|liberal versus conservative thinking:|
This dichotomy has so captured my curiosity it was a major influence in my deciding to major in psychology. I have pondered this question above all others for 40 years.
What was I looking at I asked myself? As a child of the 60's I saw the difference in thinking as the counter culture took hold. Half the people embraced it and half vilified it.
I could tell it was more than intelligence as there are many very smart conservative's (engineer's e.g.), so what was going on I asked?
MY first thesis is that the difference is not only very real, but integral to the human species, I.e. we sort of have two sub species.
How can we prove that? Well, today few would argue that all the liberals are in the democratic party and none in the Republican party, or its little sister the Tea Party. So we humans have divided ourselves into two parties already. Once we noticed our differences.
Now 80% of scientists lean democratic (liberal) and only 6/12% call themselves/lean Republican (Gallup poll). 80% versus 6/12%. In statistics that is a powerful difference and statisticians would say represents two populations.
My conclusion is that conservatives are the result of one of two things: either they are wired to think differently (nature)than liberals, or follow dogma at the expense of facts or logic.
E.g. most conservatives do not believe in evolution. Very few liberals do not believe in evolution. That is huge because evolution is a solid fact and quite simple to understand. Yet most conservatives do not believe in it.
The reason I use the dictionary definition for liberal is that it describes exactly what a liberal is. Someone who is comfortable with change, science and logic. Almost all of the big milestones in history have been put forth by the liberals of their time. Which only makes sense and one could have deduced without knowing it.