Do conservatives believe in a dangerous world?

One recent study says no:

Decades of research suggest a correlation between belief in a dangerous world and political conservatism. However, research relied on a scale that may overemphasize certain types of dangers. Furthermore, few other world beliefs have been investigated, such that fundamental worldview differences between liberals and conservatives remain largely unknown. A preregistered study of nine samples (N = 5,461; mostly US Americans) found a negligible association between a newly improved measure of generalized dangerous world belief and conservatism, and that the original scale emphasized certain dangers more salient to conservatives (e.g., societal decline) over others most salient for liberals (e.g., injustice). Across many measures of political attitudes, other world beliefs—such as beliefs that the world is Hierarchical, Intentional, Just, and Worth Exploring—each explained several times more variance than dangerous world belief. This suggests the relevance of dangerous world belief to political attitudes has been overstated, and examining other world beliefs may yield insights.

That is from Jeremy D.W. Clinton and Nicholas Kerry.  I do not think you should over-index on these new results.  But in general you should start seeing this literature as increasingly dubious.


Comments for this post are closed