain, dogmatism, need to evaluate, and fear of death. They also scored lower on need for cognition than did their less conservative counterparts. Moreover, participants who scored higher on cultural conservatism were more likely to exhibit dogmatic aggression. Economic conservatism was largely unrelated to measures of epistemic beliefs and motives, fear of death, dogmatism, and aggressiveness. Ancillary regression analyses revealed that belief that knowledge is certain and dogmatism were the strongest predictors of cultural conservatism. Cultural conservatism, fear of death, and need for structure were significant predictors of dogmatic aggression.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We argue that the political effects of negativity bias are narrower than Hibbing et al. suggest. Negativity bias reliably predicts social, but not economic, conservatism, and its political effects often vary across levels of political engagement. Thus the role of negativity bias in broad ideological conflict depends on the strategic packaging of economic and social attitudes by political elites.
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 06/2014; 37(3):320-1. · 14.96 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The rigidity of the right model posits that psychological needs for security and certainty (NSC) attract people to a broad right-wing ideology that includes both sociocultural and economic political attitudes. We review evidence that NSC characteristics do not consistently predict economically right-wing preferences, and propose the Menu Independent and Dependent Influence (MIDI) model as an alternative account of disposition-politics relations. In this model, NSC naturally attracts people to socioculturally conservative attitudes, but its effects on economic attitudes are the net outcome of potentially competing dispositional and discursive influences. We review evidence in support of the MIDI model and discuss its implications for understanding the interplay between background characteristics, social context, and political conflict.
    Current Directions in Psychological Science 01/2015; · 3.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the traits of psychopathic personality (psychopathy) have received extensive attention from researchers in forensic psychology, psychopathology, and personality psychology, the relations of these traits to aspects of everyday functioning are poorly understood. Using a large internet survey of members of the general population (N = 3388), we examined the association between psychopathic traits, as measured by a brief but well-validated self-report measure, and occupational choice, political orientation, religious affiliation, and geographical residence. Psychopathic traits, especially those linked to fearless dominance, were positively and moderately associated with holding leadership and management positions, as well as high-risk occupations. In addition, psychopathic traits were positively associated with political conservatism, lack of belief in God, and living in Europe as opposed to the United States, although the magnitudes of these statistical effects were generally small in magnitude. Our findings offer preliminary evidence that psychopathic personality traits display meaningful response penetration into daily functioning, and raise provocative questions for future research.
    Frontiers in Psychology 07/2014; 5:740. · 2.80 Impact Factor