Study: Conservatives more likely to read opposing viewpoints than liberals

posted at 9:21 pm on June 8, 2009 by Allahpundit

Further proof that we’re more open-minded. Or is it?

People with stronger party affiliation, conservative political views, and greater interest in politics proved more likely to click on articles with opposing views, according to the Ohio State study.

“It appears that people with these characteristics are more confident in their views and so they’re more inclined to at least take a quick look at the counterarguments,” Knobloch-Westerwick noted…

The Brigham Young University survey found that journalists also tended to read liberal blogs – perhaps a reflection of journalists’ political beliefs, although even conservatives said liberal blogs were often better-written, Davis pointed out.

Among the political blog readers, a similar trend emerged in which “liberals read almost exclusively liberal blogs, but conservatives tend to read both,” Davis said.

Davis offered another possible explanation for this trend among blog readers. Conservative views dominate talk radio, and so conservatives may feel more satisfied by that outlet and are willing to check out opposing views on blogs.

I prefer the “liberals are more likely to cocoon” explanation, but feel free to vote it out in the comments. Is this bravery, confidence, or media advantage at work? Given that every outlet except talk radio and Fox News is pushing Hopenchange on us, I’m guessing it’s not the last one. Exit question: Are lefty blogs better written? Be honest, notwithstanding the fact that my ego is on the line.


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It’s not a question of whether they are better written. It’s a question of whether they are better thought. They are not.

njcommuter on June 9, 2009 at 6:01 AM

It depends on the writer. Kirsten Powers I’m more likely to read because she does a good job getting her point across even if I do disagree with the point in question. HuffPo and Politico I’m more likely to read the more neutral articles when I happen over there. But I can’t stand reading most lib blogs for more than a minute because all I see is constant conservative bashing not based in reality as well as severe cases of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

It just shows how sheltered liberals are when they even refuse to read more conservative blogs.

ScoopPC11 on June 9, 2009 at 7:15 AM

Are lefty blogs better written? Be honest, notwithstanding the fact that my ego is on the line.

I don’t read leftist blogs. I already know all there is to know about them and their psychosis. Liberals are mentally deranged and are only happy when their reality is ruled by chaos. Up is down, down is up, etc.

csdeven on June 9, 2009 at 7:20 AM

When your arguments are based on truth it is confidence inspiring. Libs have to lie all of the time to stick to their talking points. They have to deny what we all know about human nature.

echosyst on June 8, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Bingo.

The libs also always have to construct a straw man “demon” of the other side and portray people as “victims” of it. It’s a pure emotional argument that has no logical foundation.

wildcat84 on June 9, 2009 at 7:37 AM

Davis offered another possible explanation for this trend among blog readers. Conservative views dominate talk radio, and so conservatives may feel more satisfied by that outlet and are willing to check out opposing views on blogs.

Talk radio airs (and thus exposes) liberal ideas. Rush spends a good part of most every day reading directly from news pieces which describe the liberal agenda.

So yeah, we’re well-informed about opposing views, and liberals need not fear that their ideas will die on the vine from a lack of exposure.

Buy Danish on June 9, 2009 at 7:40 AM

It’s only because the MSM is so leftist that you cannot avoid seeing the little traitors pushing that POSPOTUS onto us, as the nation goes into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

TexasJew on June 9, 2009 at 7:44 AM

even conservatives said liberal blogs were often better-written

Conservatives like kathleen parker, david frum and david brooks? I go over there to kos and huff and read that stuff(and stuff is a polite word for another that begins with s). I also check out the more mainstream liberal writers. I find liberal writers in both venues are for the most part, arrogant, elitist, condescending to their own readers and mostly not very smart. Often the entire premise of an article is based on a media/leftist constructed “truth” and they play fast and loose with any attempt at supporting data. The writing is mostly dishonest because although they may be true believers, they know that facts and reality don’t support their positions. Kind of funny that an awful lot of them are atheists yet their political beliefs would blow away without being anchored down by blind faith. Conservative writers, genuine conservative writers, on blogs and in the mainstream are mechanically, knowledge-wise and style-wise better. Something grassroots conservatives and the general public need to get into their heads, alot of these writers are coming from ivy league and elitist northeastern universities. These universities may still put out talented well trained scientists but the liberal arts side of these universities are just ideology factories. The purpose of the liberal arts schools isn’t to produce scholars, it’s to produce agents of leftist ideology and influence.

