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Lecture 5

POLB50Y3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Twin, Twin Study, Liberal Conservatism

Political Science
Course Code
Mcc Alllister

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POLB52 Lecture 5
News in politics today the Senate is under fire as talked about in last semester the
senators don’t get elected and in often the way in which they are appointed draws
opposition from folks other than parties
Senators are appointed by the prime minister in the power typically on party lines giving
royalty to the party they don’t really have power only legal power and not practical
People think we should get rid of senators and some think argue that we should reform it
Senators are required to have certain characteristics you have to have network and
property greater than 4000 dollars
They also have to be resident in the province they were appointed there’s a clause in the
constitution that’s speculate that the certain numbers of senators have to be from these
There was a problem where one senator was claiming a living allowance- their expected
to use the money for their residence however one the senator contacted the minister to
get a health card and he went back and claimed living allowance
Last week we talked about information affects us and how the media had some sort of
affect on us
We wouldn’t know about the liberal leadership if it wasn’t for the media you wouldn’t
know if the senator got arrested we wouldn’t know anything that’s going on in the world
if it was the Media
Given the idea that people rely on the media for information it gives a mass effect on
peoples beliefs
The point of the media is that it’s a study of our effects on beliefs and the way we see the
When researchers conducted a study on the media it had a minimal effect this was called
the minimal effect hypothesis people chose their own media that their exposed
If you know all sort of information about the world and the on going issues then you’re
able restrict the information from the media
Highly informed highly interested people that pay attention to political information are
highly resistant to that information and are less influenced by it, on the other hand the
less informed people and less interested in politics are most likely to be influenced
We are interested in the information we pick up from our environments
Differences in how people react to information even when were exposed to the same
information there are systematic differences between people in terms of how we react to
that information
2 people exposed to the same message and same argument same information from any
kind of source react to that information and diametrically exposing ways

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Previous position- We are predisposed to react in different ways to information (zaller
Personality We can think of different types of people sometimes you meet someone and
their patterns of behaviors their manner reporting themselves
They might remind you of someone you might know some people are quiet shy out
going some people are humble and agreeable and some people avoid conflict
If you’re at a restaurant like Tim Horton’s and you get your order and its not what you
wanted you go back and demand to get it changed or you quietly eat it and think for next
time to get the order right
There are differences in people when it comes to these small everyday behaviors
We can these differences when we sit down and ask people a series of questions
psychologists have created a series of questions that are designed to measure different
personality traits so different properties of personality the differences are something
that emerges in surveys they’re actually something that effects people’s daily lives is it
someone that has clean desk vs someone that has a dirty desk
They way a person dresses can be based on personality good indication of this is when
you look at political convention best example is the united states look at the entire young
people that go to the republicans and conservatives they way dress in suits and the way
they act and then you look at democratic the way the dress you can distinguish that they
belong to a particular party
People with different personality traits aligned themselves with political parties one of the
One of the model the big 5 personality traits first one is openness to experience-
examples of openness to experience I have rich vocabulary I have excellent ideas I
have vivid a imagination vs somebody who isn’t interested in abstraction I have
difficulty understanding abstract ideas I don’t have a good imagination these are the
themes that openness to experiences reports to measure
Conscientiousness refers to someone’s organization or to a extent of what they are
driven by a team like a systemization examples im always prepared I pay attention
to full detail I get chores done right away I follow a schedule - opposite to
conscientiousness I leave my belongings around I make a mess of things forget to put
things back in the right place
Extraversion is when you feel comfortable around in a group your not shy around
people you’re very talkative talk to different people
Agreeableness- How agreeable you are, you have a soft heart, you have emotions towards
people vs im not interested in people or care about them
Neuroticism- is basically are you disturbed or are you nervous basically are you
The way you answers these questions they give predictable patterns in how other people
think as well

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The idea that a person can predict your answer on the basis of some other question with
central notion of idea in ideology all of these questions are highly constrained
If a person answers one of those questions in one way they tend to answer all the other
questions in the same way based on their personality
This measuring something real and observable about people and there’s lots of studies in
political science suggest that these kind of differences political conflict for example
people who vote for NDP have a certain personality compare to those who vote for
another party
Jost article- in political physiology approach he mentions conservatives are close
minded fearful and liberals are open minded and brave
These pervious positions to our environment suggest that were not fundamentally unique
we have some similarities that we share with some people and those personalities have
political conflict
One of the major questions in social sciences is where do these pervious positions come
from? Where do these people acquire these personality traits ?
Social science answer to that for the past decade is that we socialize and when we learn
things it shapes our personality
In Italy there is one part that is rich and one part that is poor back in the 50s there was a
study southern Italians the conclusion of the author was that southern Italians thank their
children very much and in the north they didn’t thank their children very much there was
culture differences in these regions
Everything about us that mattered that we can judge people about has to be something
after we were born some experience some exposure we had that’s what shapes our
personality and our world views
People challenged this on the grounds and said if you looked at all kinds of different
elements of human behavior was suggested had a genetic origin at least to some extent is
shaped by things prior to birth
Genetic argument was controversial
Biological racism- women with blue eyes and blond hair were superior
Inheritable component in genetics this also applies to our religious groups and many
other things
Research design was done called Twin studies- it was based on identical twins and non-
identical twins and compared them by all kinds of different traits such questions like how
strong are you in your religion what political party you vote for etc
Identical twins 100 of the genetic make up non identical twins share 50 percent from
mother and father however its might be different so they share 25 percent of the genetic
make up
If identical twins are more similar to each other on certain issues compare to non
identical twins given that both groups share the same environment demographic
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