Cognitive Psychology

People with lower emotional intelligence are more likely to hold right-wing views, study finds — PsyPost


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.

The observation that left-wing and right-wing adherents tend to differ on so many psychological characteristics is amazing

Alain Van Hiel

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

By Eric W. Dolan

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.”

CONTINUE reading at PsyPost: People with lower emotional intelligence are more likely to hold right-wing views, study finds

Image Attribution

“Emotional intelligence mind map, the 1st” by harmonicagoldfish is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

42 replies »

  1. The Left needs to stop doing with the Republican party what I finally stopped learning to do with my own mother: don’t look for the middle ground and compromise there. They need to stick to their guns and express what they want, not automatically try to lessen the freak-out factor and whittle down before the compromise even starts. Nope. They need to be clear about what they want, what’s needed and then they’ve got a shot at actually getting something progressive and good for society done.

    I’m sick of liberals not winning because they’re being too fair in the process. They give up the fight before it starts because they understand the need for compromise. But you don’t do it in step one, dammit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Tally!

      And, this is how democracy dies. The heart of democracy is compromise. The majority respects the views of the minority, and follows the laws, rules, and norms of our democracy. When one party quits compromising, respecting the views of the minority, and abuses the laws, rules, and norms, our government cannot work properly. The other parties have a choice to carry on as usual or to follow the lead of the non-democratic party. Should everyone quit compromising and following the laws, rules, and norms of democracy, we will cease to be a democracy. That’s the situation we’re in now.

      The Democrats only choice right now is to try and vote the GOP out because they are faithless democratic partners. But to give up on compromise is to give up on our democracy.

      The GOP is no longer a democratic party. They want to replace our democracy with single-party pseudo-democratic minority rule where they get to transfer the wealth of the nation to the 1% as quickly as they can while the rest of us live in Cancer Alley drinking Flint water and dying as quickly and quietly as possible when we quit contributing to the 1% more than we get.

      To preserve our democracy, we have to turn out the vote this election, pressure the individual GOP elected representatives to actually participate in the democracy, and protest in the streets since mass peaceful non-violent protests are the proven way of resisting authoritarianism.

      That’s where we are. Those are our choices. And, they’re bleak.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m totally good with compromise, and I agree we need it more. I just don’t agree with Democrats immediately apologizing for how “radical” their views are and watering them down to make them more palatable to the Republicans (who aren’t gonna accept them, anyway, as the past decade and change have shown). I mean, there’s give and take, and there should be. That means the system is working. But I also understand the frustration of those further left than center (or Joe Biden) who insist they don’t really have a party of their own because instead of compromising, the Democrats would placate the pearl-clutching Republicans by trying to avoid doing anything that remotely reeks of “socialism.” Even though nowadays, anything left-leaning screams “Stalin-era socialist” to Republicans thanks to ignorance and fear-mongering.

        Compromise is great, but the career Democrats do it like total newbies trying to negotiate for a lower price on a new car, only to pay a helluva lot more than the stated asking price because of features and warranties and perks and the like, and they started their negotiating point way too close to the initial asking price. There’s no room to maneuver because they’ve watered down their own concerns and message before they even started talking about issues. It makes some on the right think the Dems don’t have a firm program (that ISN’T socialist) and are just being contrary for the hell of it.

        I wish we could get back to compromise, because we all did better with compromise. Compromise requires communication, and I’m all for that, because how the hell is governance supposed to work if nobody knows what the real issues and concerns are for the folks that put them into office? (I know, the lobbying crap doesn’t help, either.) I just want Dems to have shiny spines to work with.

        I don’t know why, but career Dems seem to assume they’re going to lose if they don’t act more centrist. Those who want the party to go further left than center would be pleased to flock back to the party instead of looking for independent options. That’s what I’ve heard from the few liberals in my life these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Tally!

