Don't Drink and Vote: New Study Says Alcohol (And General Thoughtlessness) Makes People More Conservative

Getting drunk is known to cause erratic, irrational, and, overall, thoughtless behavior -- public urination, bar fights, tears in the streets. Now, go ahead and add political conservatism to that list.  

A new study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, tested whether low-effort thought promotes political conservatism, and part of the study measured alcohol's effects on political positions. Researchers found that the higher the blood alcohol content, the more conservative the views on sex, education, and political identification became.

Researchers hypothesized that drinking turns people Republican because political conservatism arises in the absence of deliberate thought.  People with a lot on their minds, under time constraints, or told to respond in a cursory manner, rather than think deeply and use "recognition memory -- an indicator of effortful thought -- were also more conservative.   

"Together these data suggest that political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought," the study concluded.

The less you think (or more you drink), the more conservative you become? Shocker! Cheers to the right-wing.

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at March 20, 2012, 10:57am

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