r/science Oct 16 '21 Hugz 1

Scientists uncover a psychological factor that explains support for QAnon better than political ideology: ‘Especially with the ascendance of Trump, we witnessed a blending of left-right political concerns with antagonistic orientations toward the political establishment’ Social Science

https://www.psypost.org/2021/10/scientists-uncover-a-psychological-factor-that-explains-support-for-qanon-better-than-political-ideology-61971

[deleted]

375 Upvotes

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22

u/sensuability Oct 17 '21

Dunno, I’m a blend of left and right, pretty anti establishment. Not sure it’s a basis to suspend all critical thinking on. Even facts can be presented with bias. Most these peoples facts aren’t factual.

37

u/abort_abort Oct 17 '21

Same, I always saw Trump as the epitome of the establishment. For fucks sake, his biggest legislative accomplishment was a massive tax cut for the wealthy and corporations. But sure, go on about how he was draining the swamp or whatever.

13

u/Grumpy_Puppy Oct 17 '21

That's discussed by the study:

It may not be the case that populism is new in the United States; it may instead be the case that in recent years, more politicians are willing to use populist anti-system rhetoric to build coalitions by activating a set of opinions that are already there waiting to be activated.

Right wing populism has been extant for over 40 years. Remember Reagan's famous quite about the scariest words being "I'm from the government and I'm here to help"?

I always saw Trump as the epitome of the establishment.

That's because you view Trump from a left wing position (and, I would argue, a position of reality). From a right-wing populist position, though, Trump is an "outsider" because the right wing populist divide isn't between "The People" and "The Elites" but between "Real America" and "Fake America".

4

u/FuckILoveBoobsThough Oct 17 '21

"Real America' and "Fake America"

I.e. "White Christian America" and "the rest of America"

7

u/sensuability Oct 17 '21

Connecting the swamp with a cesspit.

2

u/Drop_ Oct 17 '21

He was draining the swamp into the middle class.

5

u/HumanistRuth Oct 17 '21

Even facts can be presented with bias.

This is what I think every time an individual criminal act monopolizes most of the news, for weeks, while the wildfires and climate destabilization and takeover of the positions needed to guarantee fair elections are ignored as not newsworthy.

3

u/Yozhik_DeMinimus Oct 17 '21

Yes, the basic posture that the establishment is not acting in the populace's best interests (e.g. via overspending on the military and engaging in optional wars), and the posture that both fully left and fully right views are not conductive to best outcomes are entirely rational. There is no need for people holding this view to embrace conspiracy theories, and certainly no need to support a sociopathic miscreant for president.

114

u/evident_lee Oct 16 '21

Pretty bizarre to be anti authoritarian, while worshipping a authoritarian member of the 1%

16

u/vgf89 Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 17 '21

Here's my hypothesis.

They see him as an outsider willing and able to take down the establishment. Nevermind that he didn't manage to actually do any of that, and that he was never all that specific about who would be taken down by "draining the swamp" (hint: swamp is just a word choice designed for the base project their views onto to drum up a sense of fighting the system), but they ate it up anyways. They like the message and believe that any and all action is a forwarding of that message, even if the action is basically in direct opposition of the message they believe they're supporting.

This is how you build a support base from closet conspiracy theorists. Everyone believes in some conspiracy (or many) that don't line up with the most accepted explanation or official story (JFK assassination, 9/11, moon landing, general anti-oligarchy or banking system beliefs that get twisted into antisemitism, etc), and creating a strong but vague political message allows projection of those beliefs onto a populist candidate. The candidate can tap into and fan the flames of that distrust and twist it into a belief in the candidate's nonexistent grand plan.

EDIT: added more specificity to the "anti-oligarchy" point

1

u/brereddit Oct 17 '21

Anti oligarchy is a more succinct and on point summary. You added all the other stuff due to bias.

30

u/d_e_l_u_x_e Oct 17 '21

If it made too much sense then they wouldn’t be in to Trump.

1

u/brereddit Oct 17 '21

Ever heard Biden recently?

22

u/Deenyc43 Oct 17 '21

These weak minded people are drawn to religion, drawn to conspiracy theories and groups like Qanon, drawn to tyrants. Because weak minded people have a very strong desire to be ruled and be part of something, anything to make them feel important.

4

u/YYCDavid Oct 17 '21

I believe another common thread among these people is a personal history where they were betrayed or abandoned…. (town shut down due to offshoring, sexual violence, exposure to addictions, etc).

I think that Trump-style rallying and media manipulation directs their pain/shame/anger toward a generic “foreign” target. This provides them an alternate outlet without having to directly address their own issues.

And then some supporters are the richer ones, who simply know they can make a buck by feeding the chaos. These are the cockroaches that feed on decay.

1

u/4derp Oct 17 '21

You just described every single political faction/tribe. Happy to form a mob so long as their clown is the one wearing the boot.

1

u/Miserly_Bastard Oct 17 '21

It's true. I've known self-avowed anarchists that support the existence of an institution that would enforce anarchy.

1

u/naasking Oct 18 '21

Pretty bizarre to be anti authoritarian, while worshipping a authoritarian member of the 1%

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend". The existing authoritarian elites they hate all hate Trump, so Trump is a candidate of convenience.

-3

u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 17 '21

[removed]

12

u/PaxDramaticus Oct 17 '21

I dunno, I have a QAnon family member who routinely posts "America's greatest President" or "Who else will share this photo of our classiest first lady?"-type Trump memes. The person seems to just genuinely like having Trump (or Melania) on his Facebook feed, even when the memes are devoid of policy or news-related content.

