Individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners, and new research pinpoints the reason: Conservatives rationalize social and economic inequalities.Are conservatives the kind of heartless/head-in-the-sand people who rationalize away troublesome truths? Or do people become conservative to gain the benefits of the rationalizing escape from troublesome truths?
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.Face it. Conservatives are assholes. Science says! And don't start rationalizing away what science says, you asshole.
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."
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. In that way, one's social class attainment, whether upper, middle or lower, would be perceived as totally fair and justified.They especially lack the rationalization powers that would allow them to frame conservatives as anything but assholes. These liberals must starkly confront the brutal reality that conservatives are too heartless, stupid, greedy, or cowardly to perceive. At least that's the way the liberals like to frame it.
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 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."
ADDED: Don Surber says factor in age: If older people are happier and older people are more conservative, the pattern is explained. But maybe older people are happier and more conservative because they're prone to rationalize. Those bastards!