Telling a conservative from a liberal by the contents of their bedroom and/or office(s)

Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10359
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Telling a conservative from a liberal by the contents of their bedroom and/or office(s)

I found this rather interesting. It's something I'm going to keep in mind for future experimentation.

Article Here

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
So... I can be proud of my

So... I can be proud of my messy workspace? Yay!


inspectormustard
atheist
inspectormustard's picture
Posts: 537
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
"Behavioral reside."

"Behavioral reside." Heheh.

Ray: [astounded] Wow! Talk about political activity, look at this mess!
Egon: Ray, look at this.
Ray: Behavioral residue.
Egon: Venkman, get a sample of this.
Ray: It's the real thing.
Peter: Someone blows their nose and you want to keep it?
Egon: I'd like to analyze it.
Peter: [gets it on his hand] Whoa, ah.
Egon: This way.


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
Bullshit and they studied

Bullshit and they studied only 170 people.  My partner and I are anally clean, neat and tidy; the prototypical minimalist, industrial inspired, and hospital sanitary condo dwellers of Toronto.  Granted, we're not American, we have tonnes of books, a purple room, well lit rooms and a host of fascinating art.  We're both Liberal or more to the left depending on the topic.  What does this say to me?  I don't think political ideologies can be traced to such mundane things as a person's living habits.  People are, I imagine, far more varied in the 'indicators' than this study of 170 people indicates.  What would actually be interesting and compelling would be such a study done on thousands of people in various countries.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


thingy
SuperfanGold Member
thingy's picture
Posts: 1022
Joined: 2007-02-07
User is offlineOffline
You may be a minimalist, but

You may be a minimalist, but you still have the atheistic feng shwei.

 

(Yes, that was meant to be a joke)

Organised religion is the ultimate form of blasphemy.
Censored and blacked out for internet access in ANZ!
AU: http://nocleanfeed.com/ | NZ: http://nzblackout.org/


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
I don't get it...

I don't get it...

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10359
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Thomathy wrote:Bullshit and

Thomathy wrote:

Bullshit and they studied only 170 people.  My partner and I are anally clean, neat and tidy; the prototypical minimalist, industrial inspired, and hospital sanitary condo dwellers of Toronto.  Granted, we're not American, we have tonnes of books, a purple room, well lit rooms and a host of fascinating art.  We're both Liberal or more to the left depending on the topic.  What does this say to me?  I don't think political ideologies can be traced to such mundane things as a person's living habits.  People are, I imagine, far more varied in the 'indicators' than this study of 170 people indicates.  What would actually be interesting and compelling would be such a study done on thousands of people in various countries.

They said "on average". Nowhere was it suggested that this is a law of reality.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Thomathy
SuperfanBronze Member
Thomathy's picture
Posts: 1861
Joined: 2007-08-20
User is offlineOffline
I never intimated that I

I never intimated that I thought it was a 'law of reality'.  Actually, you bring up a good point that I also should have touched on.  As the study only produces the results 'on average', then, depending on what that average is, the indicators might not lead to a correct conclusion enough times in a given sample to be statistically meaningful, which I highly suspect is the case.  This doesn't detract from the study being intriguing.  I am intrigued, but what I think would be more interesting, would be to perform the study on a larger and more varied sample.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10359
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Thomathy wrote:I never

Thomathy wrote:

I never intimated that I thought it was a 'law of reality'.  Actually, you bring up a good point that I also should have touched on.  As the study only produces the results 'on average', then, depending on what that average is, the indicators might not lead to a correct conclusion enough times in a given sample to be statistically meaningful, which I highly suspect is the case.  This doesn't detract from the study being intriguing.  I am intrigued, but what I think would be more interesting, would be to perform the study on a larger and more varied sample.

I agree with you in general, especially about having more numbers and variety within a study. Statisticians tend to suggest that their numbers ring true every time(within their accepted percentage points of course), but the very method used can be unintentionally derailed by accident, without anyone in the study having the slightest idea that it happened. The random phone calls may have unintentionally been made entirely to a specific gender, or minority, or whatever, scewing the results.

Though to be completely honest, my personal life experience lends much credibility to this particular study in my eyes, though I'd not actually considered it before reading the study.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Though I can't really

Though I can't really comment on this exact survey, or study, or whatever it is, I can say that I think a lot of this kind of nonsense comes from a misunderstanding of the significance of correlations.

