But before they answered the survey questions, we had them engage in an intense imagination exercise. They were asked to close their eyes and richly imagine being visited by a genie who granted them a superpower. For half of our participants, this superpower was to be able to fly, under one’s own power. For the other half, it was to be completely physically safe, invulnerable to any harm.
If they had just imagined being able to fly, their responses to the social attitude survey showed the usual clear difference between Republicans and Democrats — the former endorsed more conservative positions on social issues and were also more resistant to social change in general.
But if they had instead just imagined being completely physically safe, the Republicans became significantly more liberal — their positions on social attitudes were much more like the Democratic respondents. And on the issue of social change in general, the Republicans’ attitudes were now indistinguishable from the Democrats. Imagining being completely safe from physical harm had done what no experiment had done before — it had turned conservatives into liberals.
This crap right here is why real Americans are fed up with “higher education” and this is nothing short of pseudoscience.
Putting unrelated information into the minds of survey participants prior to asking questions has a different name in political circles. It’s known as a push poll. Rather than getting an accurate impression of a person’s opinions, you’re poisoning the well in advance to sway their feelings. It’s also little more than a temporary effect.
With that in mind, I would suggest that Yale stop attempting to “cure” conservatism as if it were some sort of disease. This report appears to be little more than a phony attempt to festoon some bits of science onto a liberal, open borders manifesto.
Or, if they insist on traipsing down this particular path, I would suggest assembling a similar group of test subjects and showing them all a picture of Kate Steinle, followed by some grisly scenes of the handiwork of MS-13. Then ask them all about their feelings on immigration issues being sure to include the word “illegal.” Get back to us after you see how that works out. Who knows? You might even cure some liberals for a little while.