        I agree to some degree, but only to a degree. Obama was especially guilty of trying to compromise with the GOP. The ACA was born of an attempt to circumvent the whole socialized medicine thing and get some GOP votes. It didn’t happen, obviously. Obama continued trying to compromise up through Merrick Garland. But, Pelosi has an amazing track record of “negotiating” with the WH and taking them to the cleaners. It is due more to their incompetence but she is an amazing tactician. You have to give credit where credit is due.

        Our two-party system virtually guarantees that we will always have a centerist government. Democracy is an expression of collective intelligence where we pool our ability to address the problems that face us. With so many inputs being averaged together, if you will, the results will regress to the mean or the center of the data set. The roll of those further out on the spectrum is to pull the center in their direction. Bernie Sanders has played his hand excellently well even if it is little appreciated by his supporters.

        I don’t know how we get out of the two-party system and still retain our Constitution. I figure a parliamentary democracy is far superior to our republican democracy. It is reacts more quickly to changing environments, allows for more nuanced and diversified approaches to governance, and is far more conducive to compromise. But, we don’t have a parliamentary democracy, and I don’t see one being adopted anytime soon.

        Our current situation is unique, and we are in a tough spot. We need to be prepared to protest in the streets should the election be stolen. Protest will be our only avenue of redress in that case. Otherwise, we’re forced to make our democracy work by becoming more involved as an electorate. That is the key: being involved in our political system and in our government. The electorate must make our voices heard through voting, attending town hall-style meetings, and being in regular contact with our elected and appointed officials.

        My despair with the far left is that they are willing to opt out of the system all together and justify their inaction by claiming that the Clinton-Obama presidencies and hypothetical Clinton-Biden presidencies were the same as the Reagan-Bush-Trump presidencies. The far left is far too willing to cede ground to conservative forces because they don’t get everything they want, and far too willing to entertain adopting the strong-arm authoritarian tactics that the right is using because they see the right “winning.”

        You cannot win in a democracy if getting your way means you’ve destroyed the democracy. The way to fight the authoritarian tendencies and attempts of the GOP is by working our democratic process even harder — participating in elections, voting, getting out the vote, staying informed, contacting our government officials, and looking for common ground. Granted it is not as fun and sexy as protesting and bloody clashes with the police, but it is far more likely to preserve our democracy in the long run.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s the term I was looking for yesterday, “Theory Of Mind” [https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/socioemotional-success/201707/theory-mind-understanding-others-in-social-world]. There is observational evidence that at least some social animals also are capable of Theory Of Mind behavior, notably other great apes, dogs, and some birds, especially the corvids (crows, ravens {Poe was on it about that raven messing with him},rooks, and jays) and parrots.

    The problem of low emotional intelligence among the far Left bears looking into.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      If you watch the Netflix sensation, “My Octopus Teacher,” you might conclude that octopi are also capable of theory of mind. There is also substantial evidence that great apes and dogs are capable of cross-species altruism. However, there is scant evidence that the GOP has theory of mind or altruism.

      I’m listening to “The Rachel Maddow Show,” where she’s emphasizing Trump’s new closing argument that our elevated #COVID19 death rate is due to greedy doctors who get $2,000.00 if someone dies from #COVID19 so they fake the numbers. The thought that anyone would tell that kind of lie and think that it would be believed is just disheartening.

