Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [prezveepsenator] Re: TR and Mark Hanna

Expand Messages
    Sadly, one wonders if the Democratic party has permanently relegated itself minority status by being the civil rights party, to wit an article on racial bias
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 30, 2006
      Sadly, one wonders if the Democratic party has
      permanently relegated itself minority status by being
      the civil rights party, to wit an article on racial
      bias and voting tendencies from this morning's
      Washington Post:

      Study Ties Political Leanings to Hidden Biases

      By Shankar Vedantam
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Monday, January 30, 2006; Page A05

      Put a group of people together at a party and observe
      how they behave. Differently than when they are alone?
      Differently than when they are with family? What if
      they're in a stadium instead of at a party? What if
      they're all men?

      The field of social psychology has long been focused
      on how social environments affect the way people
      behave. But social psychologists are people, too, and
      as the United States has become increasingly
      politically polarized, they have grown increasingly
      interested in examining what drives these sharp
      divides: red states vs. blue states; pro-Iraq war vs.
      anti-Iraq war; pro-same-sex marriage vs. anti-same-sex
      marriage. And they have begun to study political
      behavior using such specialized tools as sophisticated
      psychological tests and brain scans.

      Politics Trivia
      National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley attended
      law school with which senator?

      John F. Kerry (D-Mass.)
      Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)
      Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.)
      Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

      Who's Blogging?
      Read what bloggers are saying about this article.

      * Bitch | Lab
      * The Alna Erratic
      * Capitol Hill Blue: The Oldest Political News
      Site on the Internet

      Full List of Blogs (22 links) ยป

      Most Blogged About Articles
      On washingtonpost.com | On the web

      "In my own family, for example, there are stark
      differences, not just of opinion but very profound
      differences in how we view the world," said Brenda
      Major, a psychologist at the University of California
      at Santa Barbara and the president of the Society for
      Personality and Social Psychology, which had a
      conference last week that showcased several
      provocative psychological studies about the nature of
      political belief.

      The new interest has yielded some results that will
      themselves provoke partisan reactions: Studies
      presented at the conference, for example, produced
      evidence that emotions and implicit assumptions often
      influence why people choose their political
      affiliations, and that partisans stubbornly discount
      any information that challenges their preexisting

      Emory University psychologist Drew Westen put
      self-identified Democratic and Republican partisans in
      brain scanners and asked them to evaluate negative
      information about various candidates. Both groups were
      quick to spot inconsistency and hypocrisy -- but only
      in candidates they opposed.

      When presented with negative information about the
      candidates they liked, partisans of all stripes found
      ways to discount it, Westen said. When the unpalatable
      information was rejected, furthermore, the brain scans
      showed that volunteers gave themselves feel-good pats
      -- the scans showed that "reward centers" in
      volunteers' brains were activated. The psychologist
      observed that the way these subjects dealt with
      unwelcome information had curious parallels with drug
      addiction as addicts also reward themselves for
      wrong-headed behavior.

      Another study presented at the conference, which was
      in Palm Springs, Calif., explored relationships
      between racial bias and political affiliation by
      analyzing self-reported beliefs, voting patterns and
      the results of psychological tests that measure
      implicit attitudes -- subtle stereotypes people hold
      about various groups.

      That study found that supporters of President Bush and
      other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and
      implicit biases against blacks than liberals did.

      "What automatic biases reveal is that while we have
      the feeling we are living up to our values, that
      feeling may not be right," said University of Virginia
      psychologist Brian Nosek, who helped conduct the race
      analysis. "We are not aware of everything that causes
      our behavior, even things in our own lives."

      Brian Jones, a spokesman for the Republican National
      Committee, said he disagreed with the study's
      conclusions but that it was difficult to offer a
      detailed critique, as the research had not yet been
      published and he could not review the methodology. He
      also questioned whether the researchers themselves had
      implicit biases -- against Republicans -- noting that
      Nosek and Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji had
      given campaign contributions to Democrats.

      "There are a lot of factors that go into political
      affiliation, and snap determinations may be
      interesting for an academic study, but the real-world
      application seems somewhat murky," Jones said.

      Nosek said that though the risk of bias among
      researchers was "a reasonable question," the study
      provided empirical results that could -- and would --
      be tested by other groups: "All we did was compare
      questions that people could answer any way they
      wanted," Nosek said, as he explained why he felt
      personal views could not have influenced the outcome.
      "We had no direct contact with participants."

      For their study, Nosek, Banaji and social psychologist
      Erik Thompson culled self-acknowledged views about
      blacks from nearly 130,000 whites, who volunteered
      online to participate in a widely used test of racial
      bias that measures the speed of people's associations
      between black or white faces and positive or negative
      words. The researchers examined correlations between
      explicit and implicit attitudes and voting behavior in
      all 435 congressional districts.