peacenprosperity on June 9, 2009 at 7:51 AM

Both left and right blogs will link to stories on each others blogs. Conservatives like to read the links to see for themselves, liberals will just go with the word of the blogger. After all a lefty doesn’t have to read a post from HotAir to know it was racist.

Gwillie on June 9, 2009 at 8:03 AM

After hearing the regurgitations ala media matters, as to very iffy or none corroborated evidence even by the msm one cannot help but to come to this conclusion. I wonder how much ‘opposition’ reading Sotomayor has done?

imperator on June 9, 2009 at 8:16 AM

Liberal blogs are propoganda outlets…Conservative ones are that of regular folks wanting to air there views. Like most things it is more important what is said for conservatives rather than the flash of a site. I think some people are getting the two mixed up.

tomas on June 9, 2009 at 8:29 AM

Progressives belief system is so fragile that it can’t stand anything that might call it into question.

Kip on June 9, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Wow. I sure missed a good party last night…story of my sad sad life…

ladyingray on June 9, 2009 at 8:43 AM

Let’s see, how does that Jack Nicholson line from “A Few Good Men” go?

Oh yeah.

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!!

I bet liberals absolutely hate that movie.

pilamaye on June 9, 2009 at 8:49 AM

Are lefty blogs better written?

Surely you jest.

NoFanofLibs on June 9, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Recently, I got into an argument with a lefty over a conservative columnist and I asked her if she had ever read this person’s work. Answer: I don’t need to. I countered: Funny, that’s what liberals always say. Shut her right up.

Disturb the Universe on June 9, 2009 at 9:07 AM

The true conservative in these days of liberal dominated education and media, is often one who has expended much time and effort at the (self)re-education necesssary to learn the TRUTH to the best of his/her ability.Ideally, such an individual will indeed investigate the views of the left in order to know them and counter them. I do find that relatively few liberals make this effort to learn about the other side, nor do I find them particularly well-read. It is a real shame and contributed greatly to the election of Obama . . . .

Sherman1864 on June 9, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Leftist garbage requires a certain, how do you say, repackaging to make it believable. Lefty bloggers probably just have better practice at this process. Righties fall back on reason and logic, ordinarily, which often leaves less room for rhetorical flair. (Not that it can’t be done with some style, mind you.)

cackcon on June 9, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Are lefty blogs better written?

If by written you mean cribbed from a central clearinghouse of talking points, then yes.

spmat on June 9, 2009 at 9:25 AM

The words “know thy enemy” come to mind.

If a person wants to formulate an argument based on facts, and truth (NOT what is “true”) then you need to have an understanding of what the oppositions counter argument might be. Best way to find that out is to see what the psychopaths liberal bloggers are saying.

Once a clear picture of the argument/counter argument is formulated, and the shaky pillars of their soap box are identified we can happily come behind their tirades and kick the support out from under them. Grinning as they face plant into the sidewalk of reality.

wuesteblitz on June 9, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Study: Conservatives more likely to read opposing viewpoints than liberals

Really? lol

/s

Study: Conservatives more likely to read opposing viewpoints than liberals

FIFY

bluelightbrigade on June 9, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Anyone who has spent any time at all even near a liberal knows that they are, without exception, close minded and stupid.

Liberals will absolutely NOT READ anything from ANY source that is even a little bit right of center, unless it is to ridicule and trash it, and will berate and ridicule anyone who does read from those sources, and gives them creditiblity, because that is their only form of intellect.

