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Thread: Moral Psychology of Libertarians

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    Default Moral Psychology of Libertarians

    Understanding Libertarian Morality: The Psychological Dispositions of Self-Identified Libertarians

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0042366


    Sample text I thought was interesting (for typology purposes or w/e):


    Empathizer-Systemizer Scale

    The Empathizer-Systemizer scale (adapted from Baron-Cohen [62]) measures the tendency to empathize, defined as “the drive to identify another person's emotions and thoughts, and to respond to these with an appropriate emotion” and to systemize, or “the drive to analyze the variables in a system, and to derive the underlying rules that govern the behavior of the system.” In short, empathizing is about understanding the social world whereas systemizing is about understanding the world of inanimate objects and nature. We selected 20 items from the full 40-item empathizer scale, and 20 items from the full 75-item systemizer scale to create a single survey that could be completed in less than 10 minutes. Cronbach's alphas for these measures were .80 (systemizer) and .84 (empathizer). The measure was completed by 8,870 participants (4,532 men, 6,525 liberals, 877 conservatives, and 637 libertarians).

    Results.
    Table 3 shows that libertarians score the lowest of any group on empathizing, and the highest on systemizing (also see Figures 3 and 4). In fact, libertarians are the only group that scored higher on systemizing than on empathizing. Given that these traits are known to differ between men and women, it is important to examine these effects in each sex separately. Table 3 shows that the same effects hold when looking only at men, and when looking only at women.

    Figure 4. Libertarians exhibit a reason-based cognitive style according to a variety of measures.

    Interpretation.
    Research by Baron-Cohen [62] has shown that relatively high systemizing and low empathizing scores are characteristic of the male brain, with very extreme scores indicating autism. We might say that liberals have the most “feminine” cognitive style, and libertarians have the most “masculine.” These effects hold even when men and women are examined separately, as can be seen in Table 3. Indeed, the “feminizing” of the Democratic party in the 1970s [63] may help explain why libertarians moved increasingly into the Republican party in the 1980s.

    Need for Cognition

    The Need for Cognition scale [64] is a measure of the extent to which people engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive activities. People with high need for cognition are more likely to form their attitudes by paying close attention to relevant arguments, whereas people with low need for cognition are more likely to rely on peripheral cues, such as how attractive or credible a speaker is. The measure was completed by 8,035 participants (4,242 men; 5,888 liberals, 760 conservatives, and 657 libertarians).

    Results.
    Table 3 shows that libertarians scored slightly higher than liberals and moderately higher than conservatives on Need for Cognition (also see Figure 4).

    Interpretation.
    This pattern is consistent with the libertarian valuation of logic and reasoning over emotion. Libertarians may enjoy thinking about complex and abstract systems more than other groups, particularly more than conservatives.

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    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    Oh yes I forgot, libertarians are the only logical ones.

    /facepalm
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    [insert fiasco of obscure citations and preformed postulates about the basic nature of libertarianism and its logically impenetrable ontological seeds]
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    I don't really have time to read the full article right now, but did the article mention if the results are statistically significant or something like that? If not, then higher and lower doesn't really matter.
    “No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand... Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.” -Anton Chekhov

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    Makes sense to me.

    Pure ideologies tend to be quite rational and logical so long as the clinical conditions upon which they are founded hold.
    SLI/ISTp -- Te subtype

