The authors of a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences state that people who identify as conservatives perform better on tests of self-control than those who identify as statist/authoritarian, regardless of race, socio-economic status, or gender.

The self-control consequences of political ideology

I stumbled onto the study in an article at the LA Times, of all places.

Why conservatives might be better at dieting than liberals

The finding seems intuitive to me, but I’m sure it will annoy the statists. The researchers summarize their findings as

Evidence from three studies reveals a critical difference in self-control as a function of political ideology. Specifically, greater endorsement of political conservatism (versus liberalism) was associated with greater attention regulation and task persistence. Moreover, this relationship is shown to stem from varying beliefs in freewill; specifically, the association between political ideology and self-control is mediated by differences in the extent to which belief in freewill is endorsed, is independent of task performance or motivation, and is reversed when freewill is perceived to impede (rather than enhance) self-control. Collectively, these findings offer insight into the self-control consequences of political ideology by detailing conditions under which conservatives and liberals are better suited to engage in self-control and outlining the role of freewill beliefs in determining these conditions.