The worldview roots of “The Happiness Gap” between conservatives and liberals

3 Dec

http://www.ctv.ca/getattachment/d592f628-4ceb-4db7-8d88-4d7a4f4fedd0/TheNewNormal/Cast/EllenBarkin.aspx/634800182256270000?width=600&height=338&crop=trueIf you thought that television accurately portrays reality, then you would believe that liberals are happy and conservatives are angry.  For instance, in addition to being a racist and bigot, the token conservative in the show “The New Normal”  (played by Ellen Barkin) is also miserable.  The problem with this common narrative from Hollywood is that, well, it isn’t true.

From Arthur Brooks:

WHO is happier about life — liberals or conservatives? The answer might seem straightforward. After all, there is an entire academic literature in the social sciences dedicated to showing conservatives as naturally authoritarian, dogmatic, intolerant of ambiguity, fearful of threat and loss, low in self-esteem and uncomfortable with complex modes of thinking. And it was the candidate Barack Obama in 2008 who infamously labeled blue-collar voters “bitter,” as they “cling to guns or religion.” Obviously, liberals must be happier, right?

Wrong. Scholars on both the left and right have studied this question extensively, and have reached a consensus that it is conservatives who possess the happiness edge. Many data sets show this. For example, the Pew Research Center in 2006 reported that conservative Republicans were 68 percent more likely than liberal Democrats to say they were “very happy” about their lives. This pattern has persisted for decades. The question isn’t whether this is true, but why.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: