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Libertarian personality

Someone studied it and concluded that libertarians are cold and calculating:

The study collated the results of 16 personality surveys and experiments completed by nearly 12,000 self-identified libertarians who visited The researchers compared the libertarians to tens of thousands of self-identified liberals and conservatives. It was hardly surprising that the team found that libertarians strongly value liberty, especially the “negative liberty” of freedom from interference by others. Given the philosophy of their heroes, from John Locke and John Stuart Mill to Ayn Rand and Ron Paul, it also comes as no surprise that libertarians are also individualistic, stressing the right and the need for people to stand on their own two feet, rather than the duty of others, or government, to care for people.

Perhaps more intriguingly, when libertarians reacted to moral dilemmas and in other tests, they displayed less emotion, less empathy and less disgust than either conservatives or liberals. They appeared to use “cold” calculation to reach utilitarian conclusions about whether (for instance) to save lives by sacrificing fewer lives. They reached correct, rather than intuitive, answers to math and logic problems, and they enjoyed “effortful and thoughtful cognitive tasks” more than others do.

The researchers found that libertarians had the most “masculine” psychological profile, while liberals had the most feminine, and these results held up even when they examined each gender separately, which “may explain why libertarianism appeals to men more than women.”

My god! They think and do math!

38 Responses to “Libertarian personality”

  1. HL Says:

    It’s fairly simple, and I think my Anthropology professor from 20 years ago covered this.

    Women tend to prefer saftey over freedom, men tend to value the opposite.

    Women will make any sacrifice to protect their babies, and men will do anything to take part in creating in as many as possible.

    Liberal men tend to be a little feminine, while conserative women tend to be incredibly hot and desirable.

    It’s likely the reason we have survived as a species.

  2. HL Says:


    The Professor would probably agree that I can only spot typos while I am hitting the “Submit” button.

  3. comatus Says:

    No Sagittarians believe in astrology.

    I have a profound mistrust of the profession of psychology. I have never met a psychologist (and I studied under some prominent ones) who did not have severe personal issues, worn on the sleeve.

    The good ones know enough to limit the scope of their study accordingly, and weigh the results and consequences. And I reckon I’ve met both the good ones.

  4. nk Says:

    When I wanted to get in touch with my feminine side, I patted my wife’s bottom.

    I agree, HL. Women nest, men hunt.

  5. Phelps Says:


  6. Timmeehh Says:

    I only studied Psych to the level of PSY101, but that was enough for me to realise that it was BS.

  7. Jerry Says:

    Wuckin’ fookies.

  8. Paul Says:

    Libertarians believe in LIBERTY, and that is not being cold at all.

    Progressives and liberals, on the other hand, think about just the masses and are quite happy to kill off the weak, handicapped, old, infirm, defenseless, etc.. for the ‘greater good’.

    That is why abortion means so much to them.

  9. Michael Curtis Says:

    Libertarians are the extreme version of Conservatism.
    Liberals are the extreme version of Progressivism.

    Both of them have a few remarkable things in common.

    They don’t live in reality
    They often talk a lot about how things SHOULD BE
    They seldom live their own ideals
    They are mostly hypocrites
    They believe that they are the smartest people on earth

    What your don’t believe me? OK, when was the last time you knew a liberal who gave more than 33% in taxes?

    When was the last time you met a Libertarian who didn’t send his kids to public school

    Honestly I have no time for either of them.

  10. comatus Says:

    Well you have certainly settled that issue to your complete satisfaction. I salute your thoroughgoing sense of consistency. Do you happen, by any chance, to know a good psychologist?

  11. Roberta X Says:

    It’s a big damn world, peopled by people who lean all sorts of directions. When you’ve stopped having time for any of ’em — as long as they’re not committing force of fraud — you’ve started digging the high and narrow walls of your own grave. Why be in a hurry to do that?

    …Also, “libertarian” != “conservative.” Pretty sure most of the latter would be mortified by my opinions on birth control, abortion and who otta be “allowed” to commit wedlock, not to mention drugs, alcohol and guns, and who should be “allowed” to buy and use them.

  12. Roberta X Says:

    (Make that “force OR fraud”).

  13. John Farrier Says:

    When was the last time you met a Libertarian who didn’t send his kids to public school

    When was the last time a libertarian was allowed to opt out of paying taxes to pay for public schools in exchange for not using public schools?

  14. Gnarly Sheen Says:

    Post #9 includes some of the dumbest material I’ve ever seen on the internet. That’s saying a lot, considering I read 4chan, DU, and CNN for kicks.

    “They don’t live in reality” I’m not sure where to go with this one. Where else could they live? This sounds more like someone whining about how libertarians won’t come around to the “right” way of thinking.

    “They often talk a lot about how things SHOULD BE” You mean like the way people say that everyone should have “free” healthcare? Or that the rich should pay more in taxes? Or how Obama/Romney should be president?

    “They seldom live their own ideals” [citation needed]

    “They are mostly hypocrites” [citation needed][bullshit detected]

    “They believe that they are the smartest people on earth” [citation needed][bullshit detected][butthurtness evident]

    “Libertarians are the extreme version of Conservatism.” Remind me again about how much libertarians love foreign interventionism/”nation-building” and the PATRIOT act.

