r/science Oct 16 '21 Hugz 1

Scientists uncover a psychological factor that explains support for QAnon better than political ideology Psychology

https://www.psypost.org/2021/10/scientists-uncover-a-psychological-factor-that-explains-support-for-qanon-better-than-political-ideology-61971?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
824 Upvotes

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u/DragonSided-D Oct 16 '21

I hate clickbait:

The findings indicate anti-establishment viewpoints have played a key role in some beliefs that came to prominence during the Trump era, such as the QAnon movement.

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u/RennyNanaya Oct 17 '21

You mean to tell me people who scream about big government and Shadowy cabals would fall head over heels for a guy claiming to intend to swing wide the curtain and a mysterious inside man claiming to reveal all the dirty secrets and bring them to justice?

Color me completely surprised.

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u/TrumpetOfDeath Oct 17 '21

This is also what makes Trump such a powerful political figure, because he can turn out a voter base that normally doesn’t vote due to a lack of trust in government leading to apathy

-31

u/nyrothia Oct 17 '21

well it's either corruption or incompetence. regardless it's time to change the guys in suits for a generation that still has to fear the consequences of their decisions. those greasemongers are getting old and are wealthy enough.

think of qtards and "drain-the-swamp"idiots what you want, but the core of it was valid.

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u/Dumrauf28 Oct 17 '21

Yes, the people who grifted stupid people used basically the same schtick as the Joker movie.

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u/insaneintheblain Oct 17 '21

That’s their great psychological finding?

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u/random-outcomes Graduate Student | Social Work Oct 17 '21

You talk as if it's being nominated for a prize. All research (done properly) is good, even if it confirms our biases.

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u/insaneintheblain Oct 17 '21

There has already been a great deal of real work undertaken to understand the psychology of the crown in relation to that of the individual.

If these “researchers” have only come to this limited conclusion, then they aren’t very effective researchers.

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u/ruggnuget Oct 17 '21

Being an effective researcher is often more about ruling things out than finding definitive new things. Any research done competently adds to the overall knowledge base, even if it is just a confirmation of something we already know.

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u/insaneintheblain Oct 17 '21

It only adds if they do their research properly. Here they are obfuscating, by publishing their “discovery”.

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u/ruggnuget Oct 17 '21

hence why I said 'done competently'. The issue here isnt the research, its the clickbait article using the research

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u/ericbyo Oct 17 '21

Yes the random redditor is obviously waaay smarter than actual researchers.

You may be more similar to the people in question than you think.

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u/insaneintheblain Oct 17 '21

Logic doesn’t seem to be your strong suit.

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u/ericbyo Oct 17 '21

Really? "facts and logic"? you even sound like the average Qanon too.

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u/insaneintheblain Oct 17 '21

Again with the logic.

Hmm.

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u/random-outcomes Graduate Student | Social Work Oct 17 '21

Research isn't always about new findings either. Especially in relation to sociology it's good to reconfirm things every now and then to see if psychology/social psychology/sociology is undergoing any changes.

Additionally replicability has been somewhat of an issue for psychology so reproducing work with the same methodology/outcome is very welcome imo.

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u/Not_a_jmod Oct 17 '21

Additionally replicability has been somewhat of an issue for psychology

I'm really starting to hate it when I see people claim this, because despite it being true it's always psychology or another social science being referenced, when the replicability crisis is very much relevant in several harder sciences as well. Especially medicine, which blows all other sciences out of the water in terms of a lack of replicability, according to even the most basic research.

So please stop singling out a single social science as if the issue is with that field in particular. It isn't.

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u/random-outcomes Graduate Student | Social Work Oct 17 '21
  1. I never said it wasn't an issue for other areas.

  2. This post is about psychology.

  3. I have little to no knowledge of replicability in other fields.

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u/Not_a_jmod Oct 17 '21

I'm not trying to argue with you, I only asked you nicely to keep that in mind in the future. If that's not enough for you, too bad for me.

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u/Skye_Baldwin Oct 17 '21

All research should be replicatable. If a study comes out confirming information that other studies have confirmed, that's a good thing. Esspecially with different subjects, demographics, sources, time frames, or anything really.

It adds to the validity of claims made by other studies.

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u/jrob323 Oct 17 '21

You sound as if you think the opinion of ordinary people is worth more than that of scientists and politicians.

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u/theRIAA Oct 17 '21

You're interpreting the statement too practically.

