This absolute reversal on a recent study trumpeted by progressives comes as no surprise to anyone who actually pays attention to human behavior. The study in question professed to show that
P [for “Psychoticism”] (positively related to tough-mindedness and authoritarianism) is associated with social conservatism and conservative military attitudes.
Well, somebody goofed.
The authors regret that there is an error in the published version of “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1), 34–51. The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed.
Wait–what? So the people most prone to psychoticism are liberals?
Again, no surprise to anyone who has noticed the nasty authoritarian streak that runs through modern liberalism. Your speech is free as long as you agree with politically correct thought.
The staff at RetractionWatch noted:
The authors claim that the strength of the links are not important, as they do not affect the main conclusions of the papers — although some personality traits appear to correlate with political beliefs, one doesn’t cause the other, nor vice versa.
Still, it’s a pretty safe bet that if the original study had reported the data correctly, it wouldn’t have attracted near as much attention.
Thanks to Steven Lynch for the tip.