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  • Study: Conservatives Have More Self-Control Than Liberals

    Apparently conservatives are more disciplined than liberals.

    There is a “critical difference” between political ideology and the ability to exert self-control according to a report published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Researchers say, in a study of 300 participants, people who identified as conservative proved to have better self-control that those who identified as liberal, regardless of race or gender.

    “Conservatives tend to believe they had a greater control over their outcomes, and that was predicting how they did on the test,” said Joshua Clarkson, the lead author of the paper and a consumer psychologist at the University of Cincinnati.

    Clarkson and his colleagues asked participants to look at a list of color words that were written on colored backgrounds to screen for self-control. For example, the word blue was written on a green background. The participants would then be asked to read the word, and ignore the background color completely.

    “If you see the word ‘red’ in blue type your mind wants to say ‘blue’ right away, but you have to suppress that,” Clarkson said. “That’s why it is a strong indicator of self-regulation.”

    Clarkson said both conservatives and liberals could read the words, but conservatives could do it faster.

    “Specifically, greater endorsement of political conservatism (versus liberalism) was associated with greater attention regulation and task persistence,” the study revealed.

    Conservatives who are more likely to embrace the idea of free will overwhelmingly agreed with statements like “Strength of mind can always overcome the body’s desires” and “People can overcome any obstacles if they truly want to.”

    Clarkson says the research offers clear insight into the psyche of consumers.

    “When marketers consider self-control, we tend to think of sticking to a diet or exercise regimen, not wandering off your grocery list or avoiding impulsive purchases,” he notes.  “All of these behaviors exhibit elements of attention regulation and persistence. Ultimately, however, it all comes down to believing whether or not you can control your own behavior, and what we’re finding is that conservatives are more likely to believe they can control their own behavior.”


    Alicia Powe

    Staff Writer

    Alicia Powe is a staff writer for Daily Surge. She worked in the War Room of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and served as a White House Intern during the George W. Bush administration. Alicia has written for numerous outlets, including Human Events, Media Research Center and Townhall.com.

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