Friday, April 13, 2012

Are conservatives lazy thinkers?

An article by Eidelman et al. claims that they are and it has predictably got a fair bit of attention from Left-leaning journalists.

I noted the article at the beginning of this month and dismissed it out of hand on the grounds that its taxonomy was wrong:  Eidelman had no idea of what conservatives actually think.

 Leftist  psychologists generally seem to consider it beneath them to talk to such despised people as conservatives so form their impression of conservatism from some simplistic stereotype that has built up among them over the years, a stereotype which is almost wholly wrong.  So when they think they are studying conservatism they are not.

I subsequently had a short correspondence with Eidelman but he simply stuck to his definition.  I pointed him to  my huge historical survey of what conservatism is but he offered no evidence for his view. Evidence is optional  among Leftists.

And the more closely I look at his paper the more evident it becomes that my initial critique was correct.  He relies, for instance, on the Kerlinger questionnaire about ideology.  But what Kerlinger found was that Leftism and Rightism, far from being opposed, are actually unrelated to one-another.  In other words, half of all conservatives are Leftists  -- which makes no sense at all.  Kerlinger had no idea of what conservatism is either. 

To put my critique into psychometric terms the measures of conservatism used by Eidelman are simply not valid:  They do not measure what they purport to measure. 

I could  go on with yet more swingeing criticisms (e.g. lack of  sampling) but what's the point?  Eidelman's work is clearly useless for proving anything.

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