      This is the disadvantage of living abroad. Trying to phone bank or send postcards to swing voters or otherwise volunteer is much more difficult, costly, and limited.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • Motivated reasoning (if reasoning is the right word) in someone so utterly corrupt as Trump must see all others as equally corrupt and fraudulent. So, accusing the doctors who are working their asses off in 12 hour shifts and longer trying to save people with COVID of getting rich off the dying and lying about the numbers makes sense. And, he doesn’t actually care if he is believed if it gets hoots & hollers at a rally. The show’s the thing, not the reality.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        Trump’s use of motivated reasoning is subsumed by his coping mechanisms for his narcissistic wound. His latest line about doctors inflating #COVID19 deaths for personal monetary gain is evidence of this. He must know that things are looking very bleak. It smacks of a despertaely wild lie born of projecting his own avarice, greed, and corruption onto those who he sees as having harmed him. As his situation worsens, he has to immerse himself further into a fantasy world. Eventually, that fantasy will become too much for any but his most ardent followers. Hopefully, that will occur before 3 November.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is not just him. One of his sons was actually saying that COVID deaths are nearly zero. The level of cognitive dissonance among his supporters in some of the hardest hit states must be severe (unless they are so far in the bubble that they don’t know how bad it is). Anyway, the worse his prospects get the more cray-cray he gonna get.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        One of the key attributes of cult members is ignoring contrary information. His supporters are most certainly avoiding any information on the number of infections, deaths, and hospital beds. Their “news” sources seldom report on such things. No one discusses them on their social media feeds. And, if someone does break through and puts them in front of them, they dismiss it as liberal lies.

        This is the topic of today’s blog post.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        It’s like you need the opposite of groupthink. Groupthink is crushing dissent and everyone in the group maintaining the “dream.” It is a form of cognitive dissonance. To avoid the disastrous quality and morality of the decisions that come out of groupthink, you have to listen to dissenting voices. It is the reason that single-party pseudo-democratic minority rule authoritarian regimes end up being just so awful.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • But sorting through those dissenting voices and thinking critically about what they say is so very HARD. It is WORK. Reacting emotionally is so much easier.

        On a possibly related note, I keep hearing and reading people trying to analyze Trump’s “strategy” and “plan” in his increasingly delusional claims of victory and fraud … journalists and pundits treating it as a version of normal political maneuvering. But it is no such thing. It is his personality disorder, his mental illness trying to cope with acute cognitive dissonance of losing the election. It is compelled behavior, currently very likely worsened by sleep deprivation. He looks a wreck and sounds, psychotic, demented, or delirious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        I am reminded of Masha Gesen’s thesis that we don’t have the proper words to describe what is happening right now. We keep trying to describe it using our democratic political terms and concepts when it is antithetical to democracy. By using those terms, we miss the point. The pundits and politicians have not moved from that point. They haven’t caught on.

        Trump will only get worse and only give more explicit instructions to his followers to create the mayhem, chaos, and violence he feels he will need in order to win. Many in that number will only be too happy to give it to him.

        And, I’m not entirely convinced that we are not going to see a #COVID19 related collapse brought on by physical and mental exhaustion.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • A striking feature of the 2am “news conference” was Mike Pence following up Trump’s remarks with a fairly subtle walk back to counting the votes. Did Trump notice? IDK, but if he does collapse and become non-functional, it will be Pence who would be stuck with leading the Amendment 25 intervention “because the President is unwell and temporarily unable to continue his duties.” So, he has to try to appear to be a voice of reason. We have not heard from him much since.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        I think the GOP and Pence are in uncharted waters right now. As long as everything was possible including re-election, their job as relatively easy. They only needed to be sycophants no matter how difficult that may be to find ways to amplify the lies and ridiculousness of Trump. Now, though, he’s lost. No one knows what he will do. No one knows how the base will react. So, anyone with aspirations for 2024 — PENCE — has to play this very delicately because Trump got so close because they brought out first time conservative voters. Will anyone else be able to duplicate that in 2024? Probably not. At the same time, you cannot alienate the die-hard Trump supporter that is a more reliable voter, either. I bet they have no idea how to react; they are paralyzed by indecision.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed, they are in uncharted waters, but they have been since he came down that elevator in Trump Tower. As for 2024, I see only one way for Trump to remain relevant and maintain his addiction to the most intense narcissistic fix he has ever known. I can picture him holding a rally on January 20th, concurrent with the Biden inauguration as the kick off of Trump 2024. One thing sure is that he will not attend the inauguration except at the head of an armed mob to stop it. If he makes the play to try for 2024, he could “fire” the official Republican Party which has failed him, and really take his base into a party of his own and try to get loyalists to run under his banner in 2022, possibly in primary challenges to both Repubs and Dems. It would also be the party of Q, with that group having included the GOP as in league with the Dems in the great conspiracy. He would be openly running, not for President, but for dictator. He would also in 2024 be the same age that Joe is now.

