From the UC Berkeley press release "Researchers help define what makes a political conservative":
BERKELEY — Politically conservative agendas may range from supporting the Vietnam War to upholding traditional moral and religious values to opposing welfare. But are there consistent underlying motivations?
Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:
- Fear and aggression
- Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
- Uncertainty avoidance
- Need for cognitive closure
- Terror management...
Hitler, Mussolini, and former President Ronald Reagan were individuals, but all were right-wing conservatives because they preached a return to an idealized past and condoned inequality in some form. Talk host Rush Limbaugh can be described the same way...
Glaser acknowledged that the team's exclusive assessment of the psychological motivations of political conservatism might be viewed as a partisan exercise. However, he said, there is a host of information available about conservatism, but not about liberalism.
...Yet, they noted that some of these figures [Stalin, Khrushchev or Castro] might be considered politically conservative in the context of the systems that they defended. The researchers noted that Stalin, for example, was concerned about defending and preserving the existing Soviet system.
Although they concluded that conservatives are less "integratively complex" than others are, Glaser said, "it doesn't mean that they're simple-minded."
Wait, let me get this straight. They're saying that Hitler, Mussolini, Reagan, and Limbaugh are equivalent "in some form." And, they're trying to call some aspects of Stalin, Khrushchev and Castro "conservative." Apparently, they have a problem with a slippery definition of "conservatism." I wonder, was Stalin a conservative when he killed millions of people in the name of Communism?
This doesn't appear to be a joke, or just another demented posting at democraticunderground. The study itself doesn't appear to be online, but I have no doubt it exists.
Perhaps these researchers could have gone the extra step and published in, for instance, the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, calling "conservatism" a disease and suggesting that, for the betterment of the Union, they should he shipped off to gulags. Naw, that's been tried before.
Now, let's do something about this.
Here is the contact information for the researchers and their bosses:
Assistant Professor Jack Glaser of the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy
Home page and faculty page, including email and phone. "He is a social psychologist whose primary research interest is in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination."
Professor Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland at College Park
From this, the Dean of the Psychology Department's email is email@example.com. The emails of the UMD Dean are firstname.lastname@example.org and DMOTE@DEANS.UMD.EDU. The UMD Alumni Association is here, and the UMD College Park Foundation's pages are here and here
(Via the Angry Clam)
UPDATE 2: Per the first comment, the 7 Meg PDF file containing the study is here. From the study, here's another example of their attempt to portray Stalin as a "conservative":
The clearest example seems to be Stalin, who secretly admired Hitler and identified with several right-wing causes (including anti-Semitism). In the Soviet context, Stalin was almost certainly to the right ofhis political rivals, most notably Trotsky. In terms ofhis psychological makeup as well, Stalin appears to have had much in common with right-wing extremists.
In other words, millions didn't die in the name of True Communism.
Also, it contains this information about where the funding for this study came from:
This work first began while John T.Jost was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland at College Park, supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant R0l-MH52578, National Science Foundation Grant SBR-9417422, and a Research Scientist Award K05-MHO 1213 to Arie W. Kruglanski. Work continued while Jack Glaser was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley and sponsored by National Institute of Mental Health [email@example.com] Grant F32-MH12195 and while Arie W. Kruglanski (supported by National Science Foundation Grant SBR-9022192) and Frank J. Sulloway were fellows at the Center for Advanced Studies of Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Further financial and administrative support for this project was provided by the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and the Jackson Library Document Delivery Service.
MultiCultiCult · Tue, 07/22/2003 - 21:23 · Importance: 1