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Researchers Claim To Be Able To Determine Political Leaning By How Messy You Are

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the dirty-liberal dept.

Politics 592

According to a study to be published in The Journal of Political Psychology, you can tell someone's political affiliation by looking at the condition of their offices and bedrooms. Conservatives tend to be neat and liberals love a mess. Researchers found that the bedrooms and offices of liberals tend to be colorful and full of books about travel, ethnicity, feminism and music, along with music CDs covering folk, classic and modern rock, as well as art supplies, movie tickets and travel memorabilia. Their conservative contemporaries, on the other hand, tend to surround themselves with calendars, postage stamps, laundry baskets, irons and sewing materials. Their bedrooms and offices are well lit and decorated with sports paraphernalia and flags — especially American ones. Sam Gosling, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, says these room cues are "behavioral residue." The findings are just the latest in a series of recent attempts to unearth politics in personality, the brain and DNA. I, for one, support a woman's right to clean.

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If you... (2)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395307)

Got books from Karl Marx, you might be a socialist, if you got book from Nozick or Ayn Rand you might be a liberal.

I should have taken sociology courses instead.

Re:If you... (1, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395331)

... and if you got no books at all, you might just be Republican :)

Re:If you... (-1, Offtopic)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395425)

Oh dont think you are so SMART, I came to that same joke but decided not to use it.

Re:If you... (-1, Offtopic)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395729)

OH COME ON!

I thought my post would be modded down to flamebait if i used it now you get the +5 funny i was aiming for!

Heh, not so sure (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#25396043)

what about the library of congress?

Re:If you... (4, Insightful)

Count Fenring (669457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395357)

Ayn Rand is one for the liberals how?

Libertarian, sure. But liberal... not so much.

Re:If you... (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395401)

"Ayn Rand is one for the liberals how?
Libertarian, sure. But liberal... not so much."

Yeah, either your parent post doesn't believe that republican's are typically fiscally conservative, or [s]he's never actually read Ayn Rand.

Re:If you... (0, Troll)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395439)

Or i dont use washed up epithets, but proper political definitions.

Re:If you... (1, Informative)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395687)

Re:If you... (1, Informative)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395909)

Yeah I've seen that too.

Well I guess I should have been more specific. Republicans preach to a fiscally conservative ideology.

What happens when republican politicians get in power is another matter entirely.

Also, That only puts the president's party affiliation and not who is in control of the house/senate. Or are you implying correlation->causation? Because last I checked, the house was supposed to control the money.

And the economic boom during clinton would have helped any president. He was lucky. Though I guess I should congratulate him on not fucking up the place while he was...fucking in the place.

What party had the house majority again when they shutdown the government over the budget?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_government_shutdown_of_1995 [wikipedia.org]

Re:If you... (0, Flamebait)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395417)

I would love to hear you definition about liberal.

But libertarianism is a branch of the liberal thought from the enlightenment era.
Actually libertarianism just a word used by anarchist to deflect censorship, but i digress, Ayn Rand mumbo jumbo is a form of laizzis faire liberalism.

Re:If you... (2, Insightful)

lilfields (961485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395497)

If I'm not mistaken, as Milton Friedman put it, the world liberal has been washed out by modern politics...modern "liberals" are no more liberal than "conservatives." I think the true modern liberal is actually now defined as "Libertarian." Which is now termed "fiscally conservative" and "socially liberal" ...but generally "libertarians" are economically liberal...but in modern terms are economically "conservative." It makes no sense...but it's true in actual definitions of the word instead of the political label thrown around. Anyhow, I would somewhat agree with this finding

Re:If you... (0, Redundant)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395665)

even using the term conservatism throws your post into dissarray.

If you said you vere fiscally conservative i would mistake you for a social democrat or even a social liberal(im still thinking economic when i use "social liberal" as a deff)

Re:If you... (4, Funny)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395773)

If someone redefines another term in this topic my head is going to explode.

Re:If you... (3, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395791)

modern "liberals" are no more liberal than "conservatives."

