Remember that study a few years back in which a team of social scientists at Stanford concluded that being conservative meant you had a personality disorder? The study, paid for with $1.2 million in taxpayer money, was also notable for the group of people it lumped together as “conservatives”: Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Ronald Reagan, and Rush Limbaugh.
Now, there’s a new twist: a social-science team at UC-Berkeley did a long-term study of children in–where elese?–Berkeley, and they’ve announced that they’ve discovered what kind of kids become conservatives when they grew up: the whiny, insecure, socially inept ones who were always running to the teacher. By contrast, the confident, outgoing, cool kids grew up to…yell “Yeaghhh!” with Howard Dean, I guess. Here’s the report from the Toronto Star:
‘The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.
“The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-onforming adults with wide interests.”
Best comment on the study, from Don Riehl’s The Riehl World (hat tip: Fausta’s Bad Hair Blog), since Riehl suspects the results might have something to do with the fact that the study was conducted in Berkely, that bellweather of average American attitudes:
“Well, good heavens, what conservative child in Berkeley wouldn’t exhibit such traits? I’d whine, too, if I found out my lunch money was being confiscated, only to be sent off to some third world country courtesy of Kofi Annan, who had the audacity to stick a few coins in his pocket for his nephew – sort of a handling fee, you know.
“And insecure? Can you imagine getting caught playing Doctor with little Gretchen down the street, only to be caught by both of her two seemingly interchangeable Dads? I suspect I might head off to the teacher and lodge a complaint, too.”