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Liberal Drinking and Conservative Thinking

A new study suggests that alcohol consumption may result in political conservatism.

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Another round of drinks will have you feeling
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By Bryan Le

03/20/12

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Astonishingly, getting drunk might sway you to the right of the political spectrum, suggests a new study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. In testing whether low-effort thought promotes political conservatism, researchers found that as the more blood alcohol levels increased in sampled bar patrons, the more their views on controlling sex, education, and political identification veered towards the right. The researchers (whose politics can only be guessed at) hypothesize that this happens because political conservatism is a result of an absence of deliberate, rigorous thought—an absence that the inebriated may find all too familiar. The study tested other low-effort thought groups for political conservatism too; it seems that right-wing tendencies also reveal themselves when people are examined while under a cognitive load, or time pressure, or when made to reply hastily rather than given time to think things through. Liberal drinking buddies everywhere might want to consider having a designated voter.

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