You know what the word means these days, so does everyone else. How come every time someone uses "Liberal" with the current, widely accepted use, someone on /. inevitably pipes up about how it used to mean something else? Words change, that one changed. Come on out of the 18th century already.

Re:If you... (1, Redundant)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395897)

But its still used in the original sense everywhere on the rest of the globe.

And when i'm in political forums revolved around USA, it seems there is only two ideologies in the whole world, liberal dat, conservative this, war monger, bleading heart.

I know i whine about exactly this, but these generalities drives me nuts.

Re:If you... (2, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25396049)

A simpler way of looking at it is small 'l' liberalism, as in the liberal arts and a more enlightened approach. A big L liberal, as in libertarianism combined with conservatism, basically government should not interfere in private ownership, except to enforce it though force of arms, private ownership would extend to slavery or the pretence where it is acceptable for a minority to own access to all natural resources and to lock up ownership of those resources upon an hereditary basis, basically excluding the majority from anything other than servitude (closet royalists).

Re:If you... (1, Troll)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395847)

Ayn Rand is one for the liberals how?

Libertarian, sure. But liberal... not so much.

Anyone that adheres to atheism is probably a liberal thinker. Ayn Rand, an atheist, was therefore a liberal thinker. She just wasn't a leftist. They aren't the same thing.

Re:If you... (0, Redundant)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25396015)

I really don't think religious views coincide much with ideologies, unless off course, the ideology is directly rooted in an religion.

Re:If you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395431)

I have The Communist Manifesto sitting next to Mein Kampf sitting next to something by Terry Pratchett. What am I?

Re:If you... (0, Troll)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395451)

Uhm uhm uuu....

According to my black and white world YOU SHOULDNT EXIST!

Re:If you... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395557)

moderately confused.

Re:If you... (2, Funny)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395865)

Single.

Re:If you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395513)

and if you dont know what a book is, you might just be a redneck.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395327)

Felix Unger was a Conservative? Oscar Madison was a Liberal?

Left and Right priorities. (4, Interesting)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395337)

It seems to make sense to me, conservatives in my view have always been about protecting and preserving the America's physical assets and wealth, where as liberals conversely tend to put ideals above the nation's power and prosperity.

and just for the record in case it matters to anyone. I tend to view myself a somewhat left leaning moderate.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395487)

I, for one, support a man's right to tell women to leave his belongings alone.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (-1, Flamebait)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395503)

Left of what?

Where you put your coffe, what way your dick points?

Left/Right euphemisms suits more the french parliament 200 years ago, where the term originally were created.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395525)

...but you DID understand what the meaning was.. didn't you.

thought so.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (0, Troll)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395569)

You would be lying if i said "im a leftist" and you understood what that would detail without giving into assumptions.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395583)

..you didn't answer the question, unsuprisingly. oh well.. onward.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (1, Insightful)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395647)

OH FUN jedi MIND games!

No, because i almost have to deduce what the persons meant by "Leftist"

I've seen people throwing socialists and social-liberals into the same hole called leftism.

Now were do i go from there?

My definition of leftism(which i dont use) range from socialism(communism, social democracy, etc) to syndicalism, and there is a wide conditions that tells me what he actually means not just (cold, warm, HOT HOT HOT)

Re:Left and Right priorities. (0, Troll)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395661)

So you did understand what I meant.. that's all I wanted.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (1, Insightful)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395715)

Oh ok, i will try to keep our discussions as simple as a single boolean.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395721)

Thank you. I look forward to your next response.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (-1, Flamebait)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395743)

Well, better lay off then before I overload that simple brain of yours.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395759)

yeah.. cut your loses, it's best for all.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (0, Flamebait)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395783)

Yes.. you're very smart. You have a firm grasp situations and everyone likes you.

Re:Left and Right priorities. (1, Insightful)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395843)

Hey asshole, when i post:

"No, because i almost have to deduce what the persons meant by "Leftist"

I've seen people throwing socialists and social-liberals into the same hole called leftism.

Now were do i go from there?

