Happiness is...

A Berkeley professor just wrapped up a twenty-year study of 100 children that shows whiney children grow up to be conservative and of course, well-adjusted, confident children grow up to be liberal.

From Prof. Jack Block's study:

A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.


The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.
Block admits in his paper that liberal Berkeley is not representative of the whole country. But within his sample, he says, the results hold. He reasons that insecure kids look for the reassurance provided by tradition and authority, and find it in conservative politics. The more confident kids are eager to explore alternatives to the way things are, and find liberal politics more congenial.

On the flip-side, George Will writes about a Pew study showing liberals to be more miserable as a group while conservatives are happier.

Will states:

The right to pursue happiness is the essential right that government exists to protect. Liberals, taking their bearings, whether they know it or not, from President Franklin Roosevelt's 1936 State of the Union address, think the attainment of happiness itself, understood in terms of security and material well-being, is an entitlement that government has created and can deliver.

From my own personal statistical analysis on this subject resulting from over fifty years of observation, I concur with the Pew study that liberals as a group are vastly more depressed and angry than conservatives. Conservatives are too busy taking responsibility for their own personal happiness and well-being. We don't have time to be miserable.

Posted by Mutti at March 22, 2006 08:59 AM | TrackBack

The best comment I've seen on this is:
"Given that the study was centered around Berkeley, perhaps the kids had good reason. I think I’d be a little screwed up if, after being beaten up by a huge Hispanic kid, I’d be lectured about tolerance by a sexually ambiguous pre-school teacher named Chandra."

Posted by: the Pirate at March 22, 2006 09:48 AM

Happily content in the liberal petri dish of Berkeley, they leave and join the real world. They become the whiners and complainers, only being happy back in Berkeley. The cranky, fussy one leaves the confines of the same neighborhood and having overcome it, happily thrives in the real world where rewards are based upon achievement, not perception. Seems rather simple doesn't it? Do I qualify for a million dollar grant?

Posted by: Portia's Pop at March 24, 2006 09:12 AM