Steve Hayward has a post over at PowerLine that takes a look at some of the correlations found in the raw data in the Pew Research Center’s latest American Trends Panel Survey. The top line conclusion is that Liberals are more than twice as likely as conservatives to be found to have a mental health condition. The work is by Zach Goldberg, a Ph.D. student.
One interesting graph in the PowerLine piece shows the percentage of respondents reporting having been diagnosed with depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia across the political spectrum. For very liberals the self-reported number is 32 %. For very conservatives it’s 11.8 %. The difference is so wide that the lowest value in the confidence interval range for very liberals is well above the highest value in the possible range for very conservatives.
I followed the link to Goldberg’s work at Thread Reader, and found more interesting material. One graph that stood out to me shows the average scores on the Big 5 personality battery made by white liberals who did and did not self-report a previous mental health diagnosis. Note that the while the scores on the Yes side are more skewed from average, they are still well within one standard deviation of average.Here are my scores on the Big 5 personality battery. (Note that the vertical scale is twice that of the graph above.)
It seems that my personality is mostly the opposite of a mentally ill liberal. I’m below average on neuroticism and agreeableness (I’m hard to get along with, but that doesn’t really bother me), and I’m above average in extroversion and conscientiousness (I’m pushy about getting things done). The only main personality trait I share with liberals is openness to new ideas, but most of them aren’t as open as I am.
No wonder I have trouble getting along with these people.