Hong Kong Liberals are Weird: Analytic Thought Increases Support for Liberal Policies

37 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2018

See all articles by Thomas Talhelm

Thomas Talhelm

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Date Written: June 20, 2018

Abstract

This study tests whether liberals and conservatives within the same society think as if they were from different cultures. I tested this by measuring the cultural thought style of social liberals and conservatives in Hong Kong (Study 1). Liberals tended to think more analytically (more “WEIRD”), and conservatives tended to think more holistically (more common in East Asia). In Study 2, I trained people to think analytically or holistically before they read articles on political issues. Analytic thought caused people to form more liberal opinions, and holistic thought caused people to form more conservative opinions. The thought training affected participants’ responses to a social issue, but not an economic issue or whether they identified as liberal or conservative. This study replicates a previous US finding in an East Asian culture and a different political environment, suggesting that the link between politics and thought style extends beyond the US.

Keywords: politics, culture, Hong Kong, thought style, cognitive style

Suggested Citation

Talhelm, Thomas, Hong Kong Liberals are Weird: Analytic Thought Increases Support for Liberal Policies (June 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3199627 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3199627

Thomas Talhelm (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/faculty/directory/t/thomas-talhelm

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