Saturday, November 12, 2011

Crazy he calls me ...

A big ol' hat tip to The Anchoress for pointing out this obvious bit of pseudo-science, courtesy of HotAir:

Bad news: New study shows conservatives far more likely to have antisocial personality disorders or something

posted at 9:11 pm on November 11, 2011 by Allahpundit

Finally, an explanation for why tea-party rallies are so depraved while Occupy protests are run shipshape. Looks like we all owe Martin Bashir an apology for doubting him.
Baby, when the University of Tampa drops some science on you, you can take it to the bank.
The paper, by University of Tampa professor Marcus Arvan, claims to find “significant” correlations between key antisocial personality traits and bedrock conservative views, like opposition to gay marriage and support for capital punishment. Specifically, the research claims to find elements of narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism, also described as “deception,” among test subjects…

“The results should at least be a bit disturbing in a certain kind of way,” Arvan told…
He said the correlation was strongest on social issues, less so on economic positions. For instance, the study claimed opposition to gay marriage correlated with psychopathy
The study itself also clarified that exhibiting the traits is not necessarily indicative of a mental disorder, nor is it indicative of “morally bad” behavior. The study noted that narcissism can be positive to an extent, since it can “steel people against criticism and lead people to persevere in the face of long odds.”
Arvan declined to expound more broadly on the implications of his research, saying only that the research could raise questions “about the genesis” of some conservative judgments.
He described himself as a fiscal conservative and social liberal, and added, “This raises certain questions to me about my own view.”
Well, there you go. The guy’s psychotic. And, per the part about gay marriage, so is Obama, I guess. Study: Confirmed.

It's a sad sign when progressivist advocates stoop to jury-rigging "scientific" studies in order to write off the opposition as Machiavellian psychopaths. Nor are we assured that the peer-review system will weed it out; after all, Evelyn Hooker's “The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual” is still the APA's main support for the "naturalness" of homosexuality, even though, as Dr. Jeffrey Satinover states, "Hooker failed to follow even the most basic tenets of the scientific method."

In the combox, Dr. Charles G. Waugh posted this critique:

Having taught on the college level for 48 years (come January) and having performed quantitative experiments for both my M.A. and Ph.D., I’d like to chime in on this.
When I was an undergraduate, studies in social psychology reported women were much more persuasible than men. Now we know they are, at best 1% more persuasible. What went wrong? Basically, at the time, all college social psychologists were men. They tended to unwittingly choose topics men knew more about. When women started filling college positions in social psychology, they started running their own studies using topics with which women were more familiar. And guess what? Men were found more persuasible. So, as it turns out, familiarity with a subject turns out to be a much more important influence on persuasibility than is gender.
Similarly, though self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals 2 to 1 in this country, in our universities liberals outnumber conservatives by at least 4 to 1. In Ivy League schools it is 9 to 1. So you have to ask yourself when it comes to studies like this, do you think it possible that wittingly or unwittingly the results might be biased by experimental assumptions and design? And unless you are a crazed moonbat (but I repeat myself), a reasonable guess would be “Hell, yes.”

Another psychologist, writing under the handle of "Noocyte", adds this summation:

Aaaand here’s another in a long list of things that make me cringe at what’s becoming associated with what I do for a living.
On behalf of the scattered factions of psychologists who have managed to remain relatively Kool-Aid-free, allow me to utter a hearty PHOOEY!!

Remember, folks, Science is not a machine into which you pour facts, turn a handle, and produce Truth in steaming mounds. It's a method, which must be applied by humans, and which can therefore be misapplied, misused and abused by people with biases, bigotries and agendas.