Thursday, November 01, 2007

Liberal or Conservative?

When taking bias into account, everyone should recognize where they lie on the political specturm. Especially with the freedom of the press in the United States, viewpoints are thrown at you constantly, and most have bias according to how liberal or conservative the reporter or company is. The attached is a quiz that shows where you are on the spectrum. After taking the quiz, are you surprised at where you stand? Do your political beliefs taint your view of world events? I don't mean do you agree or disagree with the war in Iraq, but with everyday news like the police officer getting killed in a donut shop robbery, does your response reflect your political bias? How?


KellyR. said...

I got a 12 which means I am a liberal but not way right winged. I'm not surprised because that is who I am. Not always do I have the eye piece over my eyes when I look at the world. Just like people say. I hate Bush, how can you hate someone you have never truely known, I am disappointed with his actions but that is totally different than the langauge choice of I Hate. Right now I disagree with the War in Iraq because once we leave the country they will start a civil war because they need to figure it out on their own. It is like trying to stop little children to fight sometimes. It is bond to happen. I think when someone first glances at my opinion they think it matches with whether I am right or left winged but I think it has to do with personal experiences. One can't stop a fight, they can make it less of an impact put it is happening. I also think it has to do with my faith that I beleive that people will be able to solve it on their own it you give them the chance ot decide. In a nut shell I'm sorry that was going against what the question was asking but I think I needed to say that for myself.

katrina337 said...

Isn't liberal left?

I got a 9. Yes, I am very surprised by this.
I mean, I know I'm more liberal. That's just life. But really, I didn't like the questions. Because there was a little voice inside my head saying "Well, to this extent then yes, but beyond that..." and it didn't really give you a chance to explain your answers. And that's where knowledge actually lies. I mean, if I were to choose a liberal belief from a completely conservative perspective (yes, it can happen), then I would have still been said as liberal.

I don't think this provides a bias for me. I don't really pay attention to what side of the political spectrum people/tests say I'm on. I just look at the problem and decide what I think about it, and whichever side of the spectrum it falls on, it falls on. I don't really care. I look at the facts I'm presented with, and usually do my own research on the subject, and I'll make up my mind based on what my morals tell me is the right decision, not what the liberal or conservative view on the subject is.

I actually really hate these tests. I don't know why, I just do. I hate putting labels on my beliefs and opinions, really. Because they're not black and white enough to be labeled.

Pumanupes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pumanupes said...

agree with Katrina. I got a 6. hmmm... I guess I'm pretty liberal?

But here's the problem with providing a quiz to label ourselves with, I personally believe that labels such as 'liberal' or 'conservative' provide terrible stereotypes about people. They enable people to have an intense disliking for each other because of a name.

Thereinlies the problem with my AIM class. I am one of few 'liberals' in my class and we carry a negative connotation in the eyes of 'the others'. In pure retaliation, I view those who identify as 'conservatives' with the same negative connotation. We play out our stereotypes, and use them to provide us social protection. It is therefore extremely difficult to leave those notions about certain 'groups' of people behind.

However, I have gotten to know people really well, without knowing their particular 'political denomination' and then been shocked to find out that their beliefs are different from mine. Eventually, after the shock subsides, it doesn't matter. However, I am disappointed in myself for giving into that momentary thought process where I weigh whether or not I'm supposed to not like them. It's almost like, racism, except it's ... politicalism. haha...

For another example: One of my really good friends identifies as a 'conservative', but if you actually sit down and talk to him, his ideas/beliefs have some pretty 'liberal' concepts in them. We often joke about waiting for each other to 'join the right side', but what it comes down to is that there are some beliefs that we share in common, even though we're from opposite ends of the spectrum.

In some instances, though, the ability to have a 'safety net' is beneficial. It provides support and humans like to be able to relate to one another. But a limitation that comes with this natural tendency to 'group people' is an unjustified discrimination, of sorts, for those who are different. I don't know what to make of it.

... sorry for ranting...

J.Malone said...

What knowledge issues do you see in the quiz itself?

How are the questions biased? the pictures at the bottom of the page? How might any of this affect a reader's answers?

Interesting quiz... my results surprised me a bit... but I know a few aspects of the quiz affected the way I answered.

katrina337 said...

I'd say one of the issues is that the quiz leaves little, or no, room for gray area. It's either 'agree or disagree with the following statement' or 'rate which you'd like to see go first'. There is no ability to justify your answers, or to say how your answers would change based on the extreme to which the issue was brought out.

One thing I would like to know is how they scored the people at the bottom of the page. And if it was the person who created the test scoring those people, or the people taking the test themselves (unlikely). They don't tell us that, so telling me that I'm more liberal than Hillary Clinton really doesn't say much.

It's really biased in that they only take some of the issues to deal with. Granted, they are fairly major issues, but there are multitudes of smaller issues that could push someone to an entirely different side of the spectrum.

And what of the place in the middle, between extreme liberalism and extreme conservativism? What about the people who fall there? What would they get on the quiz? Is it really all-encompassing?

R_Dong said...

I got a 16 so that means I'm a moderate. This didn't shock me that much because from my background I hear both liberal and conservative views. My grandpa having the latter and my dad the former. Of course there were some things that I did not like about the quiz, which presented inherent knowledge issues.

The first knowledge issue was the fact that there was not alot of grey area like katrina337 said. Another knowledge issue is the mood that people might be in when the test is taken. Mood plays a huge factor in coloring the choices we make at certain times. For example, if there was a current threat to national soil, such as after 9/11, then certain people may chose differently then during times of relative peace.

I think that people like a government that spends more on self-defense during times of violence and national insecurity because of the safety that people think that the government should provide. However, during times of relative peace I think that the public focuses more on internal issues facing the nation, because they don't have any nagging and imminent foreign danger.

SamE said...

I got a 26, which makes me more conservative than George (W?) Bush...

Yeah, I think that Unrecognized Biases is the most important knowledge issue here: I came in knowing that I'm slightly to moderately conservative, and that's what came out. Also, I could tell for around 90% if not all of the questions which way it would rank me, so I picked accordingly (let's see, I've answered three in a row conservatively, how's for a liberal answer?). I've had the same trouble with Myers-Briggs (why don't I just fill in the first bubble for this whole row; they're all asking the same thing!). Is this a problem for all such self-test surveys? How can it be avoided?

Also, I don't think I've had enough experience with the government to make a qualified/accurate statement about their "ability to solve problems" for instance. Sure whatever, I trust them, or not... I basically just answered randomly, making the statistical uncertainty maybe as high as 5 points.

Finally, I think there are more than just one factor involved; that's why there's the political compass with two dimensions.

shilpa said...

I got a 15.
I actually wasn't tremendously surprised about my results because I usually try to look at both conservative and liberal viewpoints .Yet, I still think that the quiz definitely didn't have any room for gray area. I agree with others that have said that it is difficult to determine the accuracy of this quiz because the answers to the questions will either label you as liberal or conservative with no "in between" category. Therefore, I don't really think I can apply the results of my quiz to a real-life situation. I think that the results only assured that I am not extremely liberal or conservative and that I try to see both perspectives in a situation.

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