My definition of leftism(which i dont use) range from socialism(communism, social democracy, etc) to syndicalism, and there is a wide conditions that tells me what he actually means not just (cold, warm, HOT HOT HOT)"

I thought i would be met with something worthwhile.

but instead i get trapped in some bizarre world where discussions is facilitating your terms only.

So really, i made arguments, you dropped the ball, and i became victim of your trolling.

So its clear to me that you are not after a reasonable discussion and thus really aren't worth my time.

Either you a malevolently being an asshole or you are a big enough idiot that you thought:

"So you did understand what I meant.. that's all I wanted."

would be a great way getting across a point.

So respectfully....

FUCK OFF

Re:Left and Right priorities. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395737)

You are not American, aren't you? There is no such thing as socialism in America. So, by European classic standards, we are all within the "Right" side of the political spectrum.
Anyways, politics is the pauper's opium. Whenever there is an economic crisis of any kind, and people get thrown on poverty or hardness they will usually become very politicized. When people are making money they don't care about politics.

Woman's Right to Clean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395347)

"I, for one, support a woman's right to clean."

In this era of overcharged political correctness, it's nice to see someone stand up in the face of it all and make a complete ass of themselves.

Re:Woman's Right to Clean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25396001)

Yeah. Who ever heard of a feminist telling a woman her choice to be a housewife was wrong.

Uptight vs Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395349)

Conservatives are uptight motherfuckers. Liberals enjoy freedom.

So In Soviet Russia (1)

ACK!! (10229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395355)

the mess makes you!

Seriously though these kinds of analysis of political leaning toward behavior seem as silly as the easily startled tend to be more conservative.

How much of this do you folks in the Slashdot community out there really buy into?

Re:So In Soviet Russia (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395785)

Hmm. The opener was an old stand-by of the site. Well divided between different lines when given the space to do so, refusing to repeat the topic. Methinks I see a republican.

Re:So In Soviet Russia (3, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395809)

Seriously though these kinds of analysis of political leaning toward behavior seem as silly as the easily startled tend to be more conservative.

Sille as it may seem when presented like this, it is not as stupid as that. In recent years there has been a lot of research into how mental processes relate to brain physiology, body chemistry etc, and in that context it isn't unreasonable to hypothesize about why people lean one way or another, politically.

Also, please note that this a statistical result - there is a apparent correlation between political leaning and the way you keep order. This can be seen as just a special case of the idea that the way you live your life influences your political opinion - IOW nothing surprising there.

What they don't say is that "if you are messy, you are always liberal".

How much of this do you folks in the Slashdot community out there really buy into?

Oh, every word, certainly. This is about critical thinking - it doesn't mean that you have to reject everything with scorn, out of hand, it just means that you don't accept things without first thinking about how they add up. It is surprising how often critical thinking leads you to accept and understand what others tell you.

Why use dualistic generalities... (3, Insightful)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395365)

The rest of the world dont use.

Trying to be social determinismts, you must use the most general and stereotypical easy deffinition, that's so broad contradictions don't got something to grab on.

On my course about writing papers, the lecturer warned us about using generalities.

This is beyond stupid.

An interesting study. (1, Insightful)

robertblockred (1384803) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395371)

You know this is probably true because if you think about it, people leaning towards liberalism are more free spirited, going on vacation, listening to music, doing what makes them feel good, having the attitude of a college student, and whatever they have in their homes is going to reflect that. Conservatives are more about responsibility, working hard, living below your means, advancing your family, being proud of America, and what they put in their homes will also reflect that. In all this is an interesting study.

Re:An interesting study. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395415)

I cannot imagine what motivated you to actually post all that. It's almost as if you've added absolutely nothing to the discourse.
.
Anyways I gotta go, I heard a dog bit a man.

Re:An interesting study. (2, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395607)

I think someone is trying to polarize voters.

Re:An interesting study. (4, Insightful)

h3llfish (663057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25396051)

I think it's ignorant and rude for you to suggest that liberals don't work as hard as conservatives, or don't love America as much. How do you know how hard I work? And how can you possibly see into my heart and tell me how much I love America? The fact is, you're simply spouting stereotypes that reflect your political bias.

