That’s the worst you can do? »« Welcome news out of Tunisia

Are you liberal or conservative?

Apparently your responses to 12 apolitical questions can reveal your political leanings. After doing it, you can check the rest of the article that explains the reasoning behind it. Of course, these things are meant just for fun. The whole uniaxial liberal-conservative spectrum is itself problematic.

I came out as 67% liberal, 33% conservative.

Comments

  1. Nick Gotts says

    Are you liberal or conservative?

    No. It is a sign of the stranglehold the elite has on political thought in the USA that these can be considered exhaustive alternatives.

  2. Andrew G. says

    I also got 67% liberal 33% conservative – and this massively overstates how conservative I am, a more accurate result would be more like 90% liberal.

    As for whether the liberal/conservative axis is problematic – it may be the case that there are additional meaningful axes, but the liberal/conservative axis has strong biological support and important real-world consequences, so it shouldn’t be dismissed lightly.

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    estraven @5: I’m guessing you’re a lover of Le Guin’s work (as am I), so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

  4. A. Noyd says

    The test also seems very biased towards white liberal ideals. For instance, the fusion cuisine question and the lack of borders question overlook the problems of cultural appropriation and the erasure of non-dominant cultures.

  5. hyphenman says

    72 percent liberal because…

    Liberal qualities

    You like cats more than dogs
    You have a messy desk
    You think self-expression trumps self-control
    You like fusion cuisine
    You think the government should treat the lives of its citizens as equal to those of other countries
    You think it’s okay for your partner to look at porn alone
    You use a modern browser
    You wish there were no countries
    You prefer the Met to Times Square
    You’re not completely proud of your country’s history

    Conservative qualities

    You prefer action movies to documentaries
    You think kids should respect authority

  6. Al Dente says

    Having a neat desk is a conservative attribute? I keep my desk neat because it’s easier to work in an uncluttered environment than one with everything strewn every whichway.

  7. Matt G says

    74% liberal. The “conservative” qualities were action movies (while I love to learn, I like to veg out with movies), and being slightly proud of my country’s history (the liberal parts of my country’s history).

  8. lorn says

    Scary … I also scored as 33% conservative.

    I always figured I was a liberal who wanted to keep his mind just closed enough to keep his brains from falling out.

  9. says

    A. Noyd (#7) –

    The test also seems very biased towards white liberal ideals.

    And towards a US-based political spectrum, which no (or few) other countries use.

  10. wtfwhateverd00d says

    All in all when they say these questions “are seemingly apolitical” the emphasis must be on the word “seemingly”.

    I don’t understand the difference between these answers:

    I am proud of my country’s history.

    [] Slightly disagree
    [] Moderately agree

    Or

    [] Moderately disagree
    [] slightly agree

    But if you answer disagree in the slightest you are scored liberal, and answer even just slightly agree you are conservative.

    If I like Chrome I am liberal, even though we know that Chrome grew fastest in Tech and all those tech people are horrible libertarians.

    Most of the questions are only seemingly apolitical but really speak to the biases and stereotypes institutionalized by the poll writers.

  11. Trickster Goddess says

    Those are some bad and/or stupid questions.

    I can’t even figure out how self expression and self control could possibly be conflicting values. Unless you define self expression so loosely as to include things like cracking tasteless jokes at funeral, and I can’t see how that could be regarded as a liberal value.

    Also, are there any actual surveys correlating pet preference to political leaning?

  12. A. Noyd says

    left0ver1under (#13)

    And towards a US-based political spectrum, which no (or few) other countries use.

    Hmm, I assumed that was because it was meant to be US specific, but now I see that they never came out and said that.

  13. jamessweet says

    I scored the same as Mano. I think the percentages should be viewed less as how liberal/conservative you are, and more as the likelihood that you are one or the other. In that regard, I expect this test is going to be pretty damn accurate, at least for Americans.

    I think it is less a reflection of “personality determines politics”, though (as is Haidt’s longstanding thesis) than it is a certain sort of pseudo-tribalism. Not so much in the bad way that we associate with tribalism, as in “my tribe is always right!”, but in the way that you tend to adopt the trivial signifiers used by like-minded people. The people whose politics you agree with are into fusion cuisine, so that gets you interested, so now you like it.. Or, the people whose politics you agree with hate fusion cuisine, so you condemn it without trying it. etcetera.

