Whiny future conservatives?
March 22, 2006 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Things we already knew: Jack Block and his wife and fellow professor Jeanne Block (now deceased) began tracking more than 100 nursery school kids as part of a general study of personality. The kids' personalities were rated at the time by teachers and assistants who had known them for months. ... A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. 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-conforming adults with wide interests.
posted by caddis (29 comments total)

 
Not to editorialize or anything....
posted by raedyn at 3:22 PM on March 22, 2006


Fair and balanced.
We report, you decide.
posted by caddis at 3:25 PM on March 22, 2006


Not to, y'know, self-select in Berkeley of all places.
posted by Captaintripps at 3:25 PM on March 22, 2006


Block admits in his paper that liberal Berkeley is not representative of the whole country.

Yeah, this isn't science. This is an anecdote.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:25 PM on March 22, 2006


Talk about bad survey design. First of all - I grew up in Berkeley, and went to the public schools there. In such a diverse and liberal environment, you'd find VERY few kids who had politically conservative parents, or were uncomfortable with socializing with a wide range of types of kids. So his entire sample has already been preselected for politics and environment.
posted by luriete at 3:26 PM on March 22, 2006


Didn't this already get deleted here once? It's hard to tell when there's no usable search feature.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:29 PM on March 22, 2006


From Slate:

Criticisms: 1) They did the study in Berkeley. 2) The correlations aren't that strong. 3) They skewed the interpretation, calling moral confidence "rigidity." 4) They overlooked left-wing rigidity. 5) What about the recent Pew study that showed Republicans are happier than Democrats?
posted by Dasein at 3:36 PM on March 22, 2006


If the survey had been done in, say, Colorado Springs, where the social norm veers toward conservatism, do you suppose the outcome might have been different? I'm guessing the kids (or more importantly, their parents) would tend to feel like an unwelcome minority and tend toward more defensive behavior.
posted by maryh at 3:36 PM on March 22, 2006


Our opponents are poopy-heads! Now proven with SCIENCE.
posted by LarryC at 3:37 PM on March 22, 2006


Whiny kidsbecome anarchists. Everyone knows that.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:40 PM on March 22, 2006


Oh please . I laughed when I saw this somewhere else yesterday. Why didn't they just use the Haight-Ashbury district as a "sample" ?
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:45 PM on March 22, 2006


And we grew up cuter and better in bed, too.
posted by onegreeneye at 3:49 PM on March 22, 2006


And the rigid ones end up having to use Viagra and Cialis to stay rigid too.

Haw, haw, haw.
posted by fenriq at 3:56 PM on March 22, 2006


Haro, haro, haro!
posted by languagehat at 4:04 PM on March 22, 2006


LarryC wins.
posted by pompomtom at 4:19 PM on March 22, 2006


Here's another interesting experiment: let this run through a news cycle or two. See how many "liberals" believe it. Then, release a "conservative"-skewed counterpart. Wait a news cycle or two. See how many conservatives believe it.
posted by namespan at 4:21 PM on March 22, 2006


Four out of five O-Reillys recommend Berkley for their followers who use guns.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:41 PM on March 22, 2006


What sort of people are all the whiny adults going to grow up to be? When and if, I mean.
posted by jfuller at 4:44 PM on March 22, 2006


Another interesting report: I just finished my last final for the quarter: Psych 10 - The Development of Children.

Nothing to add. Thank you. Thank you very much.
posted by redteam at 5:07 PM on March 22, 2006


Foxy lady.


posted by The Jesse Helms at 5:43 PM on March 22, 2006


So it holds true even in Berkeley.
posted by Brian B. at 6:18 PM on March 22, 2006



I grew up in Texas. There is definitely a correlation between sexual frustration (see Wilhelm Reich), an inability to grasp shades of meaning (beyond "good or bad," "right or wrong"), and a tendency toward fundamentalist right-wing politics. I don't believe this is something for scientists to prove; but as for historians studying how societies go astray, it's an important phenomenon.
posted by bukharin at 7:02 PM on March 22, 2006


Thinking about George and Barbara Bush toilet training their children almost makes me feel sorry for Jeb and '43. Well, not really almost sorry. I can at least picture how someone might have sympathy for their black little souls.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:03 PM on March 22, 2006


What aeschenkarnos said. Saved me the trouble of typing it out.
posted by JHarris at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2006



Thinking about George and Barbara Bush toilet training their children almost makes me feel sorry for Jeb and '43.

George and Barbara almost certainly did not handle their own kids..
posted by bukharin at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2006


Whoa, bukharin, could that explain the bestiality fixation too?
posted by maryh at 10:01 PM on March 22, 2006


The study is crap, but it is fun to picture Bill Frist crying in the sandbox after someone took his plastic stethoscope away. A real man would have been behind the paint shed putting that stethoscope to good use!
posted by phewbertie at 4:33 AM on March 23, 2006


That boy behind the paint shed was little Billy Clinton. Lock up your daughters.
posted by caddis at 6:27 AM on March 23, 2006


I grew up in Texas. There is definitely a correlation between sexual frustration (see Wilhelm Reich), an inability to grasp shades of meaning (beyond "good or bad," "right or wrong"), and a tendency toward fundamentalist right-wing politics.

In Texas. Per your observations. Well, as long as it's factual. I grew up in Rhode Island. There isn't any damn thing that correlates to fundamentalist right-wing politics there. Ergo, such a thing must not exist.
posted by yerfatma at 7:33 AM on March 23, 2006


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