Their own far-left liberal sources, where they get all the confirmation they need for their already made up minds, are always above reproach and the absolute truth. Everyone else is a lying, ignorant, bigot, racist.

As far as the “well written” comment is concerned? That’s a common liberal tactic. Just label liberals more intelligent, more articulate, better read, and better writers, and you’ve already won.

Please, people. I challenge everyone here to go to HuffPo or Daily Kos and just TRY to read three articles. About ANYTHING. All the way to the end. Then go to Townhall, or Human Events, or any other conservative site of your choice, and then try to tear yourself away so you can get some work done.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re all working. I’m retired so I have an excuse.

Jaynie59 on June 9, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Well, in the left’s defense, there aren’t a lot of conservative viewpoints readily available. Conservatives don’t really have a choice but to be spoon-fed liberal opinions.

I’m sure that, though, will lead to solid governance. I mean, it’s worked wonders thus far…

MikeSC on June 9, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Maybe its just because I read some conservative sources each day (Hot Air being one) despite my rampant liberalism, that I just do not believe this survey. I think that both sides tend to cocoon more than they like to admit.

theonionfisher on June 9, 2009 at 9:55 AM

My own Left Coast family avoids my conservative blog like the plague. Yet at least one of them just loves the Huffington Post. So, yeah, this study rings true to me.

WannabeAnglican on June 9, 2009 at 10:27 AM

If by well written, you mean long and hard to finish more than 2 or 3 paragraphs; then yes they are. There are few lefty writers whom I can actually read the whole article.

la.rt.wngr on June 9, 2009 at 10:27 AM

If by “better written” they mean “uses unecessarily archaic and elitist liberal buzzwords”, then perhaps something like HuffPo is better written.

If by “better written” they mean “vitriolic tripe filled soul degrading nonsense”, then perhaps DKos is better written.

But if they mean “better written” in the normal sense of clearly articulating rational ideas to a wide audience, then I’m going to have to give the nod to conservative blogs. Present blog not excluded.

Meorum on June 9, 2009 at 10:46 AM

“It appears that people with these characteristics are more confident in their views and so they’re more inclined to at least take a quick look at the counterarguments,” Knobloch-Westerwick noted…

From my personal perspective, nothing could be further from the truth. While I certainly attempt to independently determine the truth of an issue or a policy before making a firm conclusion, once I have made up my mind the last thing I would do is go off looking for liberal opinions on the matter.

I can’t stomach reading their stupid, irrational delusions.

Jaibones on June 9, 2009 at 10:53 AM

I bet liberals absolutely hate that movie.

pilamaye on June 9, 2009 at 8:49 AM

Are you kidding? It was made by liberals for liberals. That Nicholson accidently screws it up by throwing us a pile of red meat doesn’t change the conclusion, where they show him to be a dinosaur and a danger to his own men. Sure, they blur the line a little to claim some nuance – it’s still a LibFest/Self-Righteousness Orgy.

Jaibones on June 9, 2009 at 10:56 AM

There aren’t as many well-written right blogs. Perhaps that’s where the notion comes fromm that the left writes better.

AnninCA on June 9, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Ah, it is finally great to be able to contribute. I was feeling a bit lurker-ish.

Before we declare victory for conservatives everywhere having more of an open mind than liberals, I think the study needs to be examined to determine what kind of conclusions can be made. Reading the comments, I sense a common theme of the irrational liberal and the logical conservative. The only problem with this conclusion is that the study only provides a brief glimpse into the difference between conservative and liberal reading habits. Why? It is because the study was mainly intended to further prove statistically that the avoidance in cognitive dissidence exists when people read the news and it suffers from sample bias when trying to read into other variables including political preferences.

I find that this study is very valuable for its main task, but like many university studies, the sample is not a true representation of the full population.

This study had “sample size of 156, with an average age of 22.0 years (SD = 3.6), 97 females (62%), and 59 males (38%).”

