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Ideological Psychology?

Hoplite

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I've been turning an idea over in my head for a while.

It seems to me that the different political ideologies (Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, Socialist, etc etc) tend to have the same kinds of people that subscribe to them. We see this in political stereotypes; the cheese-eating Liberal, the gun-waving Conservative.

So I have to wonder, does a person's psychological makeup determine what political philosophy they will follow?

For instance, someone who grew up in a more authoritative home with a more rigid structure, clearly delineated right/wrong, and a strong influence of traditions may push someone towards a more Republican mindset.

It also has to be considered that a person's upbringing, their parents and family, have a great influence on our psychological makeup. We generally get our base value system from those we spend the most time with and our morality system plays a big factor in what direction we pull the lever in the voting booth.

So, can we really say we pick our political ideology? Or does it pick us?
 

tacomancer

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I often wonder if its about the tendency to process information in a certain way. Logically, intuitively, big picture, small picture, etc. In the end people having certain predefined modes of thinking being more likely to behave and believe a certain way given similar input.

Its an interesting subject.
 

digsbe

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I think it's a choice, and I do believe one's religion/world-view also strongly influences political ideology.
 

Hoplite

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I think it's a choice, and I do believe one's religion/world-view also strongly influences political ideology.
Both one's religion and world-view are shaped by those we're around.
 

CriticalThought

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So, can we really say we pick our political ideology? Or does it pick us?
There are psychological studies on this.

One well known study argues that our fundamental values shape our political ideology.

Here is a video by psychologist Jonathan Haidt who studied the phenomenon.

Jonathan Haidt on the moral roots of liberals and conservatives | Video on TED.com

I also have a hypothesis that our views of free will and character influence our political ideology.

http://www.debatepolitics.com/relig...cal-view-shaped-perceptions-human-nature.html

I also had a friend who felt that different political ideologies were pathologies of personal responsibilty.

http://www.debatepolitics.com/relig...pathology-progressivism-and-conservatism.html

Take your pick.
 

digsbe

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Both one's religion and world-view are shaped by those we're around.
That may be true, but I also believe it is a very personal aspect. My religion and world-view is very different from those I am usually around (college friends and family).
 

marduc

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This reminds me of an old link I have in my bookmarks from a while back, you might find it of interest. Although the articles can potentially be a bit technical and/or tough to follow, and the site is not really layed out all that well, there are some interesting topics along the lines of the OP that are covered there:

Neuropolitics.org

edit to include an early article from the site that had originally drew me to it (there are a couple of follow up articles to the one I am linking), this particular article explores people with separations of the two hemispheres of the brain and how these people act when only one half of the brain is in charge, and then correlates it to right wing verses left wing ideologies:

Conservative Left Brain, Liberal Right Brain
 
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DarkWizard12

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This reminds me of an old link I have in my bookmarks from a while back, you might find it of interest. Although the articles can potentially be a bit technical and/or tough to follow, and the site is not really layed out all that well, there are some interesting topics along the lines of the OP that are covered there:

Neuropolitics.org

edit to include an early article from the site that had originally drew me to it (there are a couple of follow up articles to the one I am linking), this particular article explores people with separations of the two hemispheres of the brain and how these people act when only one half of the brain is in charge, and then correlates it to right wing verses left wing ideologies:

Conservative Left Brain, Liberal Right Brain
I would think it would be the opposite. Isn't the left brain the creative side, and the right brain the analytical side?
 

marduc

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I would think it would be the opposite. Isn't the left brain the creative side, and the right brain the analytical side?
read the article I linked.

edit: yeah I know its long and can get dry, I just reread it (well skimmed some parts), it had been a long time since I had last read it myself, but it answers your questions. It discusses other differences between the hemispheres beyond creativity versus analytical. one of the things I do find interesting is when he starts talking about the amygdala and the differences between the two hemispheres in how it functions in regards to fear responses.

There are follow up explorations to this article that look into the dopamine reward system and how it functions and its potential implications toward ideological slant.
 
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Harry Guerrilla

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I've been turning an idea over in my head for a while.

It seems to me that the different political ideologies (Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, Socialist, etc etc) tend to have the same kinds of people that subscribe to them. We see this in political stereotypes; the cheese-eating Liberal, the gun-waving Conservative.

So I have to wonder, does a person's psychological makeup determine what political philosophy they will follow?

For instance, someone who grew up in a more authoritative home with a more rigid structure, clearly delineated right/wrong, and a strong influence of traditions may push someone towards a more Republican mindset.

It also has to be considered that a person's upbringing, their parents and family, have a great influence on our psychological makeup. We generally get our base value system from those we spend the most time with and our morality system plays a big factor in what direction we pull the lever in the voting booth.

So, can we really say we pick our political ideology? Or does it pick us?
I think, I have chosen my ideology.

I've gone from liberal in my very young youth to a bit of dabbling as a conservative finally landing, where I am now.

My libertarian beliefs have changed but that is because of greater learning.
 

Deuce

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Absolutism seems to be more prevalent in conservatives than liberals, but that's just from personal anecdotal observations and probably suffers from confirmation bias.
 

DarkWizard12

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Absolutism seems to be more prevalent in conservatives than liberals, but that's just from personal anecdotal observations and probably suffers from confirmation bias.
but if all things are relative, then even absolutism is part of relativism.
 
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