Most Biden supporters I know support Biden and want to see his policy agenda enacted, but we don't like, sit around and look at pictures of him.

-24

u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

[deleted]

18

u/PaxDramaticus Oct 17 '21

That's a lot of aggression coming out of no where, dude. Maybe you should have a sit down and think about that.

-22

u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

[deleted]

10

u/DuMaNue Oct 17 '21

Non american with trump supporting friends. Must be russian then.

0

u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

[deleted]

1

u/ThisIsFuz Oct 18 '21

Absolutely zero aggression

22

u/yourdelusionalsunset Oct 16 '21

I love the woman in the background appears too be doing a nazi salute and no one appears to be paying attention.

12

u/Bergeroned Oct 17 '21

What am I supposed to do with this part here:

For example, agreement with statements such as “Satanic sex traffickers control the government” (QAnon) and “There is a conspiracy to stop the U.S. Post Office from processing mail-in ballots” (election fraud) were weakly related to political ideology, but strongly related to having an anti-establishment orientation.

Allow me to move out of the house there in the first part and ask about the second. There seems to be an objective truth here, which is that there was a mail slowdown, it was noted and documented in weeks before the election, and it's actually in the news again right now.

So where does that leave this study? It's measuring three factors: conspiracism, populism, and Manichaeanism. What about the fact that the statement is true and an ordinary person of any sort could have known that by reading the news?

I don't understand how the study deals with that apparent problem.

19

u/PsilocybinGorilla Oct 16 '21

Anti establishment thinking is associated with Qanon?

Wow, revolutionary opinion piece. Who would've thought.

Is anyone surprised by that? Anyone with a head on their shoulders isn't surprised that this type of thinking and populism in general is on the rise. It correlates directly with our rising wealth inequality, rampant corruption and constant propaganda attempting to disguise it. it's a manifestation of a larger problem, a problem that 'Q believers' have actually managed to identify correctly: massive corruption is unchecked. Albeit adding a bunch of other absurd theories onto that.

I feel like the Only people who were shocked by Qanon and the current climate are Wealthy socially detached folks.

10

u/dukss Oct 16 '21

>The authors of the new studies feared that research on polarization and partisan tribalism was too focused on a left vs. right framework.

most people see Qanon as a right wing thing.

10

u/EK92409 Oct 17 '21

But there have been lots of people that voted for Obama and also voted for Trump. Also, lots of people that never voted or don’t usually vote decided to vote in 2020. Also, many many people that attended the January 6th riot ordinarily describe themselves as not political, many never vote(ed), but yet they consider themselves total patriots and everyone else that disagrees is a traitor.

2

u/Grumpy_Puppy Oct 17 '21

The belief that the “one percent” controls the economy for their own good was positively associated with having a liberal political ideology, while the belief that a “deep state” is embedded within the government was positively associated with having a conservative political ideology. But anti-establishment sentiments were more strongly associated with endorsing these beliefs than political ideology.

The study agrees with you that Qanon is a right wing. The point is being right wing doesn't automatically make someone a Qanoner, instead people appear to be conspiracy minded first, and then get funneled into a conspiracy based on their ideology.

34

u/Grumpy_Puppy Oct 16 '21

Every time a study like this is done people like you crawl out of the woodwork to criticize it for verifying something that "everyone knows". It doesn't make you look smart or insightful, it makes you look ignorant and whiny.

4

u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

He's right though, this study is pretty weak. Nothing here is particularly new or interesting.

5

u/Grumpy_Puppy Oct 17 '21

They're not right, and neither are you. It's extremely important to do the "boring" work of confirming things that "everyone knows" because sometimes you show those things aren't true.

Novelty bias is not a good thing for the health of sociology studies.

-2

u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

They are mostly scavengers. The fact is redditors are just pretentious.

-4

u/wolfsbane67 Oct 17 '21

Why is it that the q anon people were wrong about the covid origin, but the dems are right?

4

u/dr_set Oct 17 '21

Wow, that is the most convoluted way I have ever seen of saying "they are dumb as rocks".

1

u/bubbybyrd Oct 17 '21

It shouldn't really surprise anyone that if current political parties don't care about a certain group of people, that they will form their own representing group instead (with limited policing).

Ban Trump and certain ideologies from Twitter, suddenly Parlor starts to gain traction.

4

u/[deleted] Oct 16 '21

[removed]

1

u/modembutterfly Oct 16 '21

And here I was, thinking it was a simple need to manufacture self-importance.

-1

u/SirToxalot Oct 16 '21

seems like a study that concludes the obvious that was already in plain view.

-1

u/Maldevinine Oct 16 '21

Somebody that actually looked at United States politics as something other than a two party system? What madness is this?

1

u/j6vin Oct 17 '21

Q Annon was a cia psyop blamed on russia with some truth mixed in it. Then it was geared to grab the attention of rightwing/ trumpers so that if anyone brings up anything shady about political figures or celebrities they can just easily be writtin off as a trumper or conspiracy theorist. Just one example of many times the red vs blue game has been successfully weaponized on the people

1

u/radgie_gadgie_1954 Oct 17 '21

So QAnonery is now called a Mental illness ??

-4

u/Nimzomitch Oct 17 '21

I'm not a q follower, but in a time when we all have been lied to about so many things, from so many angles, is it any wonder many people don't know what to believe?

-2

u/Mortignis Oct 17 '21

facebook in my reddit

-1

u/MiddleKid-N Oct 17 '21

Hmmm. I wonder how science will explain the group thinking and vitriol of liberals who think the unvaccinated deserve death.

0

u/Internal_Bill Oct 17 '21

This is not a science post it belongs somewhere else