    Note that the article itself freely acknowledges that the one-dimensional axis is an oversimplification that discards some very important nuance. Let’s not get too hung up on that aspect of it.

  14. jamessweet says

    Here’s a different spin on it: It’s a neat trick based on the distinction between correlation and causation. If you have enough sufficiently strong non-causative correlations, you can do a surprisingly good job of deducing a trait by making completely irrelevant measurements.

    I dunno, I think it’s kinda neat that this (mostly) works, even though it totally shouldn’t.

  15. Alex says

    Haha, being German automatically notches me a bit in the liberal direction due to the “proud of my country’s history” question :-D

    “You’re 19% conservative, 81% liberal”

  16. flex says

    I wanted a “No preference” answer for quite a few of them.

    The very first question, “Do you prefer cats to dogs?”

    Frankly, I’m not all the fond of either equally. Not that I dislike them, and when I’m living with them I’m aware of their needs and desires and do what I can to help fulfill them, including playtime. But I really don’t have a preference.

    Then there was the question about should our government value the lives of foreigners as much as citizens. What the hell? How is this even a question? Our government should value all lives equally. It should serve the citizens that it represents preferentially, without causing harm to citizens of other nations.

    So, while the results accurately reflects my own assessment of my liberalness, I would prefer to have been able to answer “MU” to many of the questions. In other words, I would have preferred to un-ask many of the questions.

  17. estraven says

    Rob@6: Yes, huge LeGuin fan. You’re one of the few people who have ever understood my user name.

    I agree with those who say that the questions are bad, skewed toward whiteness, need a “no preference” option, etc., but it’s the nature of the beast to play out this way. I don’t mind–I enjoy the entertainment value. I don’t take it seriously at all. It’s kind of interesting to see some correlations, which, as Jamessweet@18 says, is kinda neat.

  18. Dunc says

    As a pro-Independence Scot, the question about whether you’re proud of you’country’s history was particularly thorny… I mean, which country for starters – Scotland or the UK? Either way, our history is… complicated. I suppose that’s inevitable when you have so much of it.

  19. mnb0 says

    The same result for me, 67% liberal. This shows how limited the test is because I’m an old fashioned social democrat with anarchistic tendencies.

  20. chrisdevries says

    Not really sure why liking dogs far more than cats is a conservative quality. I don’t mind cats who are warm and affectionate, but you would think conservatives would relate far more to the independence and violent streak of cats than the lazy, drooling pile of fur that is presently watching television with me (and I do mean watching; he loves commercials especially). Cat-owners who let their kitties roam the neighbourhood killing small rodents and birds for fun also annoy me (I suspect these are mostly conservative cat owners as their animals are exercising their “rights” at the expense of everyone else) and make me wish I could sic a super-robotic-predator-AI on them when they’re mowing their lawns, not to kill them but to maim them, just a bit, for fun.

    Liking dogs, and being “slightly” proud of my country’s history (Canada, not the USA) are apparently my only conservative qualities. Culturally, this questionnaire is, as many others have mentioned, US-centric, white-centric, and I would add middle-class-centric. It also seems to be over-estimating conservatism, although 8% in me is about right (fluke).

  21. badgersdaughter says

    78 percent liberal and 22 percent conservative, which happens to be just about exactly how I’d describe myself… and I recently went through a huge shift in my political opinions from very libertarian to mostly liberal, so I’m surprised at that.

    And most of the questions were hard as hell; I don’t love my cats more than I’d love a dog if I could have one, for example… I’d have both if I could, but I thought I’d love a dog a little more just because cats are more work to interact with. Maybe. Given an average dog and an average cat, whatever those might be. Similar confusion for many of the other questions…

  22. DsylexicHippo says

    91% liberal!!! That’s certainly more than I had expected. I think the end result of liberal versus conservative is somewhat accurate in a broad/general sense although I don’t think the actual percentages mean much.

    Here’s my test (takes much less time to complete as it has only 1 question): Do you watch Fox news?

