Sunday, March 05, 2023

Revisiting the rigidity-of-the-right hypothesis: A meta-analytic review

I have myself written rather a lot on this topic so I am pleased to see that Thomas H Costello and his colleagues below have done another good iconoclastic article in the area. I think however he gave too much credence to the idea that there is such a thing as a trait of psychological rigidity. .

There is not. There are rigid behaviours of various sorts but they are often not correlated. A person who is rigid about one thing is not particularly likely to be rigid about something else.

There have been findings to that effect since the 1950s but the datum demonstrating it that I particularly like is the fact that the two halves of the widely used Budner scale of rigidity do not correlate (r = .08 in a general population sample). The scale purports to measure one thing but is a mixed-up measure of two different things. See here and here. What it supposedly measures does not exist. Pychological rigidity is a unicorn concept. You can describe it but it does not exist. Its existence is a failed theory

Insofar as there has been some coherence in rigidity research, it is probably traceable to IQ. Those whom researchers called rigid were probably just a bit thick

The rigidity-of-the-right hypothesis (RRH), which posits that cognitive, motivational, and ideological rigidity resonate with political conservatism, is an influential but controversial psychological account of political ideology. Here, we leverage several methodological and theoretical sources of this controversy to conduct an extensive quantitative review—with the dual aims of probing the RRH’s basic assumptions and parsing the RRH literature’s heterogeneity. Using multi-level meta-analyses of relations between varieties of rigidity and ideology measures alongside a bevy of potential moderators (s = 329, k = 708, N = 187,612), we find that associations between conservatism and rigidity are tremendously heterogeneous, suggesting a complex—yet conceptually fertile—network of relations between these constructs. Most notably, whereas social conservatism was robustly associated with rigidity, associations between economic conservatism and rigidity indicators were inconsistent, small, and not statistically significant outside of the United States. Moderator analyses revealed that non-representative sampling, criterion contamination, and disproportionate use of American samples have yielded over-estimates of associations between rigidity-related constructs and conservatism in past research. We resolve that drilling into this complexity, thereby moving beyond the question of if conservatives are essentially rigid to when and why they might or might not be, will help provide a more realistic account of the psychological underpinnings of political ideology.


Diversity roles disappear 3 years after George Floyd's death inspired them

Diversity, equity and inclusion leaders, who were hired in waves to help companies achieve an ethnically balanced workforce after George Floyd’s murder in 2020, are being phased out, surveys indicate, leaving experts in the field concerned that corporations’ talk of affecting change was just empty words.

DEI roles increased by 55% following demands for broader racial equity and justice after Floyd’s murder, the Society for Human Resource Management reported in 2020. But instead of creating fair opportunities and a comfortable work culture for Black employees, a pair of recent reports indicate, DEI professionals are losing their jobs, as layoffs across the economy have gained momentum.

The attrition rate for DEI roles was 33% at the end of 2022, compared to 21% for non-DEI roles. Amazon, Applebees and Twitter lead the way with DEI layoffs since July 2022, according to Revelio Labs, a New York-based company that uses data to analyze workforce dynamics and trends.

Another survey showed that Black employees represent only 3.8% of chief diversity officers overall, with white people making up 76.1% of the roles. Those of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity make up 7.8% and those of Asian ethnicity make up 7.7%

Reyhan Ayas, a senior economist at Revelio Labs, which surveyed DEI layoffs, said the data shows the pledge to impact change was not followed by genuine effort.

“I always say that it is so easy to make public statements and commitments because no one will eventually check if you’re committed to the things that you committed to,” she said. “I can say: ‘I will be fully vegan by 2025’ because no one will ever call me in 2025 and ask me if I’m actually fully vegan. And that’s really what is going on here. In 2020, a lot of companies made big commitments, big statements around the DEI roles and goals. And as we are observing a turning of that tide, I think it’s very timely that we actually look into companies to see if they have kept up with those big statements they made.”

