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A Complete Psychological Analysis of Trump's Support

Discussion in 'Psychology News' started by PureX, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I cam across an in depth analysis of the motivations behind support for Donald Trump that ring very true in my experience of his supporters. It's a long article, but very well worth the read in that it ferrets out a significant number, if not all, of the various motivations going on in the minds of adamant Trump supporters.

    SOURCE HERE (Phychology Today)

    Here are the main points: (I think traits 4, 5, and 6 are particularly significant.)

    1. Practicality Trumps Morality

    For some wealthy people, it’s simply a financial matter. Trump offers tax cuts for the rich and wants to do away with government regulation that gets in the way of businessmen making money, even when that regulation exists for the purpose of protecting the environment. Others, like blue-collared workers, like the fact that the president is trying to bring jobs back to America from places like China. Some people who genuinely are not racist (those who are will be discussed later) simply want stronger immigration laws because they know that a country with open borders is not sustainable. These people have put their practical concerns above their moral ones.

    2. The Brain’s Attention System Is More Strongly Engaged by Trump

    According to a study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session.

    3. America’s Obsession with Entertainment and Celebrities

    Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction to entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch.

    4. “Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn.”

    Some people are supporting Trump simply to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the political system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and democrats like Hillary Clinton that their support for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington. These people may have other issues, like an innate desire to troll others or an obsession with the humiliation or discomfort of others.

    5. The Fear Factor: Conservatives Are More Sensitive to Threat

    Science has shown that the conservative brain has an exaggerated fear response when faced with stimuli that may be perceived as threatening. A 2008 study in the journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. ... These brain responses are automatic and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues to portray Muslims and Hispanic immigrants as imminent threats, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch.

    6. The Power of Mortality Reminders and Perceived Existential Threat

    A well-supported theory from social psychology, known as Terror Management Theory, explains why Trump’s fear mongering is doubly effective. The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitability of one’s death creates existential terror and anxiety that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews — like religions, political ideologies, and national identities — that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.

    Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic identity, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have supported this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.
     
    #1 PureX, Feb 9, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  2. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Here are some more ...

    7. The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Humans Often Overestimate Their Political Expertise

    Some who support Donald Trump are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst/best it’s ever been, they simply take his word for it.

    8. Relative Deprivation — A Misguided Sense of Entitlement

    Relative deprivation refers to the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes they are entitled. It is the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.

    9. Lack of Exposure to Dissimilar Others

    Intergroup contact refers to contact with members of groups that are outside one’s own, which has been experimentally shown to reduce prejudice. As such, it’s important to note that there is growing evidence that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. For example, a2026 study found that “…the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables.

    10. Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Target the Mentally Vulnerable

    While the conspiracy theory crowd — who predominantly support Donald Trump and crackpot allies like Alex Jones and the shadowy QAnon — may appear to just be an odd quirk of modern society, some of them may suffer from psychological illnesses that involve paranoia and delusions, such as schizophrenia, or are at least vulnerable to them, like those with schizotype personalities.

    11. Trump Taps into the Nation’s Collective Narcissism

    Collective narcissism is an unrealistic shared belief in the greatness of one’s national group. It often occurs when a group who believes it represents the ‘true identity’ of a nation — the ‘ingroup,’ in this case White Americans — perceives itself as being disadvantaged compared to outgroups who are getting ahead of them ‘unrightfully.’ This psychological phenomenon is related to relative deprivation (#6).

    12. The Desire to Want to Dominate Others

    Social dominance orientation (SDO) — which is distinct from but related to authoritarian personality (#13) — refers to people who have a preference for the societal hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones. Those with SDO are typically dominant, tough-minded, and driven by self-interest.

    13. Authoritarian Personality

    Authoritarianism refers to the advocacy or enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, and is commonly associated with a lack of concern for the opinions or needs of others. Authoritarian personality is characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to authority. Those with this personality often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid hierarchical view of society. Authoritarianism is often triggered by fear, making it easy for leaders who exaggerate threat or fear monger to gain their allegiance.

    14. Racism and Bigotry

    It would be grossly unfair and inaccurate to say that every one of Trump’s supporters have prejudice against ethnic and religious minorities, but it would be equally inaccurate to say that few do. The Republican party, going at least as far back to Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy,” has historically used tactics that appealed to bigotry, such as lacing speeches with “dog whistles” — code words that signaled prejudice toward minorities that were designed to be heard by racists but no one else.

    See THE LINK for fuller explanations.
     