A few years ago, I took up astrology to prove that it's bullshit.  With no training whatsoever, and complete knowledge that all I was doing was cold reading, I gained a reputation as a very good astrologer.  That's because I took context clues from people's appearance, mannerisms, choice of drinks, and anything else that might give me some clue as to what direction to go.

Here's an example.  Suppose I was doing a reading for a Virgo.  Pick any astrology guide and they'll tell you that Virgos tend to be compulsively neat.  Of course, lots of people are compulsively neat, but whenever I had a Virgo, I'd look for any sign of excessive neatness.  If I found it, I'd make a big deal of it.  On the other hand, if I was reading for an aquarius, I wouldn't mention the neatness, or would downplay it if it came up.

Now, it might well be that if I read for 100 Virgos that maybe 24% of them would be compulsively neat.  Depending on the other categories available, that might be considered statistically significant.  We could even say that there was a significant correlation between Virgos and compulsive neatness.  The thing is, that doesn't say anything by itself.  In the course of reading a person, I would never take just one thing, like the state of their bedroom, and make statements about specific traits.  It's just not enough information.  On the other hand, if I see that a person's bedroom is terribly messy, but they always keep the door closed, and their living room and kitchen are spotless, I can begin to make speculations.  Perhaps this is a person who is very concerned with appearances to other people, but doesn't really care about them for his own sake.  If I saw more evidence of this, I might feel comfortable suggesting it.

The point is, a single factor like messiness or cleanliness might well be correlated to a political view, but that doesn't mean that there's a connection!  Not only does correlation not equate to causation, it doesn't even necessarily equate to any meaningful relationship at all.  Consider four people playing a game in which one of the four people randomly wins.  After 100 times playing the game, we would expect to have something approaching random distribution between the four players.  Suppose the number of wins was: 20, 31, 19, and 30.  Players two and four have significant correlations to winning, but there is nothing about them in particular that links them to the game or to winning.  These results are well within the expected results from 100 random draws and 4 players.

Even so, I could technically say that being named "Player 2" has a strong statistical correlation to winning.  As long as we accept that 30% is a strong winning percentage -- and it is.. it's better than average -- my statement is true.  Yet, any dufus can figure out that there's nothing magical about being Player 2.

Just think for a minute about all the ways that a person could turn into a neat freak or a walking tornado.  There are hundreds or even thousands of factors that could be involved.  I'm not going to dispute that these folks have found a correlation.  I'm sure thay have.  I'd want to see a lot more than this sample size, and I'd sure like to know how they managed to isolate political persuasion from all the other confounding variables before I even hinted that I might have found a significant correlation.

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


DamnDirtyApe
Silver Member
DamnDirtyApe's picture
Posts: 666
Joined: 2008-02-15
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote:Though I

Hambydammit wrote:

Though I can't really comment on this exact survey, or study, or whatever it is, I can say that I think a lot of this kind of nonsense comes from a misunderstanding of the significance of correlations.

A few years ago, I took up astrology to prove that it's bullshit.  With no training whatsoever, and complete knowledge that all I was doing was cold reading, I gained a reputation as a very good astrologer.  That's because I took context clues from people's appearance, mannerisms, choice of drinks, and anything else that might give me some clue as to what direction to go.

 

 

 


That's actually really interesting.  You know me pretty well, so what aspects of my personality match up with me being a Gemini, if you remember any?  

 

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote:That's actually really

Quote:
That's actually really interesting.  You know me pretty well, so what aspects of my personality match up with me being a Gemini, if you remember any? 

Well, everybody loves to talk about the dualistic nature of Geminis, so that's where I would start.  If you dig a bit, you can find two contrasting tendencies in anybody.  In your case, I'd note that you're often quite content to stand in a corner and watch a party happen.  Sometimes, around new people, you pretty much disappear, preferring to watch things happen instead of joining in.  On the other hand, you love to throw deep fry parties and show off your kitchen skills.  You revel in being the center of attention, make clever jokes, and pull out your guitar collection to wow the guests. 

Geminis are usually described as inquisitive and intellectual.  You're a scientist, so that would be a no brainer.  Not only are you well versed in science, but you know more than most people about many other subjects.  You don't accept other people's answers at face value, instead checking your facts personally.

(Here's where I would generally talk about something negative so as to appear "objective." )  Geminis also tend to be self centered and overly critical of others.  You haven't dated anyone seriously since I met you, and it's not for a lack of meeting women.  You're very picky about those you associate with, perhaps to a fault.   You can come across as elitist and snobby because of your considerable knowledge and your willingness to tell others that they are wrong. 

