Sunday Roast: How do conservatives and liberals see the world?

Bill Moyers has a fascinating conversation with social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, in which they talk about the different ways liberals and conservatives see the world.

We’re right, and they’re wrong.  Right?

Bill and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt talk about the psychological underpinnings of our contentious culture, why we can’t trust our own opinions, and the demonizing of our adversaries.

“When it gets so that your opponents are not just people you disagree with, but… the mental state in which I am fighting for good, and you are fighting for evil, it’s very difficult to compromise,” Haidt tells Moyers. “Compromise becomes a dirty word.”

Personally, I think the cons have made “compromise” into a dirty word, but that might qualify as “demonizing.”

You can test your moral foundations here, and take a comprehensive criminal justice survey here.

Watch the whole program, it’s well worth an hour of your time.  In the last ten minutes, Bill delivers a Moyers-style royal smackdown to Newt Gingrich, on his vicious demonization of Saul Alinsky.

This is our daily open thread — Discuss!


92 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: How do conservatives and liberals see the world?

  1. A picture is worth a thousand words. Here was my result graph on the morality quiz. Green=me, blue=liberal, red=conservative. I’m comfortable with my results. 🙂

    3.5 Harm
    4.2 Fairness
    1.3 Loyalty
    2.3 Authority
    0.8 Purity

    • (insomnia is evil) Good thing for you it’s not a school night, young man! ;>

      Now that your progressive/liberalness has been confirmed perhaps you’ll be able to rest easy and get some sleep!

      • Thanks. That and a sleeping tablet seemed to do the trick. (Still should sleep for a couple more hours, but I can nap in a bit.)

    • After taking the Morality quiz, I learned two things.

      One, apparently I took it several years ago and forgot that I had already registered.

      Two, the five areas of morality measured are discussed in the article to which I linked above. Conservatives generally value all five of these areas equally. When they say that we liberals “don’t get it”, that’s the “it” to which they refer – that all five areas are equally important (to them).

      My scores, which just confirm that I am a bad person:

      Harm 3.7 (Killing in defense of yourself or others under your care is acceptable, but not for any other reason)
      Fairness 4.7 (fairness is way more important than Conservatives believe it to be)
      Loyalty 0.7 (I feel it shouldn’t cloud your judgment of right and wrong)
      Authority 2.2 (I did run into problems in the AF because of this)
      Purity 0.2 (Immorality is in the eye of the condemner)

    • <i"What is often not taken into account, is how many “dogs”–wells that don’t produce, or underproduced–there are for each productive well. For instance, in the Barnett Shale, reports of revenue from 2008 – 2010 were $50 mil, down to $19 mil, and back up to $38 mil per year, which merely looks like a healthy recovering from the crash in 2008. What the industry didn’t tell anyone is that there were four times more wells drilled in 2010 than in 2008 to get those results, and each one of those wells cost drillers a lot of money–a lot of unpaid debt."

      My guess is that once again, the taxpayer will be left holding the bag.

    • Can’t get Animal Planet either. No cable. But thanks to our Roku, there are still some 180 episodes of Cheers we’ve not seen, also maybe 40 of Hawaii Five-O that are still waiting for us, and who knows what’s yet to be discovered! No foosball (or any other sports, for that matter) in the archives, though, thank all gods.

    • This tells me that this is scam. These organizations have no interest in finding “a cure” because if a cure is found, then they would be out of a job that pays them millions. I stopped supporting organizations that use the term “cure” as a lure to get money from people.

  2. Morality:
    Harm: 2.5
    Fairness: 4.0
    Loyalty: 1.0
    Authority: 2.3
    Purity: 0.8

    Thus, according to these results, I tend to base “morality” on a sense of what is fair.

    Comprehensive Justice Survey:
    Traditional: 2.7
    Progressive: 5.6

    Thus, according to this, I am less traditional than liberals and conservative, and more progressive than both groups.

    Happy Stupor Bowl, comrades!

  3. Another good website for measuring your political leanings is

    They measure not only your liberal-conservative leanings but also your libertarian-authoritarian leanings. It also plots you score on a grid so you can see how you compare to historical figures.

    For example, I usually score in the -8/-8 range (which means highly liberal and highly libertarian; conservative-authoritarian scores are positive numbers). It turns out that I’m more liberal and libertarian than either Nelson Mandela or Gandhi.

    • Now if only New York State practiced apartheid under British imperial rule, you’d have a really busy schedule for the next 40 years 😀 !