“Overall, the strongest impact resulted from habitual news use, which applied across all four criteria. More frequent news use led to greater preference of attitude-consistent messages and greater avoidance of counterattitudinal content, based on article choices as well as exposure times.”

What this tells me is that people who pay attention to politics expose themselves to differing viewpoints to challege themselves, liberal and conservative. As for the rest, in the limited time that they do pay attention, they read only with the sea change of popularity, which in college tends liberal. This would most likely distort the results and lead to a weak statistical significance, which was seen in the paper.

-Bourbaki

weilbourbaki on June 9, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Political Junkies supposedly prefer to read blogs over other media because they perceive it to be MORE accurate and unbiased? Dude, I consider most of AllahPundit’s writing to be inaccurate. I just respect that he tries to understand a conservative perspective while I try and rip a part his. It’s a give and take blogger/commenter relationship. I consider AllahPundit The Giver. You know? The Giver of Megan McCain. The Giver of Anti-Religion. The Giver of Anti-Conservative Polls. The Giver of David Frum articles. You all know the routine. He sifts through the sh!t I have no time to read.

Sultry Beauty on June 9, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Conservatives more likely to read opposing viewpoints than liberals

Conservatives are ALSO more likely to UNDERSTAND opposing viewpoints than liberals.

Lawrence on June 9, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Anyone who has spent any time at all even near a liberal knows that they are, without exception, close minded and stupid.
Jaynie59 on June 9, 2009 at 9:47 AM

I sincerely hope that this is just baiting but this overgeneralization and many more like it are unnecessary. It’s actually quite childish to shout, “Anyone who doesn’t think like me or follow my political leanings is an idiot”, and doesn’t lead to any constructive discussion.

There are closed-minds and dumb people on both sides. For every Jeananne Garafalo, there is a Heidi Pratt on the other side. I would like to think that you at least recognize that F.D.R. was smart enough to get us through not-so-easy depression and World War II, even if you don’t agree with his liberal policies.

weilbourbaki on June 9, 2009 at 11:36 AM

When your arguments are based on truth it is confidence inspiring. Libs have to lie all of the time to stick to their talking points. They have to deny what we all know about human nature.

echosyst on June 8, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Bingo.

The libs also always have to construct a straw man “demon” of the other side and portray people as “victims” of it. It’s a pure emotional argument that has no logical foundation.

wildcat84 on June 9, 2009 at 7:37 AM

Little more need be said. I have found this to be true of every single liberal I have debated in person. Once forced to admit they really believe [your favorite subject here, e.g. trutherism, global warming] they recant and say things like, “Well, pollution is still bad.” or “Bush was still a bad President.”

The left is full of lies and a form of delusion that is hard for most to imagine. They can’t engage the views of others because to do so will shatter their glass web.

Oh, and thanks for letting me register today. Long time reader! My first post here.

Jungle31 on June 9, 2009 at 11:39 AM

When your arguments are based on truth it is confidence inspiring. Libs have to lie all of the time to stick to their talking points. They have to deny what we all know about human nature.

echosyst on June 8, 2009 at 11:19 PM

The achilles heel of liberalism: denial of human nature.

WordsMatter on June 9, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Are you kidding? It was made by liberals for liberals. That Nicholson accidently screws it up by throwing us a pile of red meat doesn’t change the conclusion, where they show him to be a dinosaur and a danger to his own men. Sure, they blur the line a little to claim some nuance – it’s still a LibFest/Self-Righteousness Orgy.

Jaibones on June 9, 2009 at 10:56 AM

I concur. The premise: law enforcement triumphs over those who take extraordinary measures to defend the country and our freedoms. A very timely movie.

WordsMatter on June 9, 2009 at 11:50 AM

This news actually doesn’t surprise me at all.

I once sent a liberal friend a link to an article that argued against global warming. His immediate reaction was to disregard the article on the grounds that there was a FOX SPORTS advertisement on the page. Not FOX NEWS, but FOX SPORTS. I guess anything remotely related to FOX was enough for him to denounce as “conservative propaganda”.

