ONTD Political

File under: Unsure if this is amusing or terrifying given my own drinking habits

1:46 pm - 04/11/2012
Research finds booze can stir conservative political thoughts

LAWRENCE, KS — Could knocking back a few beers influence a person’s views on property rights or the role of government in production and trade?

By asking bargoers to take a political survey and blow into a Breathalyzer, a scholarly investigator at the University of Kansas has found that as blood alcohol levels rise, people become increasingly intoxicated with conservative policies, too.

In fact, the more alcohol downed by participants in the study, the further to the political right their views leaned.

“Alcohol did not make the patrons lose track of their identity as liberals or conservatives, but when it came time to think about actual policies, the higher their blood alcohol, the more they endorsed conservative positions,” said Chris Crandall, professor of psychology at KU.

Crandall and colleagues also found that distractions, time pressure and instructions to think quickly and give first reactions boost approval of conservative policies or ideology.

“When you make it difficult to think, conservative ideas are more appealing — but that doesn’t mean you need to be stupid to be conservative,” said the KU researcher. “Rather it means conservative positions are more natural to the way we think. Our first thoughts are conservative. Other politics, be they liberal or libertarian, are harder to think about and endorse.”

Their findings will appear in the forthcoming issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

The researchers compared people who were given an opportunity to think clearly and carefully to those who were barred from deep thought. Studying drinkers was only one facet of the study.

In another experiment, some subjects had to respond speedily to political ideas, while others had plenty of time. In another, some people had to devote attention to another task while answering political questions, while others could focus fully. In both cases, the people with less chance for deliberation endorsed conservative ideas more readily than those with ample opportunity for contemplation.

In a fourth study, the researchers instructed participants either to “give a careful and thoughtful response” or to “give your first, immediate response” when responding to political terms. Those instructed to give a quick response endorsed conservative terms (for example, authority, tradition, private property) more than those who were instructed to be thoughtful.

Crandall stressed that the results should not be interpreted to mean that a person couldn’t be thoughtful, smart, or deliberative and also conservative. Instead, when people are forced to rely on quick and easy thinking, conservative ideology tends to emerge.

“For both self-identified conservatives and liberals, more conservative reactions seemed to be a default setting, a first reaction,” he said.

Crandall co-authored the study with Scott Eidelman and John C. Blanchar of the University of Arkansas and Jeffrey A. Goodman of the University of Wisconsin. The full article, “Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism,” is available here.

I can't not make the pun of SAUCE

I admit that half the appeal of posting this article is that I saw it come across my university news feed this afternoon.
lilyginny27 11th-Apr-2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
Well, that explains the political turmoil in Wisconsin then. Half the state's a bunch of drunks...
meimichan 11th-Apr-2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
Only half? I thought it was more.

I gotta say, I started drinking a whole lot more after the 2010 elections.
lilyginny27 11th-Apr-2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
Most people I know *coughliberalscough* know how to hold their liquor cause we drink often enough we don't get "drunk" per se. The perils of cracking a beer every day after working for the state all day - a tolerance level. lol

I have drunk so much more in the past year it's freaking ridiculous.
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