"Some researchers think culture actually shapes thought: cultures that emphasize individuality foster analytical thinking, whereas those that emphasize connectedness promote holistic thinking."
"Liberals acted more like Westerners, pairing items that belonged to the same abstract category (for instance, two animals), whereas conservatives tended to pair items that were functionally related (monkey and banana), as non-Westerners do. One other classic test of holistic thinking also suggested that liberals tended to use a more typically WEIRD cognitive style."
Hmmm, so I tend to think things through analytically and I currently vote for liberal policies (since they're better than the conservative alternatives), yet I grew up in a rural/suburban culture and have lived in more conservative parts of the country for most of my life (although arguably where I'm from has become more centrist/liberal since I left). I see some of the points of the article, but think there's a lot of nuance. That and I'm only really qualified to speak from an American perspective, I don't want to extrapolate this onto other countries.
It’s a good thing that they are doing this kind of analysis, it should hopefully lead to an understanding of the American conservative as a species... why do they do what they do? Here in the Netherlands practically the whole country is a flavour of socialist democrat, so the entire US landscape feels rather foreign and also distorted by two-party politics.
I saw the other day an article which said that politics was getting so deeply embedded in the American culture that you were starting to get Democrat cities and Republican cities, and that people of these different types were no longer willing to live alongside eachother. It seems crazy to me, and the whole system is ripe for reform.
It is a thought-provoking article, but sort of counter-intuitive. Do rural people think more collectively than those in cities? To understand that requires analysis, which is hard for us conservatives, but yes, I get it.
Where the population is sparse it is important not to make enemies. People tend to be polite and deferring, and are quick to help their neighbors. They greet each other when they meet. In cities people often don’t even know their neighbors, and on the street they don’t even look at each other.
It makes sense that an intuitive person would look at DT and see a leader, while a hard-boiled analyzer might concentrate on policy. Religion is an intuitive endeavor, so it is reasonable that conservatives would tend to be more religious.
IMO a person from mars is not the opposite of a person from Venus, and a conservative is not the opposite of a liberal—each complements the other. And a person can have liberal and conservative traits at the same time.
Of course, culture shapes thought. Anthropologist Paul Bohannan wrote a brilliant small tract in 1972 entitled "The Curse of Culture". In that piece, Bohannan pointed out that culture can be a curse, in that it prescribes accepted ways of seeing and doing things, channels thought and action, and limits that which can follow.
I reject the premise that liberals do not see the interconnectedness of things. I believe the reserve to be true.