Political scientists have studied conservatives and liberals searching for what makes them different. They’ve come up with a lot of stuff. This is another in a long laundry list of consistent traits that cluster for each approach to life, liberty, and the right to racist, misogynistic, single-party, pseudo-democratic minority rule. They seem to include everything from embracing or rejecting change to how round you see a circle as. The topic even fits into the discussion of the Big Five Personality traits and the latest entry in that series, Signs of the Times: Snooping the Yard Displays of Trumpsters.
This article reviews the findings of a study that investigated the emotional abilities of people on the political continuum. They were interested to see if adherents to one side of the spectrum — conservative and liberal — would congregate in emotional intelligence.
They found that people who scored lower on emotional understanding and management scales scored higher on right-wing authoritarian and social dominance scales. Participants who scored lower on social and cognitive abilities tended to agree with statements like, “The White race is superior to all other races.”
Remember, kids, this is a correlational study, so no conclusions about causation can be made.
Like many traits, political orientation seems to correlate strongly with other personality traits. No surprise there. It would be surprising if it didn’t.
One thing we’ve explored here at Ye Olde Blogge that wasn’t mentioned in this article is the tendency for those on the extreme left to hold authoritarian views and have authoritarian personalities. It is possible that it is the authoritarian nature of the extreme political views that correlates with lower emotional and cognitive abilities.
We’ve seen that authoritarian personality tends towards black-and-white thinking and simplistic solutions for complex problems. And, my personal experience interacting with Bernie Princesses and others on the far left is that they lack theory of mind and empathy. At least when trolling us centerists.
Just food for thought and hopefully something that will be addressed in future studies. And, now, here’s the article. Let me know your thoughts on their findings and studies you think might could be done in the COMMENTS!
People with lower emotional intelligence are more likely to hold right-wing views, study finds
New research from Belgium provides evidence that deficits in emotion understanding and emotion management are related to right-wing and prejudiced attitudes. The study has been published in the journal Emotion.
“I have a lifelong interest in political psychology and in political ideology in particular. The observation that left-wing and right-wing adherents tend to differ on so many psychological characteristics is amazing,” said study author Alain Van Hiel, a professor at the University of Ghent.
“Many scholars have investigated the cognitive basis of ideology in general, and right-wing ideological attitudes in particular. In the present study, we wanted to investigate if a similar relationship would exist for emotional abilities.”