“Much of our lives are being controlled by plots hatched in secret places” (conspiracism), “The opinion of ordinary people is worth more than that of experts and politicians” (populism), and “Politics is a battle between good and evil” (Manicheanism).

I agree with all of these statements in rare circumstances, such as if the "expert" was a priest, or that "politician" was a fascist nazi.

"Manicheanism" implies I believe in spirits, when I don't have to, to colloquially talk about "good or evil".

And it's just a fact that most all of the wars we've been in, were started with blatant lies.

The issue here is that lame theoretical questions like "Are you happy with politics" are just a trigger-sentence that tell us nothing about the composition of why we agree or disagree with that.

These questions are something that I would colloquially disagree with, only because I understand the implication of encouraging the implied dog-whistle of the sentences. These questions are not timeless, and will change in meaning over time.

The better the right gets at creating obfuscation of definition, the more popular the agreement with these dog-whistle advocations will be... but that does not mean people believe the dog-whistles, just that they agree with the timeless meaning of the sentences.

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u/insaneintheblain Oct 17 '21

Opinions aren’t reality. They are a person’s worldview shaped by their cultural and personal beliefs.

An ordinary person, a politician, a scientist all are delusional while they are unable to differentiate belief (polarised opinion) from reality.

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u/jrob323 Oct 17 '21

That was kind of a joke. It's a quote from the article, defining populism.

But it does seem to describe you.

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u/nmarshall23 Oct 17 '21

Interesting that conservatives have sold themselves as being a very establishment.

This does fit the narrative that I've been told. "That Republicans protect the little guy from big government".

That falls apart when often on the state level Republicans are in charge, and the state level government is obviously corrupt.

Then the goal posts move.. and some other excuse is given..

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u/duylinhs Oct 17 '21

If you read the article, the researchers were questioning why most people are a mix of left and right, yet the supporter of Trump is behind him. They theorise that his supporters don’t support him as a “republican”, they see him as the “outsider”. Which is why, they oppose Mike Pence.

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u/hellohello9898 Oct 17 '21

They didn’t oppose Mike Pence until Trump told them to.

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u/Wtfct Oct 17 '21

What does this comment have to do with this thread?

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u/1k9s Oct 17 '21

I think it could come down to the government’s failings, both Dem and Rep (they’re pretty much the same, neoliberal), to address the rural conservative’s desires or requirements, so they just want less government overall, more self/localised government. I don’t even live in the US, or rural, but I don’t think I’d really want a bunch of rich city-living capitalists making decisions for how I could live if I were them.

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u/AViaTronics Oct 17 '21

Most of the scandals in recent history at state levels have been in deep blue states…

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u/nmarshall23 Oct 17 '21

The 2021 Texas power crisis is an example of Republicans using the mechanism of the state to profit off of human misery.

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u/Usher_Digital Oct 17 '21

A republican can easily respond back with just Detroit alone. More deaths and plenty of corruption. How about we just focus on ousting bad politicians?

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u/Usher_Digital Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 17 '21

Ok, simple demographic numbers ruin this argument. First and foremost, conservatives are the minority party compared to the democrats. Second, democrats now control a majority of the U.S. government. Third, Republicans still focus on lower taxes by promoting Regan's business approach to politics (let capitalism decide). Republicans are by definition (even more so after 2020) anti-establishment. The Biden administration is the establishment, and they are against this establishment. I don't agree with Republicans on many things, but I also hate ridiculous arguments that make zero sense when the data is literally right in front of you.

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u/ZenMomColorado Oct 17 '21

I wish they would stop posting anything from psypost. If you spend time on the psypost website it's almost entirely drivel.

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u/naasking Oct 18 '21

If you spend time on the psypost website it's almost entirely drivel.

To be fair, a lot of psychology is drivel. The replication crisis hit it hard for this reason (between 23-48% of studies replicated, depending on journal, and very few replications found significant effects).

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u/SlightlyLessSane Oct 17 '21

Doing the FSM proud.

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u/StandardReflection12 Oct 17 '21

Abstract

Contemporary political ills at the mass behavior level (e.g., outgroup aggression, conspiracy theories) are often attributed to increasing polarization and partisan tribalism. We theorize that many such problems are less the product of left-right orientations than an orthogonal “anti-establishment” dimension of opinion dominated by conspiracy, populist, and Manichean orientations. Using two national surveys from 2019 and 2020, we find that this dimension of opinion is correlated with several antisocial psychological traits, the acceptance of political violence, and time spent on extremist social media platforms. It is also related to support for populist candidates, such as Trump and Sanders, and beliefs in misinformation and conspiracy theories. While many inherently view politics as a conflict between left and right, others see it as a battle between “the people” and a corrupt establishment. Our findings demonstrate an urgent need to expand the traditional conceptualization of mass opinion beyond familiar left-right identities and affective orientations.

