Monday, July 9, 2012

Moderates are miserable

Arthur C. Brooks, yesterday in The New York Times, on the apparent fact that "Conservatives Are Happier, and Extremists Are Happiest of All":
.... Scholars on both the left and right have studied this question extensively, and have reached a consensus that it is conservatives who possess the happiness edge. ....

.... According to the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, conservatives who practice a faith outnumber religious liberals in America nearly four to one. And the link to happiness? You guessed it. Religious participants are nearly twice as likely to say they are very happy about their lives as are secularists (43 percent to 23 percent). The differences don’t depend on education, race, sex or age; the happiness difference exists even when you account for income.

.... Fifty-two percent of married, religious, politically conservative people (with kids) are very happy — versus only 14 percent of single, secular, liberal people without kids. ....

There is one other noteworthy political happiness gap that has gotten less scholarly attention than conservatives versus liberals: moderates versus extremists. ....

.... People at the extremes are happier than political moderates. Correcting for income, education, age, race, family situation and religion, the happiest Americans are those who say they are either “extremely conservative” (48 percent very happy) or “extremely liberal” (35 percent). Everyone else is less happy, with the nadir at dead-center “moderate” (26 percent). .... [more]
I am a single, never married, childless, religious conservative. Should I be less happy?

And a non-political, non-theological, advantage of parenthood: "Parents less apt to common cold than non-parents, says study".

Conservatives Are Happier, and Extremists Are Happiest of All - NYTimes.com