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Concept: Conservatism


The present research investigates the associations between holding favorable views of potential Democratic or Republican candidates for the US presidency 2016 and seeing profoundness in bullshit statements. In this contribution, bullshit is used as a technical term which is defined as communicative expression that lacks content, logic, or truth from the perspective of natural science. We used the Bullshit Receptivity scale (BSR) to measure seeing profoundness in bullshit statements. The BSR scale contains statements that have a correct syntactic structure and seem to be sound and meaningful on first reading but are actually vacuous. Participants (N = 196; obtained via Amazon Mechanical Turk) rated the profoundness of bullshit statements (using the BSR) and provided favorability ratings of three Democratic (Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, and Bernie Sanders) and three Republican candidates for US president (Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump). Participants also completed a measure of political liberalism/conservatism. Results revealed that favorable views of all three Republican candidates were positively related to judging bullshit statements as profound. The smallest correlation was found for Donald Trump. Although we observe a positive association between bullshit and support for the three Democrat candidates, this relationship is both substantively small and statistically insignificant. The general measure of political liberalism/conservatism was also related to judging bullshit statements as profound in that individuals who were more politically conservative had a higher tendency to see profoundness in bullshit statements. Of note, these results were not due to a general tendency among conservatives to see profoundness in everything: Favorable views of Republican candidates and conservatism were not significantly related to profoundness ratings of mundane statements. In contrast, this was the case for Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley. Overall, small-to-medium sized correlations were found, indicating that far from all conservatives see profoundness in bullshit statements.

Concepts: President of the United States, Conservatism, Democratic Party, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Liberalism, Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton


Embodied cognition research has shown how actions or body positions may affect cognitive processes, such as autobiographical memory retrieval or judgments. The present study examined the role of body balance (to the left or the right) in participants on their attributions to political parties. Participants thought they stood upright on a Wii(™) Balance Board, while they were actually slightly tilted to the left or the right. Participants then ascribed fairly general political statements to one of 10 political parties that are represented in the Dutch House of Representatives. Results showed a significant interaction of congruent leaning direction with left- or right-wing party attribution. When the same analyses were performed with the political parties being divided into affiliations to the right, center, and left based on participants' personal opinions rather than a ruling classification, no effects were found. The study provides evidence that conceptual metaphors are activated by manipulating body balance implicitly. Moreover, people’s judgments may be colored by seemingly trivial circumstances such as standing slightly out of balance.

Concepts: Left-wing politics, Cognition, Right-wing politics, Conservatism, Political spectrum, Wii Balance Board, Political party, Ideology


We present a case with outspoken spontaneous vestibular schwannoma shrinkage and review the related literature. The patient was initially diagnosed with a left-sided, intrameatal vestibular schwannoma, which subsequently grew into the cerebello-pontine angle (CPA), followed by total shrinkage of the CPA component without any intervention over a 12-year observation period. The literature on spontaneous tumor shrinkage was retrieved by searching the subject terms “vestibular schwannoma, conservative management” in PubMed/MEDLINE database, without a time limit. Of the published data, the articles on “shrinkage” or “negative growth” or “regression” or “involution” of the tumor were selected, and the contents on the rate, extent and mechanism of spontaneous tumor shrinkage were extracted and reviewed. The reported rate of spontaneous shrinkage of vestibular schwannoma is 5-10% of patients managed conservatively. Extreme shrinkage of the tumor may occur spontaneously.

Concepts: Time, Patient, Subject, Real number, Conservatism, Schwannoma, Limit superior and limit inferior, Spontaneous human combustion


Positivity towards meat consumption remains strong, despite evidence of negative environmental and ethical outcomes. Although awareness of these repercussions is rising, there is still public resistance to removing meat from our diets. One potential method to alleviate these effects is to produce in vitro meat: meat grown in a laboratory that does not carry the same environmental or ethical concerns. However, there is limited research examining public attitudes towards in vitro meat, thus we know little about the capacity for it be accepted by consumers. This study aimed to examine perceptions of in vitro meat and identify potential barriers that might prevent engagement. Through conducting an online survey with US participants, we identified that although most respondents were willing to try in vitro meat, only one third were definitely or probably willing to eat in vitro meat regularly or as a replacement for farmed meat. Men were more receptive to it than women, as were politically liberal respondents compared with conservative ones. Vegetarians and vegans were more likely to perceive benefits compared to farmed meat, but they were less likely to want to try it than meat eaters. The main concerns were an anticipated high price, limited taste and appeal and a concern that the product was unnatural. It is concluded that people in the USA are likely to try in vitro meat, but few believed that it would replace farmed meat in their diet.

Concepts: United States, Meat, Conservatism, Vegetarianism, Veganism, Liberalism, Liberal democracy, In vitro meat


We investigated the moral stereotypes political liberals and conservatives have of themselves and each other. In reality, liberals endorse the individual-focused moral concerns of compassion and fairness more than conservatives do, and conservatives endorse the group-focused moral concerns of ingroup loyalty, respect for authorities and traditions, and physical/spiritual purity more than liberals do. 2,212 U.S. participants filled out the Moral Foundations Questionnaire with their own answers, or as a typical liberal or conservative would answer. Across the political spectrum, moral stereotypes about “typical” liberals and conservatives correctly reflected the direction of actual differences in foundation endorsement but exaggerated the magnitude of these differences. Contrary to common theories of stereotyping, the moral stereotypes were not simple underestimations of the political outgroup’s morality. Both liberals and conservatives exaggerated the ideological extremity of moral concerns for the ingroup as well as the outgroup. Liberals were least accurate about both groups.

Concepts: Right-wing politics, Social psychology, Political philosophy, Conservatism, Political spectrum, Liberalism, Libertarianism, Positive liberty


People who are more avoidant of pathogens are more politically conservative, as are nations with greater parasite stress. In the current research, we test two prominent hypotheses that have been proposed as explanations for these relationships. The first, which is an intragroup account, holds that these relationships between pathogens and politics are based on motivations to adhere to local norms, which are sometimes shaped by cultural evolution to have pathogen-neutralizing properties. The second, which is an intergroup account, holds that these same relationships are based on motivations to avoid contact with outgroups, who might pose greater infectious disease threats than ingroup members. Results from a study surveying 11,501 participants across 30 nations are more consistent with the intragroup account than with the intergroup account. National parasite stress relates to traditionalism (an aspect of conservatism especially related to adherence to group norms) but not to social dominance orientation (SDO; an aspect of conservatism especially related to endorsements of intergroup barriers and negativity toward ethnic and racial outgroups). Further, individual differences in pathogen-avoidance motives (i.e., disgust sensitivity) relate more strongly to traditionalism than to SDO within the 30 nations.

Concepts: Immune system, Infectious disease, Bacteria, Politics, Ethnic group, Conservatism, Political spectrum, Political party


Many topics that scientists investigate speak to people’s ideological worldviews. We report three studies-including an analysis of large-scale survey data-in which we systematically investigate the ideological antecedents of general faith in science and willingness to support science, as well as of science skepticism of climate change, vaccination, and genetic modification (GM). The main predictors are religiosity and political orientation, morality, and science understanding. Overall, science understanding is associated with vaccine and GM food acceptance, but not climate change acceptance. Importantly, different ideological predictors are related to the acceptance of different scientific findings. Political conservatism best predicts climate change skepticism. Religiosity, alongside moral purity concerns, best predicts vaccination skepticism. GM food skepticism is not fueled by religious or political ideology. Finally, religious conservatives consistently display a low faith in science and an unwillingness to support science. Thus, science acceptance and rejection have different ideological roots, depending on the topic of investigation.

Concepts: Epistemology, Science, Religion, Conservatism, Political party


Evidence from three studies reveals a critical difference in self-control as a function of political ideology. Specifically, greater endorsement of political conservatism (versus liberalism) was associated with greater attention regulation and task persistence. Moreover, this relationship is shown to stem from varying beliefs in freewill; specifically, the association between political ideology and self-control is mediated by differences in the extent to which belief in freewill is endorsed, is independent of task performance or motivation, and is reversed when freewill is perceived to impede (rather than enhance) self-control. Collectively, these findings offer insight into the self-control consequences of political ideology by detailing conditions under which conservatives and liberals are better suited to engage in self-control and outlining the role of freewill beliefs in determining these conditions.

Concepts: Conservatism, Political spectrum, Liberalism, Classical liberalism


Henrich, Heine, and Norenzayan summarized cultural differences in psychology and argued that people from one particular culture are outliers: people from societies that are Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD). This study shows that liberals think WEIRDer than conservatives. In five studies with more than 5,000 participants, we found that liberals think more analytically (an element of WEIRD thought) than moderates and conservatives. Study 3 replicates this finding in the very different political culture of China, although it held only for people in more modernized urban centers. These results suggest that liberals and conservatives in the same country think as if they were from different cultures. Studies 4 to 5 show that briefly training people to think analytically causes them to form more liberal opinions, whereas training them to think holistically causes shifts to more conservative opinions.

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Culture, Anthropology, Cultural studies, Conservatism, Liberalism, Classical liberalism


The use of statistical process control (SPC) charts in healthcare is increasing. The general advice when plotting SPC charts is to begin by selecting the right chart. This advice, in the case of attribute data, may be limiting our insights into the underlying process and consequently be potentially misleading. Given the general lack of awareness that additional insights may be obtained by using more than one SPC chart, there is a need to review this issue and make some recommendations. Under purely common cause variation the control limits on the xmr-chart and traditional attribute charts (eg, p-chart, c-chart, u-chart) will be in close agreement, indicating that the observed variation (xmr-chart) is consistent with the underlying Binomial model (p-chart) or Poisson model (c-chart, u-chart). However, when there is a material difference between the limits from the xmr-chart and the attribute chart then this also constitutes a signal of an underlying systematic special cause of variation. We use one simulation and two case studies to demonstrate these ideas and show the utility of plotting the SPC chart for attribute data alongside an xmr-chart. We conclude that the combined use of attribute charts and xmr-charts, which requires little additional effort, is a useful strategy because it is less likely to mislead us and more likely to give us the insight to do the right thing.

Concepts: Scientific method, Control theory, Process control, Control system, Control engineering, Conservatism, Control chart, Statistical process control