Liberals close-minded? Ya think?

Ryan Garns on June 9, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Exit question: Are lefty blogs better written? Be honest, notwithstanding the fact that my ego is on the line.

As if this were even a question. I’ve been to Kos; it ain’t pretty.

TheUnrepentantGeek on June 9, 2009 at 12:00 PM

A friend of mine has gone to the dark side of the force. It is funny, kind of, in that he constantly tells me how biased FoxNews is – yet he has no idea what channel it is on.

Jed_Eckert on June 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM

While I was reading the article my wife had this to say “truth is never threatened by a lie, but lies are always threatened by the truth”. I couldn’t have worded it better than that.

chemman on June 9, 2009 at 12:31 PM

“It appears that people with these characteristics are more confident in their views and so they’re more inclined to at least take a quick look at the counterarguments,” Knobloch-Westerwick noted…<

Should read:

more… Knowledgeable, Grounded in historical fact, empirical evidence, well reasoned examination of the long term effects, and unafraid of disagreements or differing beliefs from liberals because we already know they are totally wrong.

babydoll4you on June 9, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Leftward blogs are more likely to be written better than rightward, because leftward blogs are more likely than rightward to have been written by professional journalists.

This is not to suggest, however, that leftward blogs evidence better thinking than rightward. They do not.

philwynk on June 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Any conservative who’s ever spent time on a left blog knows this is true. They’re echo chambers, replete with comment policies designed to eliminate opposing points of view, banning people who bring up unwelcome arguments, etc. The contrast between, for example, Talkleft and HotAir is striking.

Gaunilon on June 9, 2009 at 1:58 PM

The assertion conservatives’ domination of talk radio driving their willingness to seek other views sort of begs the question.

Given we still have relatively free markets, conservative domination of talk radio is not an a priori fact.

rogersnowden on June 9, 2009 at 2:11 PM

I took this article to Huff-post, and people were attacking me for having an opposing viewpoint. Sad to say they couldn’t deny the truth in it, however.

As for me, Hotair and Huff-post are the most highly trafficked blogs by myself. I visit huff-post because I always think it’s fun to stir up commotion and such. Plus, it is always nice to give other conservatives on the site help.

Huff-FluffOpponent on June 9, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Huff-post recently had an article saying that conservatives are disgusted more easily. Maybe it’s from reading these opposing viewpoints.
The comments on that article were mostly asking how conservatives could stand to look in the mirror, as if you can just tell the difference between a conservative and a liberal by looking at them… Maybe we just look happier, and liberals can’t stand that.

Huff-FluffOpponent on June 9, 2009 at 2:24 PM

“There are closed-minds and dumb people on both sides. For every Jeananne Garafalo, there is a Heidi Pratt on the other side. I would like to think that you at least recognize that F.D.R. was smart enough to get us through not-so-easy depression and World War II, even if you don’t agree with his liberal policies.

weilbourbaki on June 9, 2009 at 11:36 AM”

In regards to liberals, I think one can certainly be “smart”, however that may be defined, and still be quite wrong. Also, nothing irritates me more than a conservative who hasn’t informed themselves enough to debate his/her own opinions, as they hurt the conservative cause as much as anyone. However, offering up FDR as an example in liberal intelligence doesn’t help their cause at all, either. My knowledge of his wartime leadership is too generic to foster anything but a favorable opinion…but as far as economics, he was as much a socialist as Obama is, and his policies dragged the depression out. Sadly, WWII was the only thing that could save our country from the pit of economic despair he created.

turner71 on June 9, 2009 at 10:19 PM

Leftist blogs are by no means “better” written, but they are far more reliant on rhetoric, as opposed too dryer, reality based conservative arguments. So to someone not actively critiquing the argument or logic presented (which is usually non-existent), I’m sure these passionate diatribes seem very elegant.

Just for grins, I’m including a dictionary entry: rhet·o·ric, NOUN: The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively. Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous.

turner71 on June 9, 2009 at 10:35 PM

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