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u/heresyforfunnprofit Oct 17 '21

“orthogonal ‘anti-establishment’ dimension of opinion dominated by conspiracy, populist, and Manichean orientations”.

I love this. It’s basically a sciencey way of describing a political compass meme.

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u/N8CCRG Oct 17 '21

Though it's important to note that the orthogonal axis they have identified is a different one than the traditional "Libertarian-Authoritarian" one. If you still wanted to include the L-A axis you would now need a three-dimensional political ideology space instead of just a two-dimensional one.

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u/PulsesTrainer Oct 17 '21

Not if you put authoritarianism (Trump support) at one end, and libertarian values (those who want equal rights for all, ie removal of structural barriers to equality) at the other. It's still a one-dimensional axis. What these authors discovered is that some right-wingers aren't overt authoritarians, and they merely confirmed that all Trump supporters are.

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u/N8CCRG Oct 17 '21

That's a different axis than the "anti-establishment" axis though. One can be full anti-establishment but be on different ends of the L-A axis, for example.

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u/passingconcierge Oct 17 '21

It might be a little more than a meme. Perhaps not a huge amount, but a little. Perhaps actually looking at the measure over the last decade or two might help to make sense of that "orthogonal" dimension.

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u/ottoseesotto Oct 17 '21

How does the author define “anti-establishment”?. Wouldn’t the better contrast be between authoritarian vs libertarian?

Weren’t Germans who wanted to protect Jews in Nazi Germany also considered “anti-establishment”?

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u/PulsesTrainer Oct 17 '21

^ 100% correct. The problem is that people can be lied to and convinced of non-existent "establishments" against which they hurl their bodies... Ghosts of Jedgar like his ad hoc "Deep State" musings to Nixon, which were transmogrified into an actual political term by a carny.

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u/random-outcomes Graduate Student | Social Work Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 17 '21

I would rather see research between disenfranchisement and support for populist candidates than research conceptualizing an extra dimension on affective orientation. Although I believe both to be important.

Also I wouldn't necessarily call trump a populist so much as a nationalist. It's been a while since I've taken political science classes but I thought populist meant against the elites. Trump was very anti minority (immigrants primarily) and anti other countries (China, Mexico/Latin America, EU in terms of military contributions) in campaigning.

I would consider Bernie the populist candidate and Trump the nationalist candidate. But perhaps that's nitpicking and Trump is a nationalist-populist candidate or at the very least people on the right part of the "spectrum" (to use an outdated term) see nationalism as populism

Edit: I was wrong about Trump, it seems political scientists do consider him a populist candidate

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u/Talking-bread Oct 17 '21

The populist elements of Trump's campaign were definitely more related to the drain the swamp rhetoric. But you're right that he definitely combined the two. Bernie 2016 I would definitely term a populist, Bernie 2020 he ran more of a hyper-progressive campaign that didn't rattle as many feathers.

0

u/TheFishSeattle Oct 17 '21

Id rather they just call an egg and egg. They are idiots. Idiots who like to play with conspiracies and make their politics "dramatic", for "fun" purposes. The groundwork for all that is racism. Looking for the "secret" that explains deplorables is a massive waste of time.

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u/luneunion Oct 17 '21

There are significant issues with and stemming from racism. Racism is not the root of every problem or at the root of every conservative unless you dilute the term racism to the point that it no longer means what gives the term it’s awfulness. For example, if you talk about how they are racist because they’ve elected politicians who have enacted legislation that has hurt POC, I would have to point out that those same politicians have enacted legislation that had directly hurt their own (not POC) supporters as well. Would that make them racist against themselves? It’s all racism is a way to demonize others and give oneself an out for not bothering to get past the easy, but wrong, answer. The scientists should absolutely keep digging to try and figure out how to stop the rise of extremism and not just assume it’s all racism.

Further, I’d point out that the issue we’re seeing with the rise of conspiracies and Trump, etc is not limited to American or majority white countries. Racism is only one way to get to “in-group” “out-group” thinking.

