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March 20, 2006
Don't Be Mean

The article is right. Surveying 100 kids in Berkeley, even for 20 years, isn't enough to really draw a correlation between being whiny and insecure and growing up Conservative. Even if a 7% correlation is "pretty stronng" for a social science.

On the other hand, mapping childhood personality trends is a really interesting topic, don't you think?

And, back before "conservative" was a dirty word that meant pre-emptive warmongering, we might have been able to have a rational discussion about insecurity and the desire for a stable and unchanging environment.

Because, if you choose words other than "whiny" and "insecure" to describe these characteristics (if you used "critical" and "hesitant" for instance), they don't sound quite as...well, childish. And repulsive.

Of course, I'm not one of the researchers.

Posted by AnneZook at 05:57 PM


I lived in Berkeley for two years.

At the end of it, I was whiny and desperate for stability and tradition, too....

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at March 20, 2006 11:44 PM

Heh. Exactly the kind of thing I was thinking about.

Besides, my siblings and I all experienced various degrees of whinyness and insecurity during our 'formative years' and none of us are conservative.

Posted by: Anne at March 21, 2006 08:12 AM