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    [insert fiasco of obscure citations and preformed postulates about the basic nature of libertarianism and its logically impenetrable ontological seeds]
    Idk dude, read the article if you care to. It's pretty obvious though... take the average conservative and the average liberal. The average libertarian is going to be more rational, concerned about autonomy, and rationally rather than emotionally inclined. The article does note that libertarians tend to be male.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchonAlarion View Post
    Idk dude, read the article if you care to. It's pretty obvious though... take the average conservative and the average liberal. The average libertarian is going to be more rational, concerned about autonomy, and rationally rather than emotionally inclined. The article does note that libertarians tend to be male.
    It makes perfect sense. Libertarianism is a less publicized set of political perspectives, meaning that by default, the people interested in it, or calling themselves libertarians, are going to read more on average, etc. It's a no brainer, it still doesn't make you right, or any closer to it, and all this thread accomplishes is to make you look like a little ideologue brat trying to wax his dick in the town square.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    lollllll
    And I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    It makes perfect sense. Libertarianism is a less publicized set of political perspectives, meaning that by default, the people interested in it, or calling themselves libertarians, are going to read more on average, etc. It's a no brainer, it still doesn't make you right, or any closer to it, and all this thread accomplishes is to make you look like a little ideologue brat trying to wax his dick in the town square.
    Yeah, the "rationality" portion was not the only measurement in the study (if you read it). I selected that as sample text because I thought people would be interested in the empathy vs. systematic dichotomy used. It appeared less like a positive or negative quality and more neutral, possibly related to ethical and logical types. Also, the study measured big five personality traits and found libertarians to be introverted, disagreeable, and open to experience.

    "The Empathizer-Systemizer scale (adapted from Baron-Cohen [62]) measures the tendency to empathize, defined as “the drive to identify another person's emotions and thoughts, and to respond to these with an appropriate emotion” and to systemize, or “the drive to analyze the variables in a system, and to derive the underlying rules that govern the behavior of the system.” In short, empathizing is about understanding the social world whereas systemizing is about understanding the world of inanimate objects and nature."

    So basically, shove it up your ass

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    I'm probably a libertarian. (Not really affiliated with a political party as of now).

    Although I've seen libertarians out there take it a little too far when it comes to personal liberty>moral issues. At some point, immorality becomes unreasonable. I think some libertarians try too hard to fit the mold instead of the mold fitting them.

    If other libertarians are like me (which from my experiences and from reading the article, other libertarians seem to be similar to me in many ways), they don't really care to win most people over. ha.

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    Are you denying that this is at least in part motivated by the need for implicit head pats
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Are you denying that this is at least in part motivated by the need for implicit head pats
    What real difference does it make what the original post was motivated by? It's an interesting post and article.

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    It's silly and pretentious, which usually defeats any practical purpose it might have in being exposed by alienating those who don't identify with the social premises implied.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    It's silly and pretentious, which usually defeats any practical purpose it might have in being exposed by alienating those who don't identify with the social premises implied.
    It's an article and it's a post. "Silly and pretentious" are your opinions of it; honestly, I see neither silly or pretentious. If you feel alienated by a post and an article, then that's honestly, your issue, isn't it?
    There is no rule here that people can't post articles or create posts that some people don't understand or identify with, or that one can't create a post that makes others feel alienated. If you don't agree with the post, cool. But disagreeing with an article, and/or not identifying with it in some form, cannot make me feel alienated nor does it alienate me in any way, and I don't understand why it would you either. Nor obviously does a post have to have a "practical purpose"........

    If anything, I would think that if I don't identify with it or understand it, that would make the article and post all the more interesting, because maybe I can pursue further knowledge so that one day I may identify with it and/or understand it.
    Last edited by jet city woman; 08-26-2012 at 09:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet city woman View Post
    It's an article and it's a post. "Silly and pretentious" are your opinions of it; honestly, I see neither silly or pretentious. If you feel alienated by a post and an article, then that's honestly, your issue, isn't it?
    There is no rule here that people can't post articles or create posts that some people don't understand or identify with, or that one can't create a post that makes others feel alienated. If you don't agree with the post, cool. But disagreeing with an article, and/or not identifying with it in some form, cannot make me feel alienated nor does it alienate me in any way, and I don't understand why it would you either. Nor obviously does a post have to have a "practical purpose"........

    If anything, I would think that if I don't identify with it or understand it, that would make the article and post all the more interesting, because maybe I can pursue further knowledge so that one day I may identify with it and/or understand it.
    You sure know how to spew a whole lot of nothing.

