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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What's New?

As of May, 2010..

2008 and 2009 were busy years. I presented papers at conventions, in Boston (APA) and Paris (ISPP), as well as in Berlin in 2008 and then in Dublin in July of 2009 . I completed studies of humiliation, social and political activism and a brief pilot study of executive ethics.

I completed an initial study of 50 students on over 60 psychological traits that consistently differentiate liberal from conservative worldviews. This was a monumental task for the students, much appreciated, as it involved 4 questionnaires of over 800 items.

This winter I gave a paper on religious beliefs at the U. of Colorado conference on Islam and the Media. I will present at the ISPP conference in San Francisco (a paper on humiliation and a poster on social and political activism), at the APA convention in San Diego (on environmental psychology. a symposium I was asked to lead for Divisions 34 and 48 of APA), in Winnipeg (on traits differentiating liberal and conservative worldviews.the PJSA convention) and in Baltimore (on religious beliefs). I hope to do some fishing in Manitoba in late September before the Winnipeg conference.

I am particularly interested in replicating my liberalism/conservatism study and have several professors around the country interested in helping with that in the fall of '10. I'd also like to get a larger sample for the ethics study. The initial pilot study on ethics yielded some very interesting findings, relevant to seminaries, ethically concerned corporations and universities that hold ethical teaching as part of their mission.

Professor David Buss of the University of Texas has asked to use one of my I.Q. tests for a research project, in return for steering subjects to my online studies.

I submitted an "Oregon Idol" competition proposal to the Oregon Bus Project convention, which I attended in Bend, Oregon this spring. I didn't "win", but enjoyed trying to explain to the judging committee how I thought the State of Oregon ought to commission the three major state universities to do bi-annual polls of state citizens to find out from them how they want government to serve them and how well they think government is performing at the moment.

I submitted a proposal to the U.S. State Department in response to their public solicitation for research proposals on how to empower women and girls more effectively. I proposed a project to help women research and carry out ways to promote public democracy based on polls of political party members and funding only via party members, no special interest group money. Grants up to half a million dollars are possible to accepted proposals.

I plan to work hard this year on writing papers for journal publication, as this is essential to making contributions accepted in the scientific community. I have editors encouraging me in this. For example, I have been asked to write a brief piece on the violent personality for an upcoming encyclopedia of political psychology and an article on my environmental research for a journal publication. I've submitted both works.

My board of directors has asked that we have meetings every quarter, as they are quite interested in the content of my studies. We're now doing this.


PPRI Activities Update. April, 2009.

1. I submitted a paper to the new Terrorism journal, but it was rejected. It is on my Publications page (#23). I hope to find time to add to it to meet publication expectations.

2. I will give a paper in Portland in June, at the Lewis & Clark campus, on the psychology of sustainability (Ecopsychology). This will be based on a paper I have submitted for publication in the new Ecopsychology journal. The organizer of the conference is also the editor of this journal. The paper is on my Publications page (#24).

3. I will present a paper in Dublin in July at the International Society of Political Psychology conference. The paper is on my web site, #11. I'll focus on the methodological issue of the superiority of questionnaire measures with all pro-trait items, which this study suggests are more user friendly and no less reliable or valid as scales with some con-trait items.

4. On a somewhat tangential matter, I have done a study this spring comparing I.Q. data I have accumulated on over 100,000 children and adults with data of Lynn and Vanhanan (I.Q. and the Wealth of Nations, 2002). I'll publish this paper on another of my web sites, Testmaster, Inc., or on FunEducation.com, an affiliate of mine in San Diego. I partner with them in offering Internet-delivered I.Q. tests that I have written. Briefly, the two tests in question have reliabilities as high as the Wechsler tests. A separate validity study which is under way tentatively supports confidence in these tests as being as valid as other I.Q. tests.