DEI professional Nika White, author of the book, “Inclusion Uncomplicated,” said the studies also reveal “the harsh reality” of many companies’ commitments to diversity. “This is very disheartening, especially after so many of us were hopeful after George Floyd’s murder that organization leaders would be sensitized and committed to equity and inclusion.”

But the opposite has happened. Revelio Labs’ 2023 report on the state of DEI and the impact of last year’s layoffs, found that DEI-focused roles “experienced a nearly 40% churn rate at companies engaged in layoffs, as compared to about 24% for non-DEI roles.”

The stunning absence of Black people in chief diversity officer roles in companies makes DEI professionals cringe.

“This is a role that is essential to advocating and advancing the progress for underrepresented talent at these organizations,” said Wade Hinton, founder of Hinton and Co., a DEI firm in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “And so, you want to make sure that it reflects the diversity of our communities and this country, and it’s clear that we’ve got work to do on this.”

Together, the studies mean something more to Chris Metzler, senior vice president, corporate DEI and environmental, social and governance strategies at the National Urban League. The influx of DEI officer hires in 2020, he said, was disingenuous and the positions have largely been weakened to the point of being toothless.

“Most of your diversity professionals at these companies report to human resources, which are headed by white women and in some cases, white men,” he said. “So, it doesn’t surprise me that Black diversity officers . . . are being moved out. It’s increasingly becoming a dead-end job. Corporations are saying one thing and demonstrating something else. It’s going back to checking the box versus hiring and keeping qualified workers who can impact change in the company.”


NYC Paying Out Millions to Rioters


The riots that rocked American cities in the summer of 2020 have been seared into the country’s memory.

Now, in New York City, they’re going to be taking a big chunk of taxpayer dollars that will go to protesters allegedly abused by the city’s police department as it tried to control the violence.

More than 300 individual protesters will be paid more than $20,000 each under the settlement of a class-action lawsuit reached late Tuesday, with the total bill, with other provisions, coming come to more than $10 million, according to The Associated Press.

According to the report, the settlement involves protesters who were in the streets in New York’s Mott Haven neighborhood in the Bronx on June 4, 2020, amid the riots that followed the death of suspected counterfeit-bill passer George Floyd in Minneapolis late the previous month.

According to the New York Post, the crowds that gathered were called by “two activist groups who taunted the NYPD with a flyer of a burning cop vehicle and incendiary phrases that encouraged demonstrators to break the 8 p.m. curfew that had been imposed in the city in the days prior.”

Police surrounded the crowd, using bicycles and other means, and made it impossible to leave before 8 p.m., according to the Post. Officers began making arrests about 8:10 p.m.

The tactic of corralling and confining potentially dangerous crowds to a small area is called “kettling,” and one police officer in the Bronx interviewed by the Post defended it.

“Kettling? That’s what we do. It’s not like they do it because these guys are model citizens. They’re doing it because they’re committing crimes or not following orders,” the officer told the newspaper.

“One or two of them might have been swept in there just because of wrong place, wrong time,” the officer said. “But people were looting stores and causing mayhem at some of these protests.”

Critics were outraged at the news of the multimillion-dollar settlement.

“Not only does BLM destroy cities, they get cities pay them to do it,” conservative commentator Armstrong Williams wrote in a Twitter post, referring to Black Lives Matter rioters.

Advocates for the protesters, naturally, had a different view.

“The violence unleashed upon us that night was intentional, unwarranted, and will be with me for the rest of my life,” one of the plaintiffs claimed in a statement, according to the AP. “What the NYPD did, aided by the political powers of New York City, was an extreme abuse of power.”

And, according to the AP, the cost to taxpayers is going to be extreme, too.

Under the terms of the settlement, the report said, the city “will pay $21,500 each to at least 200 protesters who were detained, arrested or met with force by NYPD” during the incident.

The city will also pay $21,500 in legal fees for each of the covered protesters, and $2,500 to protesters who received tickets to appear in court.

The settlement will not go into effect until a judge signs off on it.

In a statement, according to the Post, the NYPD said it had “re-envisioned” its tactics in the aftermath of the 2020 upheaval.

