From The Washington Times:
A correction to a frequently cited 2012 study has been issued, after researchers discovered they mixed up results purporting to show conservatives are more likely than liberals to exhibit behaviors linked to psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness.
In fact, the correction says, the opposite is true.
“Correlation not causation: the relationship between personality traits and political ideologies,” published in the American Journal of Social Science in 2012, initially found that social conservatives might be more genetically hardwired to exhibit psychotic behaviors than their socially liberal counterparts.
“In line with our expectations, [Psychoticism] (positively related to tough-mindedness and authoritarianism) is associated with social conservatism and conservative military attitudes,” the study said.
The study also posited those who are socially liberal are more likely to possess behaviors associated with “Social Desirability,” or the desire to get along with others, than those who are socially conservative.
But in an erratum issued by the journal, first reported by Retraction Watch, the authors said those two findings were “exactly reversed.”
“Thus, where we indicated that higher scores in Table 1 (page 40) reflect a more conservative response, they actually reflect a more liberal response,” the authors said. “Specifically, in the original manuscript, the descriptive analyses report that those higher in Eysenck’s psychoticism are more conservative, but they are actually more liberal; and where the original manuscript reports those higher in neuroticism and social desirability are more liberal, they are, in fact, more conservative.”
Pete Hatemi, a Penn State political scientist who co-authored the study,…