    In the future, you should actually learn about the thing you’re criticizing instead of posting some half-assed dribble so as to avoid looking ignorant on the subject.

  15. Michael Curtis Says:

    Oh the buthurt, lol

    #10 there is no such thing as a good psychologist. The fact that you seek one says much

    #11 maybe I would but its unlikely that any of that matters considering most of those ideals would never gain traction….. so…..

    #13 school taxes are usually based on land tax. SO its pretty easy to “opt out” you just don’t have the luxury of public services.

    #15 OH THE BUTHURT, man did I strike a nerve. Was mommy on welfare?

    They live in ideal world where thier “not voting for romney” is gonna show them kids whats what.

    -no more like “i should not have to pay taxes for something i don’t use, or “i don’t have the right to tell someone how to live their lives” all the while…. you get the point.

    read #13

    Im sure you think your very smart …. oh the irony of your buthurt

    No they would much rather sit back and wait till they get picked off fromt he world around them. see above.

    did you learn everything you know from “4chan, DU, and CNN”

    well that makes more sense now

    Please PLEASE bring me more … your libertarian tears… they fuel my keyboard.

  16. JKB Says:

    Of course, libertarians appear cold. You must steel yourself to let others live their own lives, make their own mistakes, especially when that other is your own child. Of course, the payoff is when you see the other succeed, gain confidence, and become a free, independent person.

  17. Gnarly Sheen Says:

    “#15 OH THE BUTHURT, man did I strike a nerve. Was mommy on welfare?”

    Uh, #15 refers to your OWN post, Einstein. I like how you had to resort to a very sad attempt at a mom joke because you can’t actually back up any of the stupid that you posted. Ultimately, the problems with our country boil down to the fact that ignorant people, like you, vote.

    “Please PLEASE bring me more … your libertarian tears… they fuel my keyboard.” I just assumed it was powered by ignorance. In which case, you have a perpetual-motion machine there.

  18. Michael Curtis Says:

    Well by that logic, I should put my 2 year old out on the sidewalk and just watch him grow.

    I think Ayn Rand put it best ….

    But I will just link her words.

    I suggest reading more at that site, it gives some great insight.

  19. Gnarly Sheen Says:

    “Well by that logic, I should put my 2 year old out on the sidewalk and just watch him grow.”

    By WHAT logic? No one can follow your batshit-crazy non-sequiturs.

  20. Michael Curtis Says:

    #17 – Does your world have perpetual motion machines?

    Wow that must be a nice place.

    His comment had not valuable content, so I mocked him.

    Mom jokes are the bottom of the barrel…. but its been a long day so… i’ll live with myself.

  21. Michael Curtis Says:


    I was going to troll your comment but then i realized, WTF are you saying. Then I found out a movie is playing that I wanted to see so I left it at this

    read #16 then #18

    I will say this though, had I talked to more libertardians I may have very well reconsidered my ideals on abortion.

  22. Old NFO Says:

    The part I have problems with is the ‘self identified’… Once again a self licking ice cream cone of a survey…

  23. HSR47 Says:

    “#13 school taxes are usually based on land tax. SO its pretty easy to “opt out” you just don’t have the luxury of public services. ” -#15

    You do realize what happens when you fail to pay property taxes, right?

    Here in PA, the Sheriff puts your house up for sale to pay off the debt. For all intents and purposes it’s exactly the same outcome as failing to pay the mortgage, only slightly less complicated.

    As it stands, it is a complete impossibility to avoid paying property taxes if you live and work in these United States. You will pay them regardless of your housing arrangement, either directly if you own your home, or indirectly through your landlord if you rent. Furthermore, any business transaction with a company which uses taxable property will also help fund THEIR property tax liabilities.

    There is NO way to avoid paying property taxes while living as a part of society. To suggest otherwise is to peddle ignorance.

  24. Jack Says:

    HSR47, peddling ignorance seems pretty fitting for someone who is full of the tired troll cliches of “Your Mom” lines, you should have been aborted, tears fuel my keyboard, and the expected back patting and glad handing. I’m actually shocked he hasn’t tried gloating about his social engineering skills.

    And that’s not getting into the comments on Weerd’s. We have someone who takes his “trolling” as very serious business. And by his own admission there’s no actual attempt to convince or persuade. Just an open troll trying to raise ire. He’s proud of getting people to write posts mocking his comments.

    Which is the biggest troll cliche of all. “People are saying things to me: I win!”

  25. Arnie Says:

    I met a dozen libertarian families just two days ago in worship services who all homeschool. They also pay property taxes. I MAKE time to be around them!

  26. treefroggy Says:

    “OK, when was the last time you knew a liberal who gave more than 33% in taxes?”

    Taxes aren’t given, they are taken.

  27. Geodkyt Says:

    Nor are property taxes the only sourse of funding for public schools.

    In Virginia, for instance, the schools are WHOLLY funded out of general revenues, even those portions theoretically funded by sales tax and lottery revenues. MOST of the funding comes from the state level for all but the wealthiest counties. That doesn’t count the federal funding, that is primarily generated through federal income taxes.