“Two-and-a-half years after the protests of 2020, much of the NYPD’s policies and training for policing large-scale demonstrations have been re-envisioned based on the findings of the department’s own, self-initiated analyses and on the recommendations from three outside agencies who carefully investigated that period,” the statement said.

“The NYPD remains committed to continually improving its practices in every way possible.”


Losing Our Future By Destroying Our Past

Jerry Newcombe

There is a growing war against the past. Our heroes of yesteryear, even George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, are under attack.

I was disheartened to see ads for Hulu presenting a series based on the discredited 1619 Project. As I noted in a column many months ago, the 1619 Project postulates that America began in 1619, when the first enslaved Black people were brought here—not 1776, when the founders declared independence.

Dr. Ben Carson writes on his website, : "In recent years,…many people in politics, academia, and the media have questioned the values of the American founding. They have focused on the faults of certain Founding Fathers— along with the undeniable fact that the rights they championed were not originally enjoyed by all Americans—and cast doubt upon whether any of their fancy words are important today."

Let's take the issue of Slavery. Unfortunately, the rewriting of American history is becoming increasingly commonplace. America's founders, hailed by generations of Americans as heroes (albeit flawed ones), are today viewed as nefarious evildoers because of the sin of Slavery.

Without question, chattel Slavery is a horrific evil. But it is often treated by revisionist historians as if America invented it. Tragically, Slavery was virtually universal at the time of the founders—and it existed in America despite some of the positive Christian influence among many of the late colonies.

As the late Dr. Walter Williams said in our Foundation of American Liberty series of films for Providence Forum: "Slavery has been mankind's standard fare throughout his entire history. And even the word, slave, in most languages, is Slav because the Slavic people are among the first to be enslaved. And Africans were among the last to be enslaved. And the great thing about the Western world is that we spent many resources on eliminating Slavery."

What made the western Judeo-Christian systems in America and England unique is that they abolished Slavery—something that still exists in many other places even today.

Founding father Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, which says that we are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. Yet, when I visited his estate in Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, the tour guide seemed to throw our third president under the bus because he enslaved people.

I once asked Rabbi Daniel Lapin about Jefferson and Slavery in my television interview with him for the Foundation series.

He said, "It's always very disappointing that the intellectual level of those who constantly pose this question to me, it's just frankly disappointing when people say, 'Oh, you know, Jefferson was a slave owner' or speaking of many of the other founders, as well as Jefferson, as if somehow to discredit these people." Indeed, attempted discrediting has become commonplace today. That's why they tear down statues of him.

The rabbi concluded, "[I] t's almost a childish and pathetic attempt to discredit these giants by the pigmy-like behavior of suggesting that, because their behavior at the time corresponding to the values at the time, that somehow retroactively from the vantage point of 200 years later, we can declare these people to have been invalid or we can cancel them…. This reflects far more on the critics than it does on the founders."

Imagine saying to someone, "You're under arrest." "What for?" "For violating a law that will go into effect a century from now."

Dennis Prager of PragerU told me this in an interview for the Foundation series: "People say, 'Well, Jefferson had slaves,' but that's not the question. The question is: did Jefferson create a society that would abolish Slavery? That's the only intelligent question to ask. Not what did that person do that contravened their ideal."

Prager said, "When he wrote, 'all men are created equal,' he meant it, even though he enslaved people. Did he violate his own beliefs that he had about blacks? Yes, he did, but…look at what he unleashed, the freest country in human history. The least racist country in human history is the United States of America. This was unleashed by these people."

Slavery was uprooted ultimately because of the framework the founders created to give us self-rule under God.

I wonder: How will future generations view us since so many treat so cavalierly the issue of abortion---the deliberate taking of baby's lives by the millions? And we have 4-D sonograms to boot.

In my view, it's time to stop this ongoing attempt to erase our history and dethrone our heroes-- flawed ones, no doubt, but heroes, nonetheless. Historian Dr. James S. Robbins wrote a book a few years ago called Erasing America. The subtitle of that volume speaks volumes, "Losing Our Future by Destroying Our Past."




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