    I never said the article alienated ME, now did I? Nor did I say he didnt have the right to post it. Not sure where you're getting any of that.

    My political stances align more with libertarian views than anything else I can think of. The point is that the article doesn't really say or do anything except put libertarians on a pedestal for reasons that are irrelevant to the actual validity of their views. Its just aimless posturing. It does nothing but aggrandize; even if libertarianism is the "best" political stance, what does libertarians being smart have to do with anything? The answer is nothing, because what matters is not who has the highest IQ, but rather whose ideas work. I personally think Jake's time would be better spent engaging in THAT conversation, and actually discussing his views, than getting all excited because some research group is handing out shiny IQ stickers for his political group of choice. Waving around a sign that says "I'M SMART, LISTEN TO ME" is never going to be productive.

    Sure, he can do whatever he wants. By proxy, I can hate on whatever I want. So go piss on yourself somewhere else.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    You sure know how to spew a whole lot of nothing.

    I never said the article alienated ME, now did I? Nor did I say he didnt have the right to post it. Not sure where you're getting any of that.

    My political stances align more with libertarian views than anything else I can think of. The point is that the article doesn't really say or do anything except put libertarians on a pedestal for reasons that are irrelevant to the actual validity of their views. Its just aimless posturing. It does nothing but aggrandize; even if libertarianism is the "best" political stance, what does libertarians being smart have to do with anything? The answer is nothing, because what matters is not who has the highest IQ, but rather whose ideas work. I personally think Jake's time would be better spent engaging in THAT conversation, and actually discussing his views, than getting all excited because some research group is handing out shiny IQ stickers for his political group of choice. Waving around a sign that says "I'M SMART, LISTEN TO ME" is never going to be productive.

    Sure, he can do whatever he wants. By proxy, I can hate on whatever I want. So go piss on yourself somewhere else.
    Apparently you don't agree with the social premises implied, am I right? So that would mean you are speaking of yourself when you speak of "alienation". Make sense? My original point was not that he did not or did have the right to post it, but that the point you made was totally invalid and useless to the thread. The rules set the precedence, not what you think should or shouldn't be. I couldn't care less why someone posts, especially if it's actually interesting to read, and I couldn't care less who feels what emotions from reading a post, although you must, since you spoke of alienation, yet you pull the hyper-hypocritical emo move of actually doing what most would consider to be a more grossly inappropriate gesture than what you are propagating to be one. Go figure.

    Your time would be better spent taking posts a lot less personally, and actually simply remarking and sharing your ideas, rather than concentrating on the emotional reactions you have toward other people's postings and ideas. The OP never showed any sort of excitement or any other emotion. He simply posted an article and information, to be interpreted by the reader, so I don't understand how you are reading emotions into it, or any other sort of message here that you are conveying.

    Statistics and studies many times are not irrelevant and are quite interesting and telling, offering an understanding of people and who they are, and who you may identify with, or not. The article can be useful for some people who read it with non-bias, and yes it does make connections between libertarian views and personality traits and functions..... I've been putting together the same theories for awhile now that these views actually mirror for the most part, so yes, I do find it fascinating (relating personality types and traits to political parties). I think you missed the point completely. It's just information. The way you interpret it is your own, and it screams, "I'm having an emotional response!" Let me guess: Liberal?
    Last edited by jet city woman; 08-26-2012 at 12:20 PM.

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    The article said that Ashton is evil.
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    The article said that Ashton is evil.
    That article actually said many things. It said Ashton is anarcho-communist amongst many and he agrees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Lol Gilly, did you even read what Archon excerpted in the OP? All it says in a nutshell, is that people who self-indentify as Libertarian tend to be more cerebral—this is not nec. the same as being smarter/having higher IQ.
    Yes I'm well aware. I still think it's purely masturbatory, because I know jake, lol.