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  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I can understand why you were so attracted to the article.
     
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  4. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Of course.

    I find support for Trump inexplicable. Even these listed "explanations" don't really explain it to me. Why, for example, do otherwise intelligent, honest, people set aside their sense of morality when it comes to their own practical gain? (example #1) Why does practicality usurp morality in their minds? That makes no sense to me. And yet I personally know a significant number of Trump supporters that are doing this. One said to me that he'll, "hold his nose and vote for Trump, anyway", (last election) because his big practical concern is keeping the stock market (meaning his own stocks) on the rise. Recently this same fellow commented to me, "What has Trump done wrong?", meaning that he no longer sees ANY of Trump's flaws, presumably because the stock market (and his own portfolio) are doing well. He is completely unaware of how his having rejected morality for practicality in the past has caused him to become increasingly blind, morally. It's a kind of toxic illogical-logic that I find inexplicable. And yet it's becoming increasingly more common, every day.

    And the same goes for many of these 'explanations'. I know people who I can see these attributes applying to, and yet I can't see why they can't see it. Or if they do, why they persist in it. Even here on these threads you can see folks who exhibit the traits described in #4. And it's so widespread that media mouthpieces like Limbaugh, Hannity, and O'Reilly have made millions playing at it. And yet it persists. It's inexplicable.
     
    #4 PureX, Feb 9, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  5. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    This is excellent.. Thanks.
     
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  6. Quetzal

    Quetzal A little to the left and slightly out of focus.
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    It is a little... one sided, isn't it?
     
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  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    It might could be viewed that way.
    I was also struck by how it applied to so many in both parties.

    What's really going on (IMO) is that each side goes to great
    lengths to analyze the other so as to view them as corrupt,
    dumb, uneducated, bigoted, & just downright evil.
    This attitude avoids seeing any merit in the other side.
     
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  8. sciatica

    sciatica Notable Member

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    Not that Im a Trump supporter, but next we need an explanation for Democrat's childish over reaction to Trump. Like Pelosi's recent meltdown on camera (ripping the speech up)
     
  9. Maximus

    Maximus the Confessor

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    How would one differentiate between President Trump and the anti-Christ? Is there a difference?
     
  10. sciatica

    sciatica Notable Member

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    Psychological analysis are more interesting than policy analysis. Easier to understand. Hypes up the hatred too.
     
  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I lack Bible learn'n, so I don't know,
    But Satan has informed me personally that He isn't to
    blame for Trump, who is someone else's chosen one.
     
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  12. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Of course you do not understand it. That is very
    plain. It is not inexplicable and it is not at all
    as you imagine.

    Hint- if you were correct, people would not vote for him.
    If your democrats did not put forth such sorry dog-shyt
    candidates, more would vote for them. T is proof
    enough of that, surely.

    Look up Amy Chua's book on tribalism if you want some
    working insight, which, frankly I doubt you want any more than
    any creationist does about science.

    Show me wrong if you like, but I wont hold my breath.
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Perhaps you could explain why you set morality aside to support Hillary in 2016?
     
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  14. Maximus

    Maximus the Confessor

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    Yes it is fun to joke about but only as a distraction from the insanity of it. It is hard to imagine a more immoral, depraved, ignorant person in the White House. He is a reprobate.
     
  15. Maximus

    Maximus the Confessor

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    China is probably one of the best examples of tribalism around today.
     
  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I've seen worse.
    But I'm just not all that concerned with how awful a person is.
    What matters to me is the effect they have in office.
     
  17. Maximus

    Maximus the Confessor

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    Can good flow from a truly bad person? Perhaps in very rare cases - but this is not one of them.

    And I do not think you have really seen worse, in the United States at least. There have been many bad people in office but no one comparable to Trump.
     
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  18. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I think the "sides" are irrelevant. What is relevant is that all this craziness is extant, is growing, is spreading, and is tearing us all apart. Meanwhile, you're still sitting there repeating that old ... "Nut-huh! YOU did!" mantra, as if that somehow mitigates the insanity, or worse yet, justifies it.
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I judge what I expect to flow, rather than the person.
    And always remember that when voting, one must
    judge all candidates, not just one.
    Dubya started 2 devastating wars wars.
    Johnson expanded the Vietnam war.
    Trump has done nothing so bad (yet).
     
    #19 Revoltingest, Feb 9, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  20. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I think it's because they have no idea what ELSE to do in the face of such persistent, inexplicable, insanity. I know I certainly don't.
     
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