  23. richardrobinson says

    88% Liberal. I didn’t expect it to be so strong. It makes me wonder, given how I answered, if they consider stronger preferences as a conservative trait, and weaker preferences liberal.

    I think the cat/dog question assumes conservatives would have a preference for loyalty and obedience in their pets.

  24. Rob Grigjanis says

    DsylexicHippo @27:

    Here’s my test (takes much less time to complete as it has only 1 question)

    Since estraven reminded me of Ursula K. Le Guin, I also thought of a one question quiz:
    Your response to reading The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is

    a) annoyance
    b) shopping for walking shoes and looking for an ‘exit’ sign

  25. brucegee1962 says

    Bah. I came out as 78% conservative, and I’ve been out doing door-to-door campaigning for every liberal politician for the last decade.

    I prefer self-control over self-expression because I’m old enough to have seen plenty of friends come to grief due to lack of self-control, but no-one hit the rocks because they aren’t creative enough. Ditto when it comes to respect for authority — though kids also need to be taught when NOT to respect it.

    I think the government should put the lives of its own citizens first because that is what government is for — that’s what the citizens are paying the government should do. That doesn’t mean Americans ARE more important — just that treating them as such should be integral to the government’s function.

    I am proud of my country’s history because, even though I’m not blind to the horrific things it has done, there are enough positive things (WW2, The Marshall Plan, the Thirteenth Amendment, the Bill of Rights) to make up for them.

    I am glad there are different countries because I’ve read Jaren Diamond, and I think it’s a good thing for different groups to try different solutions to problems and figure out which work best.

  26. brucegee1962 says

    Oh, and I prefer dogs because I’m flamingly allergic to cats. So now allergens are political?

  27. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Interesting excercise, cheers :

    You’re 20% conservative, 80% liberal.

    FWIW. Most of my answers were in the slightly agree / disagree categories.

    @ 27. DsylexicHippo : “Here’s my test (takes much less time to complete as it has only 1 question): Do you watch Fox news?”

    No. But then I can’t even really get it even if I’d wanted to, which, not really, no.

  28. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    FWIW. If asked, Id probably have rated myself maybe more like 70% liberal & 30% conservative. Or so.

    I’m conservative on crime and punishment and foreign affairs and liberal on pretty much all else.

    I also think we should judge issues and topics on their merits and the evidence not ideological preferences.

  29. steffp says

    97% liberal/ 3% conservative. I can live with that specific test result, as indeed my workspace is highly organized. Imho the quiz tests for authoritorian / anti-authoritorian tendencies only, which, as it looks, are a pretty good indicator for the present political divide in the US. Not in global contexts, of course, where liberalism is seen as the contrary of social values. In such a reference system, both Reps & Dems are staunch Manchester liberals, far right on the political system both.
    A more differentiated reference system is used by Political Compass , which uses both Authoritorian/Libertarian and Left/Right as categories…

  30. khms says

    93% liberal … no wonder for a left-leaning German.

    And then their explanation used lots of examples that were completely inapplicable or misconstrued for me.

    For example, restaurant cuisine – currently, with one (socially-generated) exception, I don’t eat in restaurants, period.

    Or, the browser that came with my computer? None came with it.

    TV/Movies I watch? None.

    New York visit? Apart from not going to happen, both targets seem uninteresting.

    For that matter, I stick with PCs not because they’re familiar, but because Macs are too expensive, plus I’m no fan of walled gardens, which Apple seems to be – so, PC because I don’t like Apple’s authoritarianism. (And Linux, not Windows, for the same reason, plus for what I’m doing it’s simply much better.)

    Oh, and they argue with ambivalence about US history, but that’s not what they actually ask about. “My country” is Germany, not the US.

    Incidentally, the concept that lack of borders automatically erases cultures does not impress me much – there’s still lots of regional culture here in Germany, and we abolished inter-German borders (with one prominent exception) during Bismarck’s time. It’s not the borders (which even today can’t keep away US culture influences, for example – in my youth, nobody here knew what Halloween was, now it’s standard), it’s various policies, mostly by government and mass media, which make the difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>