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March 24, 2006

"Whiny Babies Become Conservatives" Study Update: Research Done At Pre-School Open Only To Berkeley Univ. Faculty!

They all started off as whiny little bitches, for crying out loud.

This obviously isn't a very representative study. Is it possible the "whiniest" children were the ones who had previously been raised mostly by their mothers -- in the old, repressive conservative fashion -- while the ones who weren't so whiny were quite accustomed to having perfect strangers care for them during the day, as upwardly-mobile career-driven (liberal!) women are wont to do with their kids?

I don't know. The whole study is obviously jackass. It's just amazing how jackass it actually is.

A tipster informs Michelle:

[O]n a more informal, anecdotal level: I have personally witnessed what goes on at the Child Study Center (or what went on there several years ago - I'm sure it's the same today, as its mission has not changed):

Toddlers and young children (generally aged between 2 and 5) frolic around and do activities as in any day care/nursery school/kindergarten setting. But the difference is there are adult researchers (some even with the proverbial clipboards) hovering around at all times, monitoring the kids, "observing" their behavior, writing down little notes and filling out charts about the kids' personalities and activities and so on.

And here's the key, from my personal observation: the researchers get it all wrong! They often have some esoteric psychological/behavioral academic fad they're trying to prove, so they ascribe the most bizarre and ludicrous motivations for the kids' actions, scribbling notes about "ego resilience" and "crypto-sexual manifestations" and blah blah blah. It would be comical if if wasn't taken so seriously. I can assure you that whatever data they gathered in the '60s or '70s about how "whiny" these kids were was totally bogus and off-the-mark.

"Ego resilience"? "Crypto-sexual manifestations"? Well, I guess no one gets their psychological studies published by reporting stuff like "Bobby wanted a crayon from Marcy, and so he grabbed it from her, and she cried and 'told on him,' and then later, to get revenge, he pointedly built his building-blocks in such a way as to block her from his view, which made her cry again. She is still debating whether to 'tell' a second time."

Thanks to Dale.

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posted by Ace at 12:17 PM

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