And as to the spending, Bush had a republican congress for most of his reign, and they managed to get our government and our country into a pretty deep financial hole. Living below your means? What a joke.

Conservative tend to scare easier (5, Informative)

NobleSavage (582615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395385)

What is MORE interesting is similar but older research cited in TFA:

Positive personality traits associated with liberalism (self-reliant, resilient, dominating and energetic) and negative ones attributed to conservatism (easily victimized or offended, indecisive, fearful and rigid) appear as young as nursery schoolâ"age kidsâ"and correlate with those children's political beliefs in adulthood, according to a 20-year study published in 2006 in the Journal of Research in Personality. More recently, scientists linked the strength of a person's startle response to their political leanings: conservatives tended to scare easier, blinking harder than liberals when they heard a loud noise.

Re:Conservative tend to scare easier (1, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395957)

So, they are frightened of the world outside their bedroom, but neat. Perfect roommates then.

Re:Conservative tend to scare easier (5, Funny)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25396017)

How would you administer such a study? Go up to random people with an airhorn and see their reaction? Then ask them if they're...

A) Liberal
B) Conservative
C) Going to beat you up, hence you should run real fast

straight males and housewives, vs. the rest (0)

r00t (33219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395389)

On reading the supposedly liberal traits, my first thought was "gay".

It's rather well known what types of people (straight, gay, single,
housewife, etc.) support various types of politics, and you can
trivially match that up with the given traits.

Judging by my work space... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395391)

I am VERY liberal, indeed! LOL!

But it frightens me to realize that I am only a bookshelf and a bottle of Formula 409 away from being a neo-con!!!

Then as a species are we very liberal? (1)

mrbene (1380531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395405)

'cause we've sure left a bit of a mess around. But at the same time we've put the mess places we can't see it, and made our own order where we can. Kinda reminds me of skeletons. In closets.

Liberals and feminism (1)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395409)

"Researchers found that the bedrooms and offices of liberals tend to be ... full of books about ... feminism."

Really now? I totally would have expected the conservatives to be into feminism.

Re:Liberals and feminism (2, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395517)

Those on the right have books about feminism. Those on the left have feminist books.

Re:Liberals and feminism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395939)

The Neo-Cons have writings on feminism. They are neatly arranged too. They just happen to be files on the leaders stored away at the FBI.

Scietists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395419)

I've always thought scientists are about telling me something I don't know.

"I, for one, support a woman's right to clean." (1)

seyyah (986027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395427)

A comedy genius is born.

Liberals love a mess? (0, Troll)

lilfields (961485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395433)

Liberals love a mess? No wonder they love government...so much in common

Re:Liberals love a mess? (4, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395467)

As opposed to your boy hero who just nationalized the banks.

Re:Liberals love a mess? (1, Insightful)

lilfields (961485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395577)

Boy Hero? Bush is not a conservative...socially yes (which is stupid) fiscally...not....so....much. Calling Bush a real conservative is about as realistic as their being a pro-Microsoft article on Slashdot followed by pro-Microsoft comments, completely unrealistic. But thanks for identifying yourself as a "liberal" who can't take a joke. Perhaps they should add that characteristic to the study

Re:Liberals love a mess? (4, Insightful)

LoadWB (592248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395591)

All sides have dirty hands in that, from the very beginning.

This meltdown has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans failing us. It has to do with the black-box government as a whole failing us.

Perhaps our representatives could, at some point, get back to the job of representing us.

Irons? (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395437)

Conservatives surround themselves with irons? :looks around:

C'mon, is my web cam on? Nobody I've ever known surrounds themselves with irons.

I've got a messy desk, though I try to keep it organized every few days, I've got music on my drive from Flowing Waters to ragas to Beethoven to Miles Davis to trash pop, all my books are on shelves unless I'm using them, and, yes, I have an alligator head from Louisiana nearby, as well as a Voltron, but my workspace is well-lit and I have some postage stamps in this desk's hutch. No flags or sports memorabilia are in sight.

I suspect that my mess's characteristics don't fit their model because the Liberal/Conservative single-political-dimension model is wildly oversimplistic. Trying to draw any conclusions based on it is just going to give you bad ideas.

