The Curious Case of Conservative Happiness – The American Spectator | USA News and PoliticsThe American Spectator | USA News and Politics


In most contexts, if I told you that variable X increased psychological health, the natural response would be “tell me more about the positive possibilities of variable X.” For example, if I said to you that five decades of research shows that reducing computer/phone screen time makes people happier, it would be quite natural to respond: “I wonder how we can reduce screen time without causing any other harms.”

Thus, it is curious that, after almost five decades of research showing that conservatism is associated with psychological health, scientists aren’t vigorously pursuing the potentially positive lessons we can learn from conservatism to improve mental happiness in this country. Instead, the oft-observed finding that American conservatives are happier than liberals has long been a source of consternation in my (overwhelmingly liberal) field of social psychology. Rather than wanting to maximize any psychological wisdom of conservative philosophy, psychologists have largely set about to either explain away or (failing that) reframe these findings to minimize a positive interpretation of all things conservative. It would be analogous to researchers reacting to the news that reducing phone usage is good for people by casting those happy phone-avoiders as bullies (how dare they?) who have conspired to keep others unhappy by pushing the wrong kind of screen time on them. 

 » Read More

You might also like