    Also, on the Empathizer-Systemizer scale, you must be at the far end of Empathizer ("♀-brain"), because you sound like you're hella over-empathizing about the supposed motives of this research…
    Hurrrrrr.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Okay, heh, read that article and well, someone has a hard nut to crack now for I've got things in my head that come and go and actually can and will tear this "non-empathising Libertarians" present on this board apart, at least some of them.

    Refer to that thread posted by a guy self-typing ILE (squirrelaltar) for info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet city woman View Post
    Apparently you don't agree with the social premises implied, am I right? So that would mean you are speaking of yourself when you speak of "alienation". Make sense?
    No, it doesn't, lol. I agree with a LOT of libertarian ideas; I don't agree with stupid, superficial studies trying to elevate their image by suggesting we read into how cerebral they are. It's useless, and OBVIOUSLY purely masturbatory.

    My original point was not that he did not or did have the right to post it, but that the point you made was totally invalid and useless to the thread.
    Yeah, maybe in the same way it's useless to decry Maritsa's ditziness when she makes a thread on spine curvature...

    The rules set the precedence, not what you think should or shouldn't be. I couldn't care less why someone posts, especially if it's actually interesting to read, and I couldn't care less who feels what emotions from reading a post, although you must, since you spoke of alienation, yet you pull the hyper-hypocritical emo move of actually doing what most would consider to be a more grossly inappropriate gesture than what you are propagating to be one. Go figure.
    Lol for the millionth time this study does not alienate ME; I self-identify as a libertarian more than anything else. I plan on writing Ron Paul in on the presidential ballot for the sake of my own conscience and the future of the viability of a third party. Does this give you any idea of how much I am NOT alienated here? If my stance here was PERSONAL in any way, I would be basking in the glorious light of being praised by science for my cerebralness.

    Your time would be better spent taking posts a lot less personally,
    Again, clearly not what I'm doing here.

    and actually simply remarking and sharing your ideas, rather than concentrating on the emotional reactions you have toward other people's postings and ideas. The OP never showed any sort of excitement or any other emotion. He simply posted an article and information, to be interpreted by the reader, so I don't understand how you are reading emotions into it, or any other sort of message here that you are conveying.
    Because the only possible motivation for sharing this study is to cast libertarians in a positive light, which I am fine with in principle, but not when its so...tasteless.

    Statistics and studies many times are not irrelevant and are quite interesting and telling, offering an understanding of people and who they are, and who you may identify with, or not. The article can be useful for some people who read it with non-bias, and yes it does make connections between libertarian views and personality traits and functions..... I've been putting together the same theories for awhile now that these views actually mirror for the most part, so yes, I do find it fascinating (relating personality types and traits to political parties). I think you missed the point completely. It's just information. The way you interpret it is your own, and it screams, "I'm having an emotional response!" Let me guess: Liberal?
    Nope. Barrack Obama is just as bad as Mitt Romney, and they are both nothing but figureheads for parties that have become incestuous mires of corruption and, combined, form the illusion of freedom of choice that we, as the people ruled, should do whatever we can to subvert. I am socially liberal, in the historical rather than American sense; I generally think people should be allowed to do what they want, as long as it doesn't hurt somebody else.

    How is this fascinating? It strikes me as entirely obvious and unrevelatory, for exactly the reasons stated in my first post: people who are libertarians are obviously not supporters of the two main parties, which are the only ones who get public attention, so by proxy libertarians would almost HAVE to be more well read, do more research on the internet, etc. When the media and other elements of mass exposure are dominated by Republicans and Democrats, any people who call themselves something else are OBVIOUSLY doing more research than the AVERAGE Democrat or Republican, because AVERAGE people take what they are fed, choose one of the two, and don't think about it. So you're telling me people who don't fall into one of those two categories tend to read more: shocker.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Yeah, maybe in the same way it's useless to decry Maritsa's ditziness when she makes a thread on spine curvature...
    I find those to be fine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    I find those to be fine.
    Yeah, well, I find myself fine with my dick half way up a chicken's ass and a broken bottle of absinthe in the other hand, but the law doesn't seem to appreciate that so much, and there are still baton welts on my ass from last time, so...
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Yeah, well, I find myself fine with my dick half way up a chicken's ass and a broken bottle of absinthe in the other hand, but the law doesn't seem to appreciate that so much, and there are still baton welts on my ass from last time, so...
    ...so you got it, alright. Damn, I'm good.

