Political Psychology
Research, Inc.
71 East 15th Avenue • Eugene, Oregon 97401 • Tel: 541-686-9934 • Fax: 541-485-5702
William A. McConochie, PhD.
William A.
McConochie, PhD.
The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull
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Research highlights of the author's studies
in topics related to politics:

1. Warmongering can be reliably measured as a psychological trait with statements such as:

A good reason for our nation going to war is to kill enemy soldiers and civilians in order to reduce population numbers so there are more resources for the people of our nation.

A good reason for our nation going to war is to assure access to whatever raw materials, such as oil, that we need from other nations.

Persons vary in how strongly they agree or disagree with such statements, creating scores over several such items that reliably differentiate one person from another.

This trait correlates positively and substantially with a wide variety of other traits, including Right Wing Authoritarianism, Social Dominance Orientation, Religious Fundamentalism, clinical fear, xenophobia and endorsement of government types that minorities can control, including military dictatorship and tribal (special interest group) democracy. Warmongering correlates negatively with human rights endorsement and public democracy (government serving the best interests of the community overall).

For a concise summary of this trait see publication #4.

For a formal journal paper manuscript on this topic, see #1.

For a detailed presentation of studies, see #3, Section II.

For an essay on the concept and definition of warmongering and related traits, see #9.

2. Warmongering-proneness can be reliably rated from a distance in well-known current and historical political and military figures. Based on the many traits that correlate significantly with warmongering, traits that can be readily observed in public life and in detailed biographies of historical figures, a rating scale of several items, e.g. 50, can be designed to reliably measure the warmongering-proneness of leaders. This information may have value in warning civilians not to vote for potentially dangerous leaders, such as Hitler, who was elected to office in an advanced democracy then usurped power to dictate very destructive policies and programs.

See publications 1, 3, 4 and 9 for details, as in A, above.

3. Violence-proneness can be measured with questionnaires.

The author's research reveals that many traits are related to statements and behaviors related to criminal and hostile behavior reflecting antisocial tendencies in general and violence in particular.

For details, see publication #3, Section I and a manual for the At Risk for Violence test, available at another web site of the author's, Testmasterinc.com.

4. General religious beliefs found in the world religions fall into two general factors.

One is fundamentalism. The other is what that author terms "kindly religious beliefs". The fundamentalism factor is associated with a variety of antisocial tendencies, while the kindly beliefs factor is associate with a variety of pro-social tendencies.

See publications 2, 3 and 4.

5. The majority of citizens want government that serves the best interests of the community overall. As many as 90 percent of citizens in many samples prefer this type of government (public democracy) over government that serves special interest groups (tribal democracy, serving economic tribes), monarchy, military dictatorship or anarchy. About 20 percent endorse tribal democracy. Fewer endorse the other three. Persons higher on warmongering eschew public democracy in favor of the other four types of government, especially military dictatorship. Thus, warmongering leaders can be expected to surface in governments other than the hypothetical new form of democracy.

For details, see publications 1, 3 (Section III), and 4.

6. One can develop working models of a political party that would promote public democracy.

See publication #3, Section III. See also FAQ-Party Model.

7. Fundamentalists all tend to value religion as a comprehensive guide to life and do not endorse a meta religon . They also embrace religious ritual strongly. In contrast, those of the Kindly Beliefs type are not ritualistic, and are very diverse in finding a wide variety of specific values in religion and endorsing the idea of a meta religion to unite peoples of all faiths. There are direct implications for politics.

See publications 2, 3 (Section II) and # 6.

8. Those citizens who want improved government services tend to be pro-social. Those who do not, tend to be anti-social. For example, warmongers tend to be satisfied with current government authority and programs.

See publication #7.

9. Liberal and Conservative Worldviews. My studies reveal two clusters of psychological traits that map on liberal and conservative worldviews. The conservative cluster dovetails nicely with biological theory of Randy Thornhill, et al (U. of New Mexico). This theory notes increased frequency of religions, languages, conservative governments, war and disease pathogens at lower latitudes (closer to the equator). Randy theorizes that the conservative worldview evolved in the species to protect in-groups from disease pathogens in neighboring groups against which the in-group does not yet have immunity. I posit that the liberal trait cluster evolved to promote gradual interaction with neighboring groups to benefit from trade of goods, services, raw materials and genetic material, to eventually gain immunity from neighboring diseases. The decimation of Native American Indian groups by European diseases is perhaps the most dramatic example of the failure of groups to protect themselves sufficiently from incursions of neighbors whose diseases they were not immune to. My liberalism/conservatism study includes several items that correlate with liberal and conservative worldviews, consistent with this theory. For example, conservatives tend to believe that people in nations, states, counties and towns different from their own are more likely to carry diseases than people in their own towns, etc.

See publication 2 and section II of publication 3, The research report providing detail of this study is available from the author, Bill McConochie (e-mail bill@politicalpsychologyresearch.com).

10. International I.Q. Data. Via another aspect of my practice I have done research with Internet partners in San Diego (FunEducation.com) involving measures of intelligence across dozens of nations. We have data on over 100,000 children and adults that shows a tendency for I.Q.'s to be higher the further a nation is from the equator. This data is consistent with that of prior researchers (Lynn and Vanhanan), but augments the past data. The younger the group studied, the less this effect is present, suggesting that harsher, colder climates require more advanced technologies and educational systems for survival and that as children gain in education they gain skills that help them on I.Q. tests, as we measure intelligence in psychology. My data suggests that humans everywhere have basically the same average native or physiological aptitude to be "intelligent".

11. United States I.Q. Data. We're gathered data on another I.Q. test of ours that appears to show similar variation even within the United States, with northern states having a very slight but statistically significant edge over southern states, consistent with variations in mean scores by state on the SAT/ ACT tests administered to high school students.


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