Friday, December 10, 2010

A different outlook indeed.

In high school, my JROTC instructor played a little trick on us.  He stood up at the front of the classroom, and in the midst of lecture, started looking up at the ceiling.  Every few seconds, without stopping what he was doing, he'd look up at the ceiling.  Eventually, most of the class looked up too; there was nothing to be seen.

I somehow doubt Sarge knew he was testing to see who in the class was liberal:

In a new study, UNL researchers measured both liberals' and conservatives' reaction to "gaze cues" -- a person's tendency to shift attention in a direction consistent with another person's eye movements, even if it's irrelevant to their current task -- and found big differences between the two groups.

Liberals responded strongly to the prompts, consistently moving their attention in the direction suggested to them by a face on a computer screen. Conservatives, on the other hand, did not.

Why? Researchers suggested that conservatives' value on personal autonomy might make them less likely to be influenced by others, and therefore less responsive to the visual prompts.

And also:

Dodd said the participants were told that the gaze cues in the study did not predict where the target would appear, so there was no reason for participants to attend to them. "But the nature of social interaction tends to make it very difficult to ignore the cues, even when they're meaningless," he said.

We're really good at ignoring irrelevancies.


Charlene said...

I would guess that "some" conservatives are not interested in anything but themselves and their immediate relm, so it makes it easy to ignore every other person or social clue. This helps when "some" conervatives are walking all over everyone else.


Anonymous said...

If one defines "social clue" as "bleeding-heart leftists engaging in class warfare" and define "walking all over everyone else" as "talking about taking responsibility for their actions and destiny," then yes, yes it does.