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    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    On the topic of political parties, I do not believe there is nor has been a liberal OR conservative candidate in a very long time (i.e. late 50's, early 60's).

    The "big-two" parties have become so homogenous/special interest centralized over the years that it has become nothing more than an exercise of futility with regards to voting. Add to this the massive inaccuracies/issues from the primaries, vote registration and all the way down to vote tallies, the electoral college, etc. etc... makes it plainly obvious that in the USA, the citizens lost control a very long time ago.

    It's no wonder the past several elections have become the psychological equivalent of a WWF Wrestling match.

    I don't self-identify as Libertarian, but instead a moderate conservative (mainly fiscally). I see a lot of moderate liberals that also find themselves in the same situation. But that said, moderates will find themselves leaning towards Ron Paul, which in turn likely makes many feel or self-identify as Libertarian.

    I'd bet the majority of Libertarians are truly just moderate conservatives or moderate liberals that just don't know any better or failed to notice the complete erosion of conservative/liberal representation in politics. What is left is the "FAR lesser of THREE evils" so the choice becomes easier.

    I'd be interested in studies of "true" liberals, "true" conservatives and "true" libertarians, but from the standpoint of these political leanings with no ties to past or present political parties (i.e. basis of political leaning/platform dichotomies only). I doubt most studies form political leaning from a pure standpoint as too much would be needed to screen those 11,000+ people... whereas "voter registration" is so much easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finale View Post
    I'd bet the majority of Libertarians are truly just moderate conservatives or moderate liberals that just don't know any better or failed to notice the complete erosion of conservative/liberal representation in politics. What is left is the "FAR lesser of THREE evils" so the choice becomes easier.

    I'd be interested in studies of "true" liberals, "true" conservatives and "true" libertarians, but from the standpoint of these political leanings with no ties to past or present political parties (i.e. basis of political leaning/platform dichotomies only). I doubt most studies form political leaning from a pure standpoint as too much would be needed to screen those 11,000+ people... whereas "voter registration" is so much easier.


    Depends who is this true libertarian, that is, some guy who self-types anarcho-communist, anarcho-capitalist, Third Way national-anarchist, Christian libertarian and so on. You get conservative liberals as well, mostly minarchists.

    I don't know, maybe it is time for a reality check for some economic libertarians.
    Last edited by Absurd; 08-27-2012 at 12:04 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchonAlarion View Post
    I selected that as sample text because I thought people would be interested in the empathy vs. systematic dichotomy used. It appeared less like a positive or negative quality and more neutral, possibly related to ethical and logical types.
    similar to my thoughts.

    this is really interesting stuff; i've read about the psychological, moral, & intelligence differences between conservatives and liberals, but not so much about libertarians. i was glad to see the article comparing & contrasting all 3 of these groups.

    @Gilly i don't think either the study nor Archon are trying to imply that libertarians are somehow superior. if you read the article, you'll see that the study involves much examination of the similarities & differences between liberals, conservatives, and libertarians on a variety of scales, also integrating previous research that has already been done on liberals and conservatives. the article does conclude that libertarians are more cognitively "rational" due to their higher scores on certain scales, but this higher "rationality" seems to come at the expense of other values (e.g. libertarians overall demonstrate more "lack of emotionality" and a "preference for weaker, less-binding social relationships".)

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    Yes, but note the portion he emphasizes in his post.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Yes, but note the portion he emphasizes in his post.
    but those scales are not necessarily "better" than the others.

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    Meh, whatever, not worth it.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Political spectrums are kind of synthetic to me, but I would be rated as highly autonymous, and the only spectrum which remotely fits me is Libertarian. However, it just feels like happenstance to me.

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