Who has more self control: left-wing people or right? 155



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No, this is not a test. Genuine research has been conducted to determine how our political affiliations influence our behaviour, specifically our self-control.

Considering the way people identify as “left” or “right”, often as a defining factor of their personality, surprisingly little is known about the connection between self-control and our political ideologies. So researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara set out to examine just this.

Using attention regulation and task persistence as the metrics, researchers hoped to broaden our understanding of the underlying mechanisms that impact self-control, as well as providing another way to explore the differences between conservatives and liberals. Until now, research has focused education, income, and intelligence.

Three studies, involving more than 400 people, found that those who identify as being conservative were more likely to exhibit self-control.

In other words, people who hang to the right side of politics – LNP, Family First, Republicans supporters – are more in control of their behaviour, compared to those sitting on the left side of the fence – Labor, Greens and Democrats supporters, for example.

Researchers believe the relationship between political bent and self-control relates to our perception of free will.

Lefties tend to see the world as being governed by forces outside their control, such as government, society or the environment; whereas right-wing or conservative people are more likely to believe in free will, and that they have influence over their own lives.

Researchers found that as belief in free will expanded, so too did the lean towards the right.

The study also found conservatively minded people tended to better at university because they were prepared to study harder, but that the left generally showed more intelligence. In fact, the lower a person’s intelligence, the more likely they were to lean towards the right.

The study did not examine whether political leanings influenced the ability to resist eating the last Tim Tam in the packet.

 Tell us: what you think about these findings? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I hate them all as they are not thinking of us, they are only thinking of themselves and their elitist buddies.

  2. I think its load of crap, we all have freedom of choice to vote for who we think will make the best Government, those same people who vote to the left could quite easily vote to the right ..if they thought this Government was acting in the best interests of all Australians..and what does that makes swing voters? A very disfunctional bunch of people if that is anything to go by

    1 REPLY
  3. I think they all need to be sacked has anyone noticed that when Abbott smiles (smirks)it never reaches his eyes l would never trust him he talks rubbish l don’t think he is switched on

    10 REPLY
    • The left have something the right will never have, we make friends easily with each other but best of all we have the ability to laugh

    • And of course you are all so attractive that you feel you have the right to criticise another persons physique? My God that shows great intelligence and compassion. So sorry that the majority of Australians are so dumb that we voted for the conservatives.

    • you are a sour old right voter Catherine Lloyd..don’t even bother you would not have to ability to understand us..we are not like you..thank heavens

    • That’s right you are the”intelligent” compassionate voters. I’m a sour old right voter ? Because I oppose your views ? We do live in democracy or are you a little confused? So up yourself you think you are superior to the majority of Australians

  4. Ahh the shorten twitch when unions r mentioned how could u vote 4 training wheel shorten grub rigger

    14 REPLY
    • I’ve got to say that is the weirdest comment I’ve seen 4 a while shorten controls labor through left thugs in the union give me abbot & right or left liberals anyday

    • Sad they have lost all labor values no no no no no negative fools backflips etc etc but with training whees shorten at the helm we will never know what most of them think until shorten is gone

    • Shorten is the most unlikely looking thug I ever saw in my life. I actually stood up to a union standover man back in 1981 and he was nothing like Bill. Big broken nose . . which I threatened to break again for him . . and the old homicide detective hat. Back then the old AMU wanted us to go on strike for shorter work hours when what we really needed was better pay. Don’t get me wrong, I was Labor even back then. I just didn’t want to be railroaded, that’s all . . and neither did anyone else at work. We ended up with a better offer from the management than if we’d gone on strike. One day off a month and a pay rise, rather than two days off a month and still getting paid a pittance.

    • Of course Short Shit is not a Thug… he gets his knuckle draggers to do his dirty work while he gets stoned and rapes another weed head which Abbott could have pushed harder on but didn’t. Gutter dwelling Gillard slammed Abbott about supposedly punching a wall.

    • Ah the modern thug uses telephones & other union cronies imagine shorten standing up 2 a disgruntled Union member

  5. The right want to control everyone in Australia, on every issue..I will stay with the left..they are nicer and smarter 🙂

    1 REPLY
    • The right know that they can’t control the rich – so they make do with controlling the working class. Lowering safety conditions, lengthening working hours and slashing wages.

  6. The Left show more compassion to those poorer than them, they are willing to tackled social issues, the right just take care of themselves at the expense of everyone else

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