    In your world, I guess libertarians can avoid paying ANY state or local taxes of any sort (including pass-through taxes, if they shop only in the underground economy), much less avoid paying federal taxes. Otherwise, they ARE paying for the public schools, whether they use them or not (and in my county, a LOT of people, both libertarian and fundamentalist Christians, home school).

    We do have a word for people who live without paying any taxes, including sales taxes and pass-through taxes. The descriptor would not be “libertarian”, however. It would be “batshit crazy hermit dude”. Think Ted Kozinski, not Ayn Rand.

  28. Todd Says:

    Michael Curtis = Chief of the Butthurt Troll Clan. They are Psudo-cousins of the Insane Clown Posse. LOL.

  29. Jim Says:

    Have the neocon armies fled yet? If they have it’s probably time to remind people that the world actually operates on the principle of TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) whether we like it or not. Universal healthcare? Love to. Just can’t afford it. free phones for everybody? Alright. Nope. sorry can’t do that either. Libertarianism is an outgrowth of the adult realization that Government is probably not the answer.

  30. Michael Curtis Says:

    #23 You can in fact live outside of the social construct all together.

    Seriously, this should be the libertarian fucking utopia. Live in a trailer, maybe down by the river. Don’t send your kids to public school and divorce yourself from a sane existence. Then talk to me about your ideals …. till then you a hippo.

    Literally this is what the libertarian concept projects. Otherwise you will have to find some level of compromise. But I think you pretty much made my argument for me. “There is NO way to avoid paying property taxes while living as a part of society. To suggest otherwise is to peddle ignorance.” so you see, there is no way you can be a libertarian without a) being a hippo or b)divorcing yourself from the modern realities of cooperative existence.

    Seeing that your entire post is functionally inept and a really terrible attempt at trolling a troll…. the irony does at lest make me giggle. Hell I guess all i got to say is …. u mad bro?

    …. he seems mad


    Good for them, I would be interested and talking to THEM. (I actually do find it interesting to talk with persons that actually follow their own ethos)

    That being said, I have met lots of people. None of them are here right now are they.


    Libertarians are bat shit crazy or hippos. (of course there are those that label themselves as libertardian but in reality are something else entirely)

    But what does Ayn Rand say about libertardians?

    turns out she didn’t like them much either

    “I’ve read nothing by a Libertarian (when I read them, in the early years) that wasn’t my ideas badly mishandled—i.e., had the teeth pulled out of them—with no credit given. I didn’t know whether I should be glad that no credit was given, or disgusted. I felt both. They are perhaps the worst political group today, because they can do the most harm to capitalism, by making it disreputable.”

    Boy I know that feeling.

    Man I almost wish I could watch the anger well up in the faces of libertardians when they read that.

    #28 Todd = Failing troll who doesn’t understand that LOL is something best done when you are being funny.

    Nice try though.


    Jim, you absolutely right, but that’s really not a libertarian concept as much as its a conservative concept. AND NEOCONS god don’t get me started on the ideas a unfunded cake.

  31. S.W.G. Says:

    Why all the hate towards people who just want to be left alone?

  32. Todd Says:

    @ michael curtis

    Oh, I was just loling about the insane clown posse reference. The first part was just true.

  33. Jim Says:

    No It’s not a conservative idea. The war on people, excuse me, drugs ( I get so confused about the whole war-on-inanimate-objects thing) is a conservative idea.
    I do so love that conservatives feel that they get to define me and always define me as some kind of near sociopath, living in a trailer down on a piece of bottom land on the Flint river. Libertarianism is the idea that everyone (yes that means gays too) gets to live their own life and not be bothered, molested, dragged in for questioning etc

  34. Michael Curtis Says:


    We all know why YOU think your laughing

    But its still stupid


    We are not defining what is a libitardian

    Jesse Ventura and his ilk are

    Just sayin

  35. Jim Says:

    Go out to the web,look up “ad hominem ” get back to me. Just sayin’

  36. fucema Says:

    I don’t have a problem with this study. Call me cold and calculating, I am completely fine with that.

  37. Beaumont Says:

    People who live their lives based on kneejerk emotional reactions refer to people who live their lives based on principles as “cold and calculating”. Oh, the irony.

    And the schadenfreude, as well.

  38. Alpheus Says:

    @Michael Curtis:

    First of all, I would be entirely happy not to pay for “public” education, but I still do, due to taxes being forcibly taken from me. Having said that, I *still* consider it a better investment to pay that tax, and then educate my children on my own, than had I sent my children to public “school”.

    If our “education” system doesn’t convince us that socialized anything doesn’t work, then *nothing* will.

    Second, I would be happy to consider moving to a place where so-called “anarcho-capitalism” is practiced. Will you, and society in general, promise not to send in the tax collectors, or the police, or the inspectors, or even the army (even for our own defense), if we decided to settle some place in the middle of nowhere, to live life as we see fit? If “anarcho-capitalism” is going to be the chaos of lawlessness that it’s supposed to be, then we should have no problem designating “anarcho-capitalism” zones, should we? Because no one would be willing to live there…

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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