Prime Minister Tony Abbott on his visit to Mackay
Prime Minister Tony Abbott on his visit to Mackay Peter Holt

Right-wingers have more control but lefties smarter: study

INTRIGUING new research out of the United States has found that people who hold different views on politics fare better or worse when it comes to self-control.

Unfortunately you might be slightly dimmer, apparently.

The study from researchers in the United States found that those who stand on the side of political conservatism -- think right wing or Australian PM Tony Abbott -- are more to have better self control and focus better on a task.

That was compared to those who are more liberal -- think Greens or left wing.

It found that this relationship grew from how each side of the political divide considers free will.

Left wingers tend to believe that the world is governed by forces outside their control, genes, society or environment.

While those on the right were more likely to believe they have free will and can influence their own position.

This meant conservative thinkers often did better at university because they were prepared to study harder or focus more on their education.

Of course it's not all good news for those on the right.

The study found conservative thinkers tend to be less intelligent than their progressive peers, and those who lack those smarts are more likely to lean right.

The authors suggests that those with less intelligence were more conservative because right-wing views made them feel safe.

They suggested that views on free will might not fully explain their findings but do point out that conscientiousness, religiosity and happiness have each been linked to being more conservative.

The self-control consequences of political ideology was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences of the United States of America.


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