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New Study: Why Conservatives are happier than liberals...


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Why Conservatives Are Happier Than Liberals

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

By Jeanna Bryner

Individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners, and new research pinpoints the reason: Conservatives rationalize social and economic inequalities.

Regardless of marital status, income or church attendance, right-wing individuals reported greater life satisfaction and well-being than left-wingers, the new study found.

Conservatives also scored highest on measures of rationalization, which gauge a person's tendency to justify, or explain away, inequalities.

The rationalization measure included statements such as: "It is not really that big a problem if some people have more of a chance in life than others," and "This country would be better off if we worried less about how equal people are."

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To justify economic inequalities, a person could support the idea of meritocracy, in which people supposedly move up their economic status in society based on hard work and good performance.

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In that way, one's social class attainment, whether upper, middle or lower, would be perceived as totally fair and justified.

If your beliefs don't justify gaps in status, you could be left frustrated and disheartened, according to the researchers, Jaime Napier and John Jost of New York University. They conducted both a U.S.-centric survey and a more internationally focused one to arrive at the findings.

"Our research suggests that inequality takes a greater psychological toll on liberals than on conservatives," the researchers write in the June issue of the journal Psychological Science, "apparently because liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light."

The results support and further explain a Pew Research Center survey from 2006, in which 47 percent of conservative Republicans in the U.S. described themselves as "very happy," while only 28 percent of liberal Democrats indicated such cheer.

The same rationalizing phenomena could apply to personal situations as well.

"There is no reason to think that the effects we have identified here are unique to economic forms of inequality," the researchers write. "Research suggests that highly egalitarian women are less happy in their marriages compared with their more traditional counterparts, apparently because they are more troubled by disparities in domestic labor."

The current study was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Copyright © 2008 Imaginova Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,354424,00.html

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Well, if it cites a reason for being unhappy because you are unable to frame in inequality in a positive light, I can deal with that.

I have no issues with people who have much and succeed in life through hard work, but I do have empathy for people who try and try but just don't get breaks.

Some people here will simply call the wealthy " hard workers" and the poor " deadbeats" and that is FAR from reality in many cases. I know Poor people who work very hard every day and rich deadbeats.

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I've been on both sides of the fence (conservative and liberal) and this article, for me at least, rings oh so true.

As a conservative I thought that the poor were fully responsible for being poor and that government programs were for "bums" who didn't want to work.

Then life handed me a "simple twist of fate" as Dylan might say and I found out what it was like to be one of the working poor.

As someone who is now left leaning, I am outraged at the social injustice in this country, at how the healthcare system is a mess, at how black people are STILL treated like garbage (trust me on this one white people), and at how the neo-con "revolution" has ruined a once great nation.

I don't think I want to go back to my "who me worry?" conservative attitude.

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pencilpusher (7/13/2008)
Well, if it cites a reason for being unhappy because you are unable to frame in inequality in a positive light, I can deal with that.

I have no issues with people who have much and succeed in life through hard work, but I do have empathy for people who try and try but just don't get breaks.

Some people here will simply call the wealthy " hard workers" and the poor " deadbeats" and that is FAR from reality in many cases. I know Poor people who work very hard every day and rich deadbeats.

That false reality makes them happy? they must enjoy having their head in the sand and ignoring the REAL world around them.

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falcnfan77 (7/13/2008)
I've been on both sides of the fence (conservative and liberal) and this article, for me at least, rings oh so true.

As a conservative I thought that the poor were fully responsible for being poor and that government programs were for "bums" who didn't want to work.

Then life handed me a "simple twist of fate" as Dylan might say and I found out what it was like to be one of the working poor.

As someone who is now left leaning, I am outraged at the social injustice in this country, at how the healthcare system is a mess, at how black people are STILL treated like garbage (trust me on this one white people), and at how the neo-con "revolution" has ruined a once great nation.

I don't think I want to go back to my "who me worry?" conservative attitude.

I feel ya, I've been there too. I was raised conservative and grew up finding I leaned more to the left. After having children I REALLY became awakened to the social injustice of our planet, I guess that was the drive that engaged me to become an activist for the democratic party.

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deathdawg (7/13/2008)
pencilpusher (7/13/2008)
Well, if it cites a reason for being unhappy because you are unable to frame in inequality in a positive light, I can deal with that.

I have no issues with people who have much and succeed in life through hard work, but I do have empathy for people who try and try but just don't get breaks.

Some people here will simply call the wealthy " hard workers" and the poor " deadbeats" and that is FAR from reality in many cases. I know Poor people who work very hard every day and rich deadbeats.

That false reality makes them happy? they must enjoy having their head in the sand and ignoring the REAL world around them.

That is pretty much what I am saying. Many seem to blame lack of status in life with being a deadbeat and success with being a hard worker.

Tho being a deadbeat CAN make you poor and hard work CAN make you a success, neither is true in all cases. Yet to some, reality is you are either a deadbeat who fails or a hard worker who succeeds.And that simpleminded thinking leads to the ignorance that Bliss seems to follow.

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WTA (7/14/2008)
You don't need glasses to see that the majority of the bitchers and whiners in this country (and on this forum) are liberals... It's very easy to assume that conservatives are happier...

And if you read the article you would see why. The problem is when someone speaks out for injustice, conservatives yell WHINER, meanwhile conservatives choose to ignore it and go back to their name calling and self centered world. I'm starting to think their favorite word is a type of plastic sandals... flip flops.

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Conservatives also have a long history of denying the truth, exaggerating, and telling people what they want to hear in order to satisfy their own agenda.  So it stands to reason that the conservatives answering this poll denied the fact that they are miserable, exaggerated with their responses, and pretended to be happy in order to make others believe they are not living a miserable existence.

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Are conservatives rationalizing or realistic.

The world will never be perfect. Life will never be perfectly fair, and it is beyond our ability to make it so. All the attempts in the past to make it so (communism, socialism) have been failures that often made life worse instead of better.

You only get so many years on this earth. If you spend that time worring, complaining, or just plain feeling sorry for yourself because life isn't fair you'll end up wasting your life.

Live your life. Enjoy it and do what you can with the cards you've been dealt.

I don't see that as rationlizing. I see it as being realistic.

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snake (7/14/2008)
You can just watch the news and learn this same thing. Most liberals on TV are angry, don't smile and are full of Doom and gloom. My liberal friends tend to think the sky is falling and in general don't laugh as much. This is some, not all. I have grumpy conservatives too. But as more of an individual thinker/group, conservatives tend to think the best of our country and our time here on Earth. Just my opinon and seemingly backed up by this report.

I'm **** near convinced that you're just a jewish performance artist, ****-bent on saying whatever is the opposite of reality and reason.

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mbrizzle (7/14/2008)
snake (7/14/2008)
You can just watch the news and learn this same thing. Most liberals on TV are angry, don't smile and are full of Doom and gloom. My liberal friends tend to think the sky is falling and in general don't laugh as much. This is some, not all. I have grumpy conservatives too. But as more of an individual thinker/group, conservatives tend to think the best of our country and our time here on Earth. Just my opinon and seemingly backed up by this report.

I'm **** near convinced that you're just a jewish performance artist, ****-bent on saying whatever is the opposite of reality and reason.

LMAO

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