In the real world most people would think I'm a conservative, though people who actually know me would think I'm a Classical Liberal. I know, I'm off-axis, for shame.

Re:Irons? (3, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395511)

Conservatives surround themselves with irons? :looks around:

What, you don't play golf?

Paraphernalia (4, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395461)

Their bedrooms and offices are well lit and decorated with sports paraphernalia and flags- especially American ones.

What does it mean if they're dimly lit and well decorated with drug paraphernalia?

Re:Paraphernalia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395597)

What does it mean if they're dimly lit and well decorated with drug paraphernalia?

They're libertarian.

Re:Paraphernalia (1)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395763)

Well, my bedroom's dimly lit, but I keep the drugs and drug paraphernalia in my nightstand drawer. The rest of the room is mostly messy, being strewn with several hundred books, assorted laundry, and old-school Sun and SGI hardware.

For what it's worth, my politics would be best described as radical libertarian/anarchist.

Re:Paraphernalia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395953)

I don't know, but it certainly seems like noone would want a liberal as a neighbor. They don't take care of their stuff, so their homes and yards must be totally trashed.

If this trend keeps up, all the liberals will end up in the ghetto, and the conservatives' property values will go up, leaving them in rich neighborhoods. Man won't it be sweet when that happens!?

What's that you say? Already? Eh? Go figure.

Re:Paraphernalia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25396059)

To find the answer, you'll have to light one up and ask Bob Marley that question...

Could this be dumber? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395533)

This is why America is going down. Could you have a more stupid thing being discussed, let alone being studied!

Re:Could this be dumber? (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395845)

Yes, I promise you there are a lot more people looking for ways to call Obama an arab without actually calling him an arab. That's a dumber thing to research. There are people who are testing what is the best way to make large groups of schoolchildren believe in creationism, that's a dumber study. Nearly all market research provides us with more trivial insights into human nature than this. What colors make us want to buy laundry detergent is something that has far less impact than what makes us choose the course for the country.

Re:Could this be dumber? (1)

Kwesadilo (942453) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395869)

Could you have a more stupid thing being discussed, let alone being studied!

We could be discussing the discussion.

absurd (4, Insightful)

Iowan41 (1139959) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395603)

It would get me exactly backwards! Sounds more like stereotyping than research.

Re:absurd (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395659)

I'll have you know that the signed hypodermic needle I have was used by Barry Bonds in his historic 700th steroid injection is going to be worth a fortune on ebay!

Re:absurd (0, Offtopic)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395697)

If i hadn't just posted a load of comments i would have modded you up.

Re:absurd (2, Interesting)

ajlisows (768780) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395749)

        I agree. This is pretty much stereotyping. My Office is well lit and messy, filled with a wide variety of CD's from "Folk" to "Classic and Modern Rock". I have books about Feminism, books about Religion (As well as books that define religions...Bible, Koran), books with maps, books about socialism, books about objectivism, books about capitalism, books about United States History, books about Biochemistry, Books about Immunology, a few dozen computer reference books, books about existentialism, books about metaphysics, fiction books of all sorts from Star Wars to the Classics. I have several pieces of travel memorabilia including a small American Flag that was given to me at the Vietnam War Memorial. I have a piece of sports memorabilia hanging up. I have a calender and a book of stamps. Heck, I just sewed a button back onto a pair of pants so I have sewing materials still laying out. My office also has the only closet the wife allowed me for my clothes, thus it also has a clothes hamper.

      So what am I? Apparently someone with Multiple Personality Disorder or something.

Makes sense to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395613)

After all, they say: "Order is for idiots, genius can handle chaos".

News for nerds? Stuff that matters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395635)

I know this is idle.. but i'd rather this crap stays in Digg or Reddit.

Is this a real study? (1)

joeme1 (959209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395671)

Did they ask five whole people from each party? Wow. (I know they asked more than that). The way TFA reads makes me think they hand picked their participants. I'm very conservative and my house is still a mess, we have art supplies everywhere, we like to travel, I like folk, classic rock, and modern rock. This study sounds too specifically biased towards perceived stereotypes. And blinking! Wow! I'm glad to know I'm more easily startled. I just love articles that make one group of people sound more human and personable than another group that would otherwise be exactly the same. Maybe I just need to be a more timid, anal-retentive Windows user (as opposed to an outgoing, artsy, Mac user).

