One account of what political elections are for

From David Brooks's new blog:

What do you do after your party wins an election? In a forthcoming study for the journal Computers in Human Behavior, Patrick Markey and Charlotte Markey compared Internet searches in red and blue states after the 2006 and 2010 elections. They found that the number of searchers for pornography was much higher right after the 2010 election (a big G.O.P. year) than after 2006 (a big Democratic year). Conversely, people in blue states searched for porn at much higher rates after 2006 than after 2010. One explanation is this: After winning a vicarious status competition, people (predominantly men, I guess) tend to seek out pornography.

And David's new book is here.

Comments

Maybe losing dampens the libido, so the winners searched as much as they would any other day, and the losers searched less than normal. Did they compare to searches at times not near elections?

What color state the searcher is in seems like a poor proxy for political opinion of the searcher (even the "safely one party" states are usually something like 60/40 one way or the other), possibly even worse than the mere fact that they are searching for porn at all. So it is difficult to interpret this result without more data on the personal characteristics of the searchers.

I think there's something to be said for Ian N's theory also. Aren't there studies of testosterone levels after team sports games which tend to show that the winning team, and even their fans, have higher postgame testosterone than the losers, even when no such difference existed pregame (so the testosterone level can't be driving the outcome of the game)?

Also, steve's comment about drowning your sorrows makes me curious about alcohol consumption patterns in the same circumstances. Alcohol can be used either to celebrate *or* to drown your sorrows, but the type and amount consumed may be different. Also, while alcohol use is not quite universal, it's a good deal closer than Internet porn use.

Brooks must be telling us something about his Internet searches after last falls democratic shellacking

The internet caused pornography to change from the malt liquor of sex to the crack-its now faster easier and more intense. It remains nonproductive and addictive.

Like most drugs, usage is driven by boredom and/or despair.

"You drink when you're happy to celebrate;
you drink when you're sad to drown your sorrows;
and you drink when nothing's happening to make something happen."
-Burroughs (I think?)

I find it hard to consider Obama voters in 2008 winners, poor fools.

"high quality porn videos.."

Wow, what an oxymoron.

compared Internet searches in red and blue states after the 2006 and 2010 elections. They found that the number of searchers for pornography was much higher right after the 2010 election (a big G.O.P. year) than after 2006 (a big Democratic year). Conversely, pe

I find it hard to consider Obama voters in 2008 winners. Me too

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