The comparison with the Lynn and Vanhanan data supports their findings of significant and substantial correlations between national mean I.Q. and per capita income (.70+). Their I.Q. data and mine also show correlations with latitude. The closer a nation is to the equator, the lower the national I.Q. However, my data suggests that I.Q. as measured is perhaps reflecting cultural difference, not genetic ones, as the younger the age group studied, the less these correlations are apparent. The correlation is probably zero at age 1. The implication is that colder climates further from the equator require cultures to develop more complex technologies for survival, an element of which is more complex educational systems. More education is reflected in slightly higher I.Q. scores with age in nations in colder climates, as we measure I.Q. with problems and questions that reflect school-learned knowledge, to a degree.

5. I'm still trying to arrange subjects to take several recent research studies on my PPRI site.


October, 2008 Activities Update.

Past year projects:

1. Attended a meeting of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies in NYC and subsequently designed a study to measure humiliation and dignity as psychological traits and to explore the origins of these in persons' lives. The study is loaded on the PPRI web site, "Help Do Research" page. I'm seeking subjects to complete the questionnaire. Contact me if you are interested.

2. Designed a 53-item measure of political leadership traits (see Publication #19. This scale is intended for use by journalists, political scientists, historians and others to assess leaders on the many traits that underlie constructive leadership attitudes. This is also loaded on the Help Do Research page. I am seeking raters. I have only very tentative data thus far on Obama, H. Clinton, McCain, G.W. Bush and Roosevelt. I rated myself and had my wife rate me, which can be a technique that could be used to measure both the reliability and validity of the instrument, using a sample of 40 or 50 couples. I am looking for groups willing to rate themselves in this manner or politicians, e.g. current U.S. Government leaders and candidates for elective office.

3. Attended a local community college sponsored peace activism convention and designed a study to measure social activism as a psychological trait. This study is loaded on the PPRI web site under Help Do Research. I'm seeking persons to complete the questionnaire.

4. Attended conventions as follow:

A. Paris, International Society of Political Psychology. Gave a brief lecture on my Authoritarianism Endorsement Scale, item # 8, Publications Page. Gave suggestions to executive committee re: subsequent convention meeting formats, to encourage more discussion and less lecture. President has said she likes this idea.

B. Berlin, International Congress of Psychology. Gave a brief lecture on psychologist ethics related to participation in illegal activities in military prisons. Attended meetings of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, making contacts that I hope will lead to constructive collaborations. For example, a university professor in Pakistan is interested in teaching a class on political psychology. I told her of my book manuscript. Since returning, I've tried unsuccessfully to contact her via e-mail.

C. Boston, American Psychological Association. Gave the lecture on ethics (B, above) and a separate presentation of my warmongering research, as summarized in Publication #22, PPRI web site. It includes my species survival theory of warmongering and constructive leadership styles.

5. Began work on a study to explore my hypothesis that liberalism and conservatism are the political manifestations of the two trait factors revealed in my studies, the anti-social factor characterized by endorsement of warmongering, special interest group democracy, military dictatorships, religious fundamentalism, authoritarianism endorsement, etc. versus the pro-social factor characterized by endorsement of public democracy, kindly religious beliefs, human rights, sustainable policies and programs, and a positive foreign policy. The study will measure 66 traits, 6 levels for each of 11 facets of liberalism/conservatism (e.g. religion, government type preference, group identification/orientation, economic policy, attitude toward authority, gender issues, etc.). Correlations within columns and rows will throw light on whether the hypothesis is correct.

6. Attended a mini-convention on the evolution of war at the U. of Oregon in October, 2008. Anthropological, biological and psychological papers were presented. Most were anthropological. Two very interesting highlights: very few persons are killed in wars, relative to total populations. Thus, I will modify my species survival theory: war doesn't bring supply and demand back into balance, it merely determines who gets access to resources when resources are short relative to demand. Also, there are very robust correlations between the conservatism style of government and a very wide range of data that supports the theory that both civil and international wars are an expression of conservatism which in turn is a trait of human groups found most often where disease pathogens are prominent. In other words, by fearing, rejecting and killing neighbors who might bring deadly diseases with them, groups have protected themselves from death by disease. The implication is that if we teach people the nature of disease and immunization and promote immunization, we may be able to ease their fears of people different from themselves and reduce their belligerent stances as expressed in civil and international warmongering.

7. My plans for the upcoming year are to present papers at conferences as finances permit and complete the studies mentioned above.


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