Monday, August 6, 2012

Liberals and Conservatives at Thanksgiving

There is a lot of discussion of psychological and/or lifestyle differences between liberals and conservatives.  The differences aren't all that large, when you look at them closely--see this example--but there are some, and they are fun to think about.

An October 2010 survey conducted by CBS News for Vanity Fair and 60 Minutes contained the following question:  "Besides turkey and football, Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without which ONE of the following:  a good nap, a good family argument, a travel delay, a stiff drink, or indigestion."  The results, by self-described political views:

                                  Nap             Argument        Delay         Drink      Indigestion   DK
Liberal                       34%                18%                 5%          16%       19%            9%
Moderate                   33%                17%                 7%          12%       19%          11%
Conservative               43%               19%                 4%            8%         9%          17%
DK                            28%                19%                 2%           10%       14%         26%

So conservatives were more likely to say a nap or have no answer; liberals were more likely to go for a drink or indigestion.  (The differences are statistically significant).

 One interpretation is that conservatives are more likely to be placid people with good digestion, while liberals are more likely to get stressed.  Or maybe conservatives don't like to be negative about tradition.  A family argument, travel delay, stiff drink, or indigestion are all somewhat cynical responses (at least to me, a "stiff drink" suggests a drink taken to relieve stress, not for pure enjoyment),  so that would leave people who see no downside to Thanksgiving with a nap or nothing. 

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