Friday, June 3, 2011

Lib/Con:  Conservative or Liberal? Workspace Reveals All

While political conservatives tend to keep a tidy, organized office, political liberals favor colorful, more stylish but cluttered spaces.
Liberals' offices were judged as significantly more distinctive, comfortable, stylish, modern, and colorful and as less conventional and ordinary, in comparison with conservatives' offices, Jost said.
"Conservative rooms tended to be cleaner, more brightly lit, better organized, less cluttered, and also more conventional and ordinary in terms of decoration," Jost said during a panel discussion on "The Neuroscience of Elections and Human Decision-Making" at NYU, adding: "Conservatives' rooms were rated by independent raters as better organized and tidier in general."

Specifically, individuals who reported a more conservative ideology also had bedrooms that contained more organizational and cleaning supplies, including calendars, postage stamps, ironing boards and laundry baskets.

Liberals' rooms on the other hand were marked by more clutter, including more CDs, a greater variety of CDs, a greater variety of books and more color in the room in general.

In personality tests of thousands of college students, Jost found that liberals tended to score higher than conservatives on one key measure called openness to experiences, which includes holding wide interests, and being imaginative and insightful.

Conservatives showed higher scores for conscientiousness, which measures a person's need for order, discipline, achievement striving and rule following.

"I think it's a truly fascinating possibility that the left-right distinction, which emerged over 200 years ago in response to the French Revolution and continues to be the single best way of understanding ideological differences today, may be rooted in fundamental human needs for stability vs. change, order vs. complexity, familiarity vs. novelty, conformity vs. creativity, and loyalty vs. rebellion," Jost told LiveScience.

For more, see Conservative or Liberal? Workspace Reveals All by Jeanna Bryner, September 25, 2008 at LiveScience.

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