      The analysis found that substantial majorities of
      Americans, liberals and conservatives, found it more
      difficult to associate black faces with positive
      concepts than white faces -- evidence of implicit
      bias. But districts that registered higher levels of
      bias systematically produced more votes for Bush.

      "Obviously, such research does not speak at all to the
      question of the prejudice level of the president,"
      said Banaji, "but it does show that George W. Bush is
      appealing as a leader to those Americans who harbor
      greater anti-black prejudice."

      Vincent Hutchings, a political scientist at the
      University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said the results
      matched his own findings in a study he conducted ahead
      of the 2000 presidential election: Volunteers shown
      visual images of blacks in contexts that implied they
      were getting welfare benefits were far more receptive
      to Republican political ads decrying government waste
      than volunteers shown ads with the same message but
      without images of black people.

      Jon Krosnick, a psychologist and political scientist
      at Stanford University, who independently assessed the
      studies, said it remains to be seen how significant
      the correlation is between racial bias and political

      For example, he said, the study could not tell whether
      racial bias was a better predictor of voting
      preference than, say, policy preferences on gun
      control or abortion. But while those issues would be
      addressed in subsequent studies -- Krosnick plans to
      get random groups of future voters to take the
      psychological tests and discuss their policy
      preferences -- he said the basic correlation was not
      in doubt.

      "If anyone in Washington is skeptical about these
      findings, they are in denial," he said. "We have 50
      years of evidence that racial prejudice predicts
      voting. Republicans are supported by whites with
      prejudice against blacks. If people say, 'This takes
      me aback,' they are ignoring a huge volume of

      --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:

      > > Had he lived to see 1932 what might TR have
      > thought of
      > > his fifth cousin's presidential ambitions? (and
      > > remember they were related by marriage as well as
      > > blood- Eleanor was TR's niece I think, TR walked
      > her
      > > down the aisle at her wedding).
      > TR passed away in 1919 in his sixties. His last
      > public appearance was
      > at a fundraiser for a hospital unit for black
      > veterans coming back
      > from the Great War. (Similarly, LBJ's last public
      > appearance was to
      > speak out for the civil rights of the future
      > generations of Americans
      > in a forum in Texas.) Here's an excerpt from William
      > Roscoe Thayer's
      > "Theodore Roosevelt; an Intimate Biography" that was
      > published the
      > same year of TR's death.
      > http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext00/teddy10.txt
      > "Roosevelt never fully recovered from the infection
      > which the
      > fever he caught in Brazil left in his system. It
      > manifested
      > itself in different ways and the one thing certain
      > was that it
      > could not be cured. He paid little attention to it
      > except when it
      > actually sent him to bed. In the winter of 1918, it
      > caused so
      > serious an inflammation of the mastoid that he was
      > taken to the
      > hospital and had to undergo an operation. For
      > several days his
      > life hung by a thread. But, on his recovery, he went
      > about as
      > usual, and the public was scarcely aware of his
      > lowered
      > condition. He wrote and spoke, and seemed to be
      > acting with his
      > customary vigor. That summer, however, on July 14th,
      > his youngest
      > son, Quentin, First Lieutenant in the 95th American
      > Aero
      > Squadron, was killed in an air battle near Chambray,
      > France. The
      > lost child is the dearest. Roosevelt said nothing,
      > but he never
      > got over Quentin's loss. No doubt he often asked, in
      > silence, why
      > he, whose sands were nearly run, had not been taken
      > and the
      > youth, who had a lifetime to look forward to, had
      > not been
      > spared. The day after the news came, the New York
      > State
      > Republican Convention met at Saratoga. Roosevelt was
      > to address
      > it, and he walked up the aisle without hesitating,
      > and spoke from
      > the platform as if he had no thoughts in his heart,
      > except the
      > political and patriotic exhortation which he poured
      > out. He
      > passed a part of the summer with his daughter, Mrs.
      > Derby, on the
      > coast of Maine; and in the early autumn, at Carnegie
      > Hall, he
      > made his last public speech, in behalf of Governor
      > Whitman's
      > candidacy. A little after this, he appeared for the
      > last time in
      > public at a meeting in honor of a negro hospital
      > unit. In a few
      > days another outbreak of the old infection caused
      > his removal to
      > the Roosevelt Hospital. The date was November
      > 11th,--the day when
      > the Armistice was signed. He remained at the
      > hospital until
      > Christmas Eve, often suffering acutely from
      > inflammatory
      > rheumatism, the name the physicians gave to the new
      > form the
      > infection took. He saw his friends for short
      > intervals, he
      > followed the news, and even dictated letters on
      > public subjects,
      > but his family understood that his marvelous
      > physical strength
      > was being sadly exhausted. He longed to be taken
      > home to Sagamore
      > Hill, and when his doctor allowed him to go home, he
      > was greatly
      > cheered."
      > Ram
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > prezveepsenator-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.