New tag proposition:idleisok (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395681)

I'm not a huge fan of idle, but if we're going to get random crap, it might as well be interesting, random crap. This story isn't too bad - I guess.

Pop psychology (2, Interesting)

leereyno (32197) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395689)

This sounds like pop psychology to me. Is this journal an "A pub?" Is it even a high B? Funny how the description was spun to make leftists look vital and engaging, while conservatives are portrayed as pedestrian or even boorish.

I'm a staunch small-L Libertarian (which to leftists is indistinguishable from a conservative) and my home is usually quite neat and tidy. But in most other respects the description of a "liberal" abode matches mine. My home is filled with books, music, art, musical instruments, nice furniture, and two cats. I suspect that if one of the people behind this supposed study were to enter my home, they'd assume I was a leftist, at least until they started peering over the titles on my bookshelf.

I will say this however, the leftists where I work do tend to be the most messy, even slovenly in some cases.

The way I see it, the way that someone deals with the environment under their control says a lot about them. If someone can't even manage to keep their own space functional, then how can they handle the other aspects of life? People who take responsibility for themselves tend to embrace ideas derived from the concept of personal responsibility. People who avoid taking responsibility for themselves will embrace ideas that downplay or go against the concept of personal responsibility. So it isn't surprising that people who can't manage to take responsibility for their own living and working spaces would be most likely to embrace a philosophy that tells them they shouldn't have to.

Re:Pop psychology (4, Interesting)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395799)

Since when does a space have to be neat to be functional? I find neat and tidy spaces rather oppressively sterile and unliveable, whereas my messy spaces are comfortable and eminently functional. For what it's worth, I'd call myself libertarian too, but would be even more swift to distance myself from conservatives than from leftists.

Re:Pop psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25395917)

I'm a staunch small-L Libertarian (which to leftists is indistinguishable from a conservative)

You seem to be a small-D Dick. Some of us leftists know the difference between a political conservative and libertarian.

I will say this however, the leftists where I work do tend to be the most messy, even slovenly in some cases.

Hmmm. Why do I get the feeling if I asked them, they'd say you're the uptight office asshole?

Re:Pop psychology (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395949)

I'm a liberal, and libertarians are quite distinguishable from conservatives. In fact, I wonder what the hell most liberals are thinking being in the same party where authoritarians feel comfortable. Authoritarians are the perfect enemies of libertarians when the moral values underlying beliefs are considered. If I were a libertarian, this would set off alarm bells. These strange bedfellows might have arrived at the same conclusions about an issue, but for very different reasons.

Libertarians in the conservative party in my analysis confuse the Republican rhetoric of "self-reliance" with the libertarian value of "independence." They are not the same moral value at all.

Re:Pop psychology (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395983)

"People who take responsibility for themselves tend to embrace ideas derived from the concept of personal responsibility. People who avoid taking responsibility for themselves will embrace ideas that downplay or go against the concept of personal responsibility. So it isn't surprising that people who can't manage to take responsibility for their own living and working spaces would be most likely to embrace a philosophy that tells them they shouldn't have to."

Well if the researchers are working on a update, you should ask for a job with them.

Pop psychology seems to fall right down your alley.

Re:Pop psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25396033)

"If someone can't even manage to keep their own space functional, then how can they handle the other aspects of life? "

This is a fallacious argument. For some people it's simply a matter of priorities as to what they keep in order and what they let go.

Re:Pop psychology (1)

paniq (833972) | more than 5 years ago | (#25396079)

If someone can't even manage to keep their own space functional, then how can they handle the other aspects of life?

Judging from this argumentation: if the reason why your tidying your room is the result of fear of being held incompetent to manage your daily affairs, I would say you fit very well to the articles description of a conservative.

