PART XIII: The Libertarian Mind

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There is a new study on the libertarian mind that is bound to make a few losertarians very very angry. The Pink Flamingo has been saying for ages that they have no morality.  They don’t care what they do to achieve their goals.  It appears The Pink Flamingo is right!

The study is explosive.  Losertarians are not going to be very happy with the study.  It exposes them as the miserable, self-serving, jerks that we all know that we are.

Understanding Libertarian Morality

Did you know that libertarians score lower than liberals and conservatives on sensitivity to disgust?

“…Libertarians are an increasingly vocal ideological group in U.S. politics, yet they are understudied compared to liberals and conservatives. Much of what is known about libertarians is based on the writing of libertarian intellectuals and political leaders, rather than surveying libertarians in the general population. Across three studies, 15 measures, and a large web-based sample (N = 152,239), we sought to understand the morality of self-described libertarians. Based on an intuitionist view of moral judgment, we focused on the underlying affective and cognitive dispositions that accompany this unique worldview. We found that, compared to liberals and conservatives, libertarians show 1) stronger endorsement of individual liberty as their foremost guiding principle and correspondingly weaker endorsement of other moral principles, 2) a relatively cerebral as opposed to emotional intellectual style, and 3) lower interdependence and social relatedness. Our findings add to a growing recognition of the role of psychological predispositions in the organization of political attitudes….”

Understanding Libertarian Morality - p. 16
A Political & Moral Psychology Blog

There is a new study that explains why Libertarians don’t give a rip about lying about what they do.

“…Next the researchers wondered, “Might libertarians generally be dispositionally more rational and less emotional?” On the standard inventory of personality, libertarians scored lower than conservatives and liberals on agreeableness, conscientiousness, and extraversion. Low scores on agreeableness indicate a lack of compassion and a proud, competitive, and skeptical nature. Like conservatives, libertarians are not generally neurotic, tending to be emotionally hardy. And like liberals, libertarians scored high on openness to new experiences, indicating that they have broad interests.

Understanding Libertarian Morality - p. 27

Libertarians scored lower than both liberals and (especially) conservatives on sensitivity to disgust. The authors suggest this tendency “could help explain why they disagree with conservatives on so many social issues, particularly those related to sexuality. Libertarians may not experience the flash of revulsion that drives moral condemnation in many cases of victimless offenses.”

Understanding Libertarian Morality - p. 20

Some of the more intriguing results involve the empathizer/systemizer scale. Empathizers identify with another person’s emotions, whereas systemizers are driven to understand the underlying rules that govern behavior in nature and society. Libertarians, unlike both liberals and conservatives, scored very high on systemizing. The authors note, “We might say that liberals have the most ‘feminine’ cognitive style, and libertarians the most ‘masculine.’ ”

The researchers also found that libertarians tend to be less flummoxed by various moral dilemmas, such as the famous “trolley problem.” In the trolley problem, five workmen will be killed by a runaway trolley unless you move a track switch which will divert the train but kill one workman—or, in another version, push a fat man off a bridge stopping the trolley. Typically, most people will choose to move the switch, but refuse to push the fat man. Why the difference? The utilitarian moral calculus is the same—save five by killing one. According to the researchers, libertarians are more likely to resolve moral dilemmas by applying this utilitarian calculus.

Taking various measures into account, the researchers report that libertarians “score high on individualism, low on collectivism, and low on all other traits that involved bonding with, loving, or feeling a sense of common identity with others.” Haidt and his fellow researchers suggest that people who are dispositionally low on disgust sensitivity and high on openness to experience will be drawn to classically liberal philosophers who argue for the superordinate value of individual liberty. But also being highly individualistic and low on empathy, they feel little attraction to modern liberals’ emphasis on altruism and coercive social welfare policies. Haidt and his colleagues then speculate that an intellectual feedback loop develops in which such people will find more and more of the libertarian narrative agreeable and begin identifying themselves as libertarian. From Haidt’s social intuitionist perspective, “this process is no different from the psychological comfort that liberals attain in moralizing their empathic responses or that social conservatives attain in moralizing their connection to their groups.”…”

Understanding Libertarian Morality - p. 6
Understanding Libertarian Morality - p. 13
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