In politics, researchers usually define conservativism as a general tendency to resist change and tolerate social inequality. Liberalism is a tendency to embrace change and reject inequality. Political parties evolve with time—Democrats were the conservative party 150 years ago—but the liberal-conservative split is typically recognizable in a country’s politics. It’s the fault line on which political cooperation most often breaks down.It goes to explain that conservatives accept scientific facts about human nature, and liberals do not.
Psychologists have long suspected that a handful of fundamental differences in worldviews might underlie the conservative-liberal rift. Forty years of research has shown that, on average, conservatives see the world as a more dangerous place than liberals. This one core belief seemed to help explain many policy disagreements, such as conservative support of gun ownership, border enforcement and increased spending on police and the military—all of which, one can argue, aim to protect people from a threatening world.
But new research by psychologist Nick Kerry and me at the University of Pennsylvania contradicts that long-standing theory. We find instead that the main difference between the left and right is the belief that the world is inherently hierarchical. Conservatives, our work shows, tend to have higher belief than liberals in a hierarchical world, which is essentially the view that the universe is a place where the lines between categories or concepts matter.
It says that conservatives do tend to be more tolerant, and more likely to recognize dangers, human nature better explains the differences.
SciAm has become a leftist journal, so the purpose of this research is to convert conservatives! It says:
One reason our discovery is exciting is because it hints at ways to work through specific political deadlocks. For example, consider debates around LGBTQ+ topics. Conservatives may feel the line separating men and women is natural and innate—a big, bold line—whereas liberals may see that distinction as more superficial and culturally based—a gray area. Welfare payments and policies, too, might be seen through a hierarchical lens, with some assuming that lines between rich and poor often reflect meaningful differences in people’s work ethic, talent, morality or value to society. ...That is, tell conservatives that men are the same as women because 0.01% of babies are born intersex.
For instance, imagine trying to convince a conservative to adopt a more liberal policy on transgender rights. If you assume their beliefs are informed by fear of danger, you might note that transgender people are much more likely to be assaulted than to assault anyone themselves—a tactic of assuaging fears. But another tactic is blurring lines—perhaps noting that a small but consistent number of babies are born with ambiguous genitalia and arbitrarily assigned a sex at birth, which suggests the line between male and female is not always extremely clear.
This is not going to work. The Left only gains by suppressing science. The more you learn about the science of sex, the more you discover innate differences.