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Multiple Choice: Whining Babies Grow Up to Be (A) Liberal or (B) Conservative?

Reported by Marie Therese - March 24, 2006

The crew at FOX & Friends covered an interesting story yesterday morning (3-23-06). It seems that Prof. Jack Block of the University of California at Berkeley has just released the results of a decades long study of a group of children born in the 1960's. His report claims that a child's behavior predicts his or her political philosophy.

Prof. Block's research shows that, if you whined a lot as a child, you are most likely now a conservative.

If, on the other hand, you were resilient and self-reliant, you are probably now a liberal.

On March 19th the Toronto Star reported:

In the 1960s Jack Block and his wife and fellow professor Jeanne Block (now deceased) began tracking more than 100 nursery school kids as part of a general study of personality. The kids' personalities were rated at the time by teachers and assistants who had known them for months. There's no reason to think political bias skewed the ratings — the investigators were not looking at political orientation back then. Even if they had been, it's unlikely that 3- and 4-year-olds would have had much idea about their political leanings.

A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.

The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.

Block admits in his paper that liberal Berkeley is not representative of the whole country. But within his sample, he says, the results hold. He reasons that insecure kids look for the reassurance provided by tradition and authority, and find it in conservative politics. The more confident kids are eager to explore alternatives to the way things are, and find liberal politics more congenial.

In a society that values self-confidence and out-goingness, it's a mostly flattering picture for liberals. It also runs contrary to the American stereotype of wimpy liberals and strong conservatives.

Needless to say, Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and Alisyn Camerota were at first surprised and then panned the study as biased because the children lived in Berkeley, California! How typical! When you don't like something, find a scapegoat and deny, misdirect and attack the messenger!


True to their childish natures, we can expect the following reaction from our friends on the right!

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