Lastly, I’d like to point out that wile the concept of race has ramifications because it has been treated as true, it is in fact not true from a biological/DNA standpoint.

-1

u/tiabnogard Oct 17 '21

I will point out that quote by Hillary about Trump's supporters being deplorables. That is not inaccurate, for the most part.

1

u/PulsesTrainer Oct 17 '21

"Populism" used to mean "ideas that help the general public, and they can recognize them as such." Now it just means "red meat of hatred for the Republican base" since the dumb media in the west characterized a fascist as "populist." The term is over, dead, and cooked; it can be retired. The American public does not know what is in its best interest, because the propaganda against public interests works.

The only meaningful axis which remains in US political discourse is authoritarian vs libertarian.

-12

u/Team_Penske Oct 17 '21

Trunp wasn't anti minority, he was anti, illegal immigration.

3

u/nightsaysni Oct 17 '21

He reduced refugees we took in by 80%. Trump proposed a Muslim ban and only rebranded it when he realized it was unconstitutional as originally stated. Trump supported the RAISE Act which would reduce the number of green cards issued by half. So to say he was just anti-illegal immigration is intentionally misleading.

-4

u/Team_Penske Oct 17 '21

Reducing the amount of immigration is not ANTI IMMIGRATION. The US is no obliged to take in immigration at all if it didn't want too. I always find it hilarious that people say America is a horrible oppressive country YET if allowed Millions would immigrate here every year. We don't have the perspective that the immigrants have now, do we? Not saying we can't be better, but for people that say we are oppressive needs to go live in the countries these immigrants come from just for perspective.

-9

u/Redspades_XIII Oct 17 '21

Ahh yes, the entire article uses doublespeak lexicon

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u/[deleted] Oct 16 '21

This makes sense. It helps explain why previously left-leaning yoga/wellness types have gone down the Q rabbit hole.

69

u/ilikedevo Oct 17 '21

I have lots of yoga friends in this category. A few are even closet Trumpers.

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u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

Me too. That scene will never be the same.

6

u/Zonzille Oct 17 '21

I read it as Closer Trumpets

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u/Sentazar Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 17 '21

There are plenty of ideologies in the yoga/wellness types that prioritize the self above all else. I mean if you can be convinced holding a crystal will heal you you can be convinced that Trump is what's needed.

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u/[deleted] Oct 16 '21 Gold Take My Energy

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u/whyisredditalllibs Oct 17 '21

Your political affiliations are mostly a result of your Big 5 traits. This isn’t new.

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u/StandardReflection12 Oct 17 '21

The appropriateness of "populism" is contextual. At America's inception The Spanish and British Aristocracy where very evidentaly the elite establishment. It's likely ingrained in the American psyche and is part of what made them who they are as a nation today. Non American speaking here.

13

u/GeekFurious Oct 17 '21

Bigotry is the key. If you believe the "others" are the cause of all your problems, you are more likely to buy into wild conspiracies about shadow governments of the "others" making life worse. And even when the person who holds the same social and politics beliefs as you holds power for four years, you convince yourself they were held back from revealing the truth you were promised they would reveal because of the shadow "others" who seem to hold so much power that... how could anyone possibly overcome them? No worries, there is a "savior" around the corner. Or maybe they're the same "savior" who didn't do any of the things you said he would do to reveal evidence of it, yet you still believe in them after four years of just restating your beliefs back to you without any proof despite holding the most powerful position on the planet.

-18

u/ismokeforfun2 Oct 17 '21

You’re an idiot.

4

u/GeekFurious Oct 17 '21

Huge if true. My mom's going to be so disappointed.

5

u/UBredditBro Oct 17 '21

Something tells me polarization and political ideology are still driving these viewpoints, it’s just that the populist rhetoric was spawned as a result of both political ideology and polarization, which manifests differently on both sides.

With both its anti-establishment rhetoric, which is mostly conspiratorial on the right.

4

u/insaneintheblain Oct 17 '21

Today’s Biggest Threat: The Polarised Mind

“We are the great danger. Psyche is the great danger. How important is to know something about it, but we know nothing about it.” - Carl Jung

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u/dudewithahumanhead Oct 17 '21

A crayon stuck up their noses in childhood?

2

u/NotSureBoutDaEcomony Oct 17 '21

No mention of foreign governments (Russia,China,N.Korea, etc..) propaganda exacerbating anger on BOTH sides by using social media platforms. click-bait.

-4

u/Colorful_Harvest Oct 17 '21

The secret ingredient is white supremacy.

-1

u/gertzerlla Oct 17 '21

Cool. Now run the IQ tests.

10

u/goldenbugreaction Oct 17 '21

You would be surprised and distraught at the number of quite intelligent people who have gotten caught up in cults during a very vulnerable time in their lives.

8

u/gertzerlla Oct 17 '21

I would like to be surprised and distraught... at the data.

7

u/99thLuftballon Oct 17 '21

Any of these studies that don't control for IQ are kinda worthless.

0

u/luckymethod Oct 17 '21

Let me guess: being a total a-hole

-5

u/GreyScope Oct 17 '21

Every one of them licks windows and are as stupid as a bag of spanners

1

u/Alaishana Oct 17 '21

Child, you can not even form a simple sentence. You can not call others stupid.

0

u/GreyScope Oct 17 '21

That was a sentence, albeit with UK vernacular but thanks for the attempted patronising put down

-7

u/TargetDroid Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 17 '21

Reddit: “SCIENTISTS DISCOVER DANGEROUS DELUSIONS ASSOCIATED WITH POLITICAL RIGHT CAUSED BY STUPIDITY!!!11one”

Also Reddit: “Scientists Discover Dangerous Delusions Associated With Political Left Actually Not Dangerous, Are Beneficial and Caused By Pure Goodness!!!!”

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u/can-nine Oct 17 '21

Also Reddit: Attempting to meme-critique a study but not bothering to even read the abstract.

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u/umbreon120 Oct 17 '21

Go back to Parlor

1

u/SuborbitalQuail Oct 17 '21

Memetic virus.

It latches onto some of the very worst traits of certain kinds of people and sends them into a death spiral.

-2

u/Danifermch Oct 17 '21

I half expected "sheer idiocy" to be the factor. I'm really disappointed.

1

u/Soft_Kangaroo_2605 Oct 17 '21

Indeed. What does it mean?

-4

u/hiandlois Oct 17 '21

Yet no one questions George W Bush about his connection with the skull and bones with Kerry or his relationship with the bin laden family or going to the Bohemian Grove and stand at the ceremony of Moloch(so cabals are real). That or our motivation to go into Iraq.

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u/Innova2 Oct 17 '21

There are comments that are deleted that have awards attached to them. Why are they deleted? Does this happen to posts in this subreddit consistently? If so why?

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u/KallistiEngel Oct 17 '21

It's a science subreddit first and foremost. Jokes, which often receive awards, get removed. Doesn't matter if it's popular ot well-liked. Same goes for other off-topic comments.

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u/g_man0101 Oct 17 '21

Look into the link between two of the “big five” personality traits. Those being Openness and Conscientiousness. It means that what people believe is tied fairly closely to individuals personalities.

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u/Gilmai Oct 18 '21

“The researchers developed a measure of anti-establishment orientation that was characterized by conspiratorial, populist, and Manichean worldviews. In other words, people who scored high on anti-establishment orientation strongly agreed with statements such as “Much of our lives are being controlled by plots hatched in secret places” (conspiracism), “The opinion of ordinary people is worth more than that of experts and politicians” (populism), and “Politics is a battle between good and evil” (Manicheanism).”

So basically they found that a predilection for conspiracy theories explains why people support this conspiracy theory. Brilliant.

-4

u/Deenyc43 Oct 17 '21

Do we really need more empirical evidence conservatives are hypocrites?

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u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

From the abstract:

We theorize that many such problems are less the product of left-right orientations than an orthogonal “anti-establishment” dimension of opinion dominated by conspiracy, populist, and Manichean orientations.

Get it? They're saying that belief in Qanon has less to do with politics and more to do with anti-establishment sentiment. The fact that conservatives today have more anti-establishment sentiment than liberals might explain why Qanon looked like a right wing conspiracy theory.

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u/Tess47 Oct 17 '21

I would very much like a scale for my own use. A spectrum of support on the red side. Heck, add in the blue too. I think that believing he will be reinstated is the farthest out, maybe. The middle might be that he is assho.e but I like his policies..?

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u/jeffbirt Oct 17 '21

They uncovered stupidity?

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u/donkeyduplex Oct 17 '21

I was hoping it was lead exposure...?

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u/watchmybeer Oct 17 '21

Alternative headline: Scientists discover stupidity.