  4. For the digital world I inhabit; it will judge me.

    Harm 4.7
    fairness 5.0
    Loyalty 3.2
    Authority 2.2
    Purity 2.0

  5. Traditional Subscale: 2.4 (less traditional than liberals & conservatives)
    Progressive Subscale: 5.9 (more progressive than liberals & conservatives)

    Harm: 4.3
    Fairness: 4.5
    Loyalty: 0.8
    Authority: 1.2
    Purity: 0.8

  6. Cons really do see things differently…

    Steve Stone, a former Marine and now semi-retired veteran benefits counselor, told me he had made up his mind just last night after seeing Gingrich speak at a local church. “I needed to see that he could seriously handle Obama,” he said. “And he was fantastic, so humble.”

    • What was important to Stone was that Gingrich “could handle” Obama. This is what the wingnuts really care about: their “smart” white guy making the black president look stupid in a debate.

      They don’t even consider what Gingrich would do as president.

      • No, it’s all about winning.

        Then after President Gingrich (**shudder**) is installed, they will proceed to blame Obama for all the shit Newt pours down on them.

        It’s a perfect world! (for them)

      • Sweet!
        Piglets are much cuter alive than as a “football” cover!

        How’s the PT progressing, Outstanding? Ready for spring planting?

        • I’m doing well, though it does involve pain. I’m still not sure I can move the leg fast enough to drive though I can do everything else. I also still need to use the electric cart for long shopping trips, giving me some new insight into how difficult it would be if I was this way forever. I’ve got the tomatoes and peppers started. I would plant even if I had to crawl.

  7. On the criminal justice thing I’m 2.7 on the traditional scale and 5.9 on the progressive scale. Am I likely to be run out of rural Virginia?

  8. Oh heck, the pigs are the cheerleaders, not players. Those pigs could run circles around those puppies.

  9. Trad. subscale: 2.1
    Prog. subscale: 5.6

    Harm: 5.0
    Fairness: 4.3
    Loyalty: 1.2
    Authority: 0.6
    Purity: 0.5

  10. Great news! After Monday Virginians will be able to buy as many handguns as they wish at one time, no longer only one a month. This will enable our straw buyers to get guns in the hands of your state’s criminals much more efficiently.

  11. BUSTED!

    “Karen Handel was the prime instigator of this effort, and she herself personally came up with investigation criteria,” the source, who requested anonymity out of concern that speaking publicly would do irreparable harm to the source’s career, told HuffPost. “She said, ‘If we just say it’s about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.'”

    • Excellent.

      How long will Komen dilly dally around getting rid of Handel? If I were Brinker, she’d have been publicly fired immediately for politicizing the charity.

      I would also avoid all that Botox and plastic surgery, but that’s another discussion. 🙂

    • They were just naive in the face of [the] incredibly sophisticated Planned Parenthood operation.”

      Stunned by the fallout, Komen leadership decided within three days to reverse the Planned Parenthood decision and apologize.

      • Karen is in for one big surprise when they oust her arse!
        According to the article she was still opposed to the reversal.
        She’s obtuse.

  12. Interesting tests. I had a bit of trouble figgering the first half of the morals one out but…
    4.0 Harm
    4.2 Fairness
    1.0 Loyalty
    2.5 Authority
    1.0 Purity


  13. I agree, very interesting, as well how I compared across the board to both liberals and conservatives. Thought provoking.
    Harm 3.5
    Fairness 4.6
    Loyalty 1.0
    Authority 2.8
    Purity 2.5
    Traditional = 3.0
    Progressive = 5.1

      • This gig was intended to set a new bar for technology. I’m amazed at the number of video screens they assembled at field level around the stage.

        Lady Gaga made it necessary to go over the top.

        Oh shit, that’s Clint Eastwood narrating that Detroit commercial.

        • All things considered it was not bad.

          After all, at least it wasn’t Up With People.

          • Srsly? I thought it must be a really expensive parody of an actual half-time show. Maybe the next step is to ban these shows entirely.

        • And with a very interesting message for 2012. If Obama has someone as iconically male as Eastwood pitching his programs, the Right has some problems.

          • Clint originally endorsed Cain. Apparently Clint is now backing Ron Paul, who’s a big auto bailout foe. Awk.ward.

  14. The Giants just received a ‘Bear Bryant Special’. The Patriots scored just before the half and right out of the tunnel starting the second half. That’s supposed to be nearly impossible to overcome. We’ll see.

  15. @EdgeofSports Dave Zirin
    “Kraft family friend, Rush Limbaugh, was caught picking nose in Patriots owner’s box. Clearly searching for cerebrum.”

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