Notice I didn't really say anything substantial in that last paragraph, but I managed to associate one of your traits with a trait of Geminis, even though it could just as easily be attributed to a dozen other things.  Had I wanted to use this as a positive, I would have said that you are very good at finding only quality people to associate with, and that you have a firm resolve to only share your deepest feelings with people who deserve to know.

As a study in credulity, I love astrology.  Believe it or not, just that little bit of claptrap would impress the hell out of a lot of people.  The odd thing is, if you tell people you're going to do a cold-reading on them, and explain exactly what cold-reading is, they will tend to be very skeptical and disagree with most of what you say.  On the other hand, if you tell them you're getting magical messages from the stars, they bend over backwards to make everything you say fit their lives.

The other trick to "good astrology" is trying to get a hold of people's biggest insecurities and making them into a metaphor.  I'm not going to try to do that with you publicly because, well, that would be lame.  Just as an exercise, think about how easy it is to spot insecurities in most people.  If someone meticulously grooms themselves down to the smallest detail, you fish around their core beliefs about their appearance.  You spend a while talking about their fear of revealing themselves to others without any facades or layers of "psychic makeup."  Basically, you custom tailor a metaphor that they'll immediately relate to.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that layers of makeup make a good analogy for the psychological masks we wear in public, but girls love that shit.

I tell you what.  Invite me out for drinks, and we'll find somebody for me to do an astrology reading on.  You'll get a kick out of it.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10359
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
That's actually really interesting.  You know me pretty well, so what aspects of my personality match up with me being a Gemini, if you remember any? 

Well, everybody loves to talk about the dualistic nature of Geminis, so that's where I would start.  If you dig a bit, you can find two contrasting tendencies in anybody.  In your case, I'd note that you're often quite content to stand in a corner and watch a party happen.  Sometimes, around new people, you pretty much disappear, preferring to watch things happen instead of joining in.  On the other hand, you love to throw deep fry parties and show off your kitchen skills.  You revel in being the center of attention, make clever jokes, and pull out your guitar collection to wow the guests. 

Geminis are usually described as inquisitive and intellectual.  You're a scientist, so that would be a no brainer.  Not only are you well versed in science, but you know more than most people about many other subjects.  You don't accept other people's answers at face value, instead checking your facts personally.

(Here's where I would generally talk about something negative so as to appear "objective." )  Geminis also tend to be self centered and overly critical of others.  You haven't dated anyone seriously since I met you, and it's not for a lack of meeting women.  You're very picky about those you associate with, perhaps to a fault.   You can come across as elitist and snobby because of your considerable knowledge and your willingness to tell others that they are wrong. 

Notice I didn't really say anything substantial in that last paragraph, but I managed to associate one of your traits with a trait of Geminis, even though it could just as easily be attributed to a dozen other things.  Had I wanted to use this as a positive, I would have said that you are very good at finding only quality people to associate with, and that you have a firm resolve to only share your deepest feelings with people who deserve to know.

As a study in credulity, I love astrology.  Believe it or not, just that little bit of claptrap would impress the hell out of a lot of people.  The odd thing is, if you tell people you're going to do a cold-reading on them, and explain exactly what cold-reading is, they will tend to be very skeptical and disagree with most of what you say.  On the other hand, if you tell them you're getting magical messages from the stars, they bend over backwards to make everything you say fit their lives.

The other trick to "good astrology" is trying to get a hold of people's biggest insecurities and making them into a metaphor.  I'm not going to try to do that with you publicly because, well, that would be lame.  Just as an exercise, think about how easy it is to spot insecurities in most people.  If someone meticulously grooms themselves down to the smallest detail, you fish around their core beliefs about their appearance.  You spend a while talking about their fear of revealing themselves to others without any facades or layers of "psychic makeup."  Basically, you custom tailor a metaphor that they'll immediately relate to.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that layers of makeup make a good analogy for the psychological masks we wear in public, but girls love that shit.

I tell you what.  Invite me out for drinks, and we'll find somebody for me to do an astrology reading on.  You'll get a kick out of it.

 

 

You'd be a handy guy to have around during some of my debates up here. I've considered learning enough about these types of things to do what you have demonstrated in this topic, but I'm too lazy. Sad

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.