See, I am more the kind of guy who rarely cleans up. Yet when I do, I enjoy it tremendously. A messed up space gives me an opportunity to prove my talent for organization, to bring things to order. But there has to be a mess first, or else there is nothing to take care of. Keeping your space tidy is easy and boring. Letting it slide and then cleaning up is a creative job, it is far more challenging. I can say that this approach has led me to manage daily affairs a lot better, especially when they are messy.

Need to see regression (2, Insightful)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395733)

I wonder if:

1. younger people tend to have messier rooms than older people (age correlates with political identity)
2. military people tend to be neater than non-military people
3. poorer people tend to be messier than richer people (again, correlation)

I'd like to see the actual report when it comes out to see which variables they're controlling for.

Great news! (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395753)

This means that people with messy rooms can be targetted for voter intimidation! Just wait until they can work out your leanings from the way you dress, that'll be so much fun at polling stations.

next time your partner asks you to tidy your room (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395765)

You know you will be justified in calling them a fascist

Correlation and causation AKA high school logic (1, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395819)

Someone tagged that with "correlationisnotcausation." Yeah. Great. Really insightful there. Clearly no claim of causation was made, but it's important to remind us of that bumper-sticker bit of wisdom. Anything else? Can we get a "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" tag in there? Because really, something could ALWAYS unexpectedly go wrong. Maybe some more basic logic, like "adhominemattacksdontproveyourpoint?"

Another hint (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395867)

The Obama Hope poster on the wall is also a dead giveaway that you're in a liberal's den.

Whatever you do... (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395887)

...don't clean house until after November 4. Please.

Who comes up with this crap? (2, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395889)

I guess this means I'm somewhere in the middle since my interests would indicate I'm a liberal but I have a tendency to want things neat and organized.

I have to say, it's quite obnoxious how utterly polarized politics has become in the US. It's basically all or nothing with too many people on both sides, to the point where a potentially sound idea is completely dismissed because it might have hints of being conservative or liberal. Instead of fixing existing systems too many people are intent on completely trashing it and replacing it with whatever conforms to their worldview. I don't even bother trying to discuss politics with some people I know because it results in them becoming openly hostile. They wont even take the time to consider my viewpoint and argue it. Instead I'm dismissed as a shill for one entity or another. The friends I do get into interesting discussions with are the ones who are legitimately moderate.

And this is amongst people who are somewhat informed, although some might draw all their news from one side of the aisle. Unfortunately, I encounter far too many people who don't know what the hell is going on beyond what they hear in sound bites. I find that overseas people seem to be better informed about politics. And their opinions seem to be more balanced. They seem inclined to side with parties based more on specific issues. And there's much less of this notion that one side has to take one stance on issues and the other side has to adopt the opposite stance.

What troubles me is that this is basically using science to reinforce stereotypes. Maybe someday someone will come along and tell us we can be cured of our political affiliations.

Meaningless study (1)

Eesu (903236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395965)

In complete opposition, one of my best friends, a fairly hardcore republican conservative, is the messiest person I know in life. Meanwhile, I am very liberal, independent and can't stand messes.

Value-laden nonsense (3, Insightful)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 5 years ago | (#25395991)

This article just blithely assumes personality traits are fixed at birth and then determine political beliefs, and makes essentially arbitrary value judgements on those traits.

Positive personality traits associated with liberalism (self-reliant, resilient, dominating and energetic) and negative ones attributed to conservatism (easily victimized or offended, indecisive, fearful and rigid) appear as young as nursery school-age kids--and correlate with those children's political beliefs in adulthood, according to a 20-year study published in 2006 in the Journal of Research in Personality. More recently, scientists linked the strength of a person's startle response to their political leanings: conservatives tended to scare easier, blinking harder than liberals when they heard a loud noise.

Now that thing about the startle response is interesting, especially because it's a simple enough trait that one can easily imagine it really is just genetics. On the other hand what's the point in describing personality traits as positive or negative here? Why not just say these traits were more common in liberals, and these over here were more common in conservatives? What purpose is served by mixing value judgements in with the attempted science like that? What kind of messed-up person describes 'dominating' as a positive trait in a political context, anyway?

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