Left-wingers can’t control themselves as well as conservatives, claims study

Russell Brand may have managed to keep himself under control when he was hounded out by anti-austerity campaigners today.

But being able to control yourself is less common in left-wingers than conservatives, scientists have found.

The reason for the difference, the authors found is those on the right are more likely to believe that they have free will and that individuals have the power to change things.

The leftists by contrast believe that everything is controlled by forces outside of their control – such as by their genes or society, the researchers claim.

  • Jay Currie

    Well yes.

    But I suspect this has to do with the fact that conservatives do not derive their identity from their politics. If you attack my politics I am delighted to rebut you, make fun of you, correct you or, Heaven forbid, reconsider my position in light of facts I was unaware of.

    Liberals, in my experience, need their politics to create their identities.

  • tom_billesley

    They are prone to tantrums. I put it down to bad parenting or no parenting.

  • Everyone Else


    It’s possible there’s a correlation between impulse control and political view point. That’s the kind of issue the scientific method is equipped to study.

    However, blaming any differences on the self-reported belief in free will is a theory, and not the test of a theory. once again it’s the plausible masquerading as the proven.

    The history of science is littered with discarded theories that seemed plausible until they were tested.

    In this case, I’d propose that those with poor impulse control tend to latch onto leftist politics because it’s more amenable to their world view.

    But frankly, even that “plausible” explanation lacks double blind experimental validation.

    • Clausewitz

      I find that most conservatives react because they have a low tolerance for bull shit and lies. Progressives react because they have a low tolerance for the truth.