        What can stop him? 1) His creditors may follow the lead of D-Bank and foreclose on him. 2) Any venue hosting his rallies would be best advised to get cash up front [always the smart way to do business with Trump]. 3) His children could conclude (probably rightly) that the old man has lost his marbles and is going to blow their inheritance, and act to stop him. 4) Criminal indictment and conviction, and innumerable civil suits. He spends the rest of his life in courts and spending whatever money he can raise on lawyers.

        Anybody in the GOP who has hopes for 2024, think Pence, Graham, and others, needs to be thinking now how to usher Donald into retirement without alienating his base. That is no easy task.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        I think that really is the struggle for the GOP right now: how do you get Trump off of the stage without alienating the his 70 million voters. I think the smart money is on the calculus that there are probably 10 to 30 million of those voters who will not be voting for anyone but Trump or a Trump-like figure. Since there are no Trump-like figures in the GOP currently or on the horizon, they should just let those voters go. And focus on retaining their base and regaining the soft middle of the American electorate. But, that is just me.

        I’m sure many of them are distracted by the GotV operation that the campaign ran — sign the person who organized that up and keep them happy — thinking that it could work for just any old candidate. But the seldom voting, never voting, and erratically voting voter that they captured are in that status for a reason. They will only vote under ideal circumstances.

        Trump’s narcissism may get in the way of him rising to lead a Q-based political party. He does not share the limelight with others real, imagined, or shadowy. Of course, he could reveal that he is Q. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants? I guess he could “lead” the party from exile because I don’t know how he avoids prison and other civil suits without living outside of the court’s jurisdiction. I don’t know how he lives without selling state secrets, either. He has no other assets to sell.

        My prediction is that it will get down to about the last 60 days — about two weeks from now — and there will be some wild and heavy duty negotiating going on for Trump to avoid foreclosures and prosecutions in exchange for him not selling state secrets, remaining in the country, and giving up claims to the presidency.

        As always, we’ll see.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • He doesn’t listen to, let alone read, briefings well enough to have very many important state secrets in his head, and the ones he does have are his own inventions and delusions. he would need to have access to his Presidential Library, and we know how he loves libraries. Still, since he lives from transaction to transaction, perhaps something can be worked out.

        If I had to pick a candidate for who is Q, it would be Steven Miller – just his style.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        I like the Q morphing into a political party and a competition among Trump sycophants for who Q really is scenario.

        Trump is also too much of a technophobe to save these secrets to some type of device. But, Kushner is not. And he is just a narcissistic as Trump and has a touch more executive functioning. Incidentally, I saw where Kushner is urging him to concede.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • That too, at least for the ones with enough reality contact to recognize the possibility (i.e., not Donny or Eric). In a familial power contest I would bet on Jared and Ivanka to win. Melania has only one job now, to try to protect Baron from his half-siblings.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Jared and Ivanka are both vindictive and cruel and will support each other. Also, Ivanka is Trump’s favorite because Ewww! I think Baron’s protection is in the pre-nup.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Melania had better have been building her own stash and not relying on the pre-nup. If it looks like the business is going to go down the tubes, J&I will have planned how to loot the assets before the creditors grab it. When it does happen, D&E will be caught blind sided and gobsmacked, probably somewhere trying to kill large animals.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        I imagine that Melania is actually the most capable of the four of them motivated by her devotion to Baron. She has probably worked a deal for herself through their pre-nup. She recently renegotiated it. Jared has been working the government to get his family’s failing real estate business bolstered. Ivanka has her own business, crappy as it is. But Don-Don and Ewick only have Trump, Inc. They’re screwed, and they are culpable in all the crimes of the company. Iwanka is more peripheral from what I can tell and might could escape prosecution when Trump, Don-Don, and Ewick are indicted.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Another thought: Whether Trump wins or loses the popular vote or the Electoral College, every vote against him is a narcissistic wound. The fact that anybody votes against him is intolerable. His personality disorder demands the adulation and approval of ALL, unanimous election. Therefore, the votes against him must be all, or largely, fraudulent, even if he were to win by a landslide. Win or lose, he will demand that that be proved and the malefactors prosecuted. AG Barr, clever and loyal as he may be will not be able to find the evidence that does not exist or manufacture enough of it. He will be fired or resign. In a second Trump term, fantasy and reality will continue to collide leading to escalating narcissistic wounding and the revolving doors of the administration spinning faster and faster, because the underlings prove unable to get the world to be how Trump’s imagination demands it to be.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        These echo my fears, too. If Trump is re-elected, he will feel completely vindicated and be completely out of control wrecking his revenge and retribution. One of the reasons he held superspreader events was to punish his voters for not protecting him from the poor poll showing. He holds them in contempt because they are losers and suckers. They’re losers because they aren’t rich, like him. They’re suckers because they’re supporting him. Rich, hunh? For him, it is not enough to use people, they have to KNOW they’ve been used. He has to show them to verify his “genius.”

        If he is re-elected, I fear there will be real attempts to arrest not only Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, but other prominent Democratic politicians like Omar and Cortez, and non-elected officials that supervised the count in Democratic population centers. He will be raging across the country trying to be as terrible as possible.

        Even if the count goes against him, there are hurdles to be cleared. We’ll see how it goes.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        Yeah, he’ll go after the “liberal” media, too. Luckily, it doesn’t appear that it will happen. The 77 or so days before Inauguration Day, though, will be dangerous for his acting out and encouraging others to.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • I suspect that many GOPers who are currently quiet about his outrages may suddenly find some of their spine again once he is clearly a Lame Duck. And the Republican leadership in several of the states still counting (Georgia and Pennsylvania in particular) are pushing back hard on the accusations of vote fraud. They have to be knowing that in the event of serious civil unrest and violence the weight of dealing with it will be on them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        I’ve had time to reflect on what we’ve seen in the past 12 hours or so since Biden was awarded the election but also since Election Day, and I realized that democracy is part of American deep culture. We have that democratic instinct. When times are tough and the administration isn’t delivering what we need, we endure until the next election. We don’t revolt. We don’t go to war with one another. We may demonstrate and protest and yell at each other and have isolated acts of violence, but, at our core, we follow democratic principles of one person, one vote, and count all the votes.

        When push comes to shove most GOP secretaries of state, Brian Kemp of Georgia being excepted, fulfill the duties of their office and count the votes that may have squeezed through the suppressive sieve they’ve erected. Without the “leadership” of the WH, they will follow their instincts.

        With Trump’s loss, it is every Republican for him or herself. Will anyone be able to excite the base like Trump did and bring out the seldom or reluctant voter? I don’t think so. After Trump, the GOP base will shrink back to 60 million or so.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Because Trump’s narcissism won’t let him do anything other than destroy whatever he touches. He has to be the center of the attention, in the position of the highest authority, and create chaos. It is what he does. If those assets could be turned into anything other than an unlikely successful first run for the presidency, he would’ve done it by now.

        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • And, he has about as much grasp of what it means as the comic book super villain does. Teaching middle school social studies always entails some kind of consideration for why nations go to war and take over other territories. Middle school students always come up with the super villain maniacal reasoning. No one recognizes the economic reasons for the geopolitical politics that really do drive those decision. Thank goodness, Hitler wasn’t using such reasoning or he might’ve established Germany as the hegemonic world super-power.

        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

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