Numbers Don't Lie

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Why Republicans are happier than Democrats ?

The recent Pew poll confirms a 30 plus years, longstanding trend: Republicans say they are happier than Democrats. This year, 45% of Republicans said they were “very” happy as opposed to 29% of Democrats. That’s a big gap.

What make people happy? After using statistical technique known as multiple regression analysis (which gauges the relationship between each factor and happiness while controlling for all the other factors), the analysis shows that the most important factors to happiness are good health, decent income, high church attendance, being married and, yes, being a Republican. So the conclusion is this - happiness is probably connected to some other facet of life that also inclines people to be Republicans.



Blogger ramblingmuse said...

"So the conclusion is this - happiness is probably connected to some other facet of life that also inclines people to be Republicans."

This last line is a disclaimer or loophole because the researchers don't want to stand by their work or something.

But I think it has to do with the Republican stand behind "God, Country, Family", which causes them to really be loyal to their nation and their social networks, unlike the more liberal Democrats.


Interesting post.

Love your blog! There's always new fodder for thought!


11:36 PM

Blogger FeatherIron said...

I love your blog! I check it everyday, have it on my "List" of great blogs at my site.

Have you ever put up any Katrina stats? I would be very interested in what you have.

Again, love your blog, great origional idea.

10:48 AM

Blogger Lauren said...

I'd like to see some stats for the percentages of higher education in the two parties. And then the percentage of college graduates that are "happy". (How is happiness measured accurately and objectively, by the way?)

Then you could compare the percentage of higher-educated Republicans that are happy to the percentage of higher-educated Democrats that are happy. (I guess I'm proposing that maybe there is a link between happiness, or lack thereof, and college graduates.)

Does that make sense?

7:43 PM

Blogger Mark A. said...

Emerson said, "God offers to everyone his choice between truth and repose. Take which you please--you can never have both." I think the Republicans decided to go with the repose route because they surely have no interest in truth.

1:04 AM

Blogger Jeffrey E. Hunter said...

Personally, I think Republicans are, on the whole, happier than Democrats because the Rebublicans don't see how badly the world around us is falling apart. They seem to think (not all, but many) that the world's problems are either not there, or not real, just a concotion of the left. They don't see the suffering, because they won't open their eyes.

We, as a society, are blind. And it's not just the Republicans, either...the Democrats are also to blame. None of us are clean, none of us are blame-less. Every one of us is guilty.

As long as that is true, as long as this world suffers our crimes upon it, I will be miserable...and soon, we will all know that misery, when there is no more places to look that don't reek of it.

6:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe republicans ignore the sad facets of the world and are more concerned with making themselves happy! Surely GWB wasnt thinking about the happiness of the 30,000 + Iraqi citizens he would kill when he decided to invade Iraq.

6:58 PM

Blogger Sara said...

Hm. As far as the education comment goes, I would say that if happiness is related to education, the relation is that educated people are more happy because they make more money, and perhaps they are more satisfied with themselves -- with the knowledge that they have gone to school, learned a trade or skill, whatever.

OK. I see where the last few comments are going -- ignorance is bliss, right? And I'd like to say that there are just as many ignorant democrats in the world as there are republicans. It's not just republicans who ignore the problems of the world. I'm so sick of that argument . . .

I really have NO idea why the survey came out the way it did, but my proposal is this: In general, I think republicans really stand for something. If they believe in a certain religion or politic or moral, then they really stand by it and stand for it. Some of their beliefs may be completely off-the-wall, but they know who they are, at least. And having a sense of self goes a long way toward happiness in life.

Democrats, in general -- Actually, I'm not going to break this argument into the characteristics of two parties. Instead, I'll make the distinction between conservatives and liberals. So. Liberals, in general -- don't seem to know what the believe in. For them, all choices are right; no belief is wrong -- except the belief that there is one right way. They seem to say that having one set of values is not enough -- the world needs to accept all values. Because of that need to satisfy everyone, I think left-wingers don't have a surety of what they believe in -- except, as I said before, the belief that there is no one right answer. In my experience, my liberal friends are often unsure of who they are and what they stand for. They can't really make decisions one way or another and kind of attach themselves to every cause. This leads to frustration, feeling lost and lonely, and unsure of anything. And that's anything but happy.

And I think more republicans are conservative; therefore, more republicans are happy. Yet, that does sound a bit too simplistic. Maybe it sounds simplistic because it's true, though.

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble here. I wish I had more time and space to really explain my thoughts. But this is only a blog comment, and I hope I made sense!

9:14 AM

Anonymous Lexia Snow said...

Maybe Republicans see the glass as half full. There's nothing wrong with hoping tomorrow will be better. Perhaps Democrats see the glass as half empty because they focus on all the current problems and pain in the world surrounding them and want to immediately relieve it--a very empathetic people. It's great to be aware of the problems of the world, but you also can dwell on the bad so much that it bogs you down and you start to think negatively (about problems, politicians, and even people who support a different party).

For example, think of a bad break-up. Both parties are hurt, disagree, but no one is really wrong. You have to move on sometimes. [Don't be angry because I'm comparing miscommunication of people/nations to a bad know who you are.] But you know what? Then one day Republican bumps into Democrat at Target months later and asks how he's doing. They catch up, have a nice chat, and walk away feeling good about eachother because we all understand what it's like to experience pain, be in a difficult situation when it feels like the other isn't understanding or supportive. There's just something about the passage of time that heals. Tangent.

I find that my friends who have hope for things turning out well in the end are generally happier. I think they are just two different ways of approaching a problem. Democrats try to quickly fix something; whereas Republicans try to plan a system that will prevent future problems from occurring (even though it may take longer to achieve). One person is more spontaneous while the other is probably a perfectionist. Hm...This is beginning to sound like my parents' relationship. Why don't Democrats take Republicans out to dinner anymore?!?

12:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

With multiple regression, there can be the problem of colinearity. This is where correlated explanatory variables diminish each others significance. With this sort of survey, factor analysis could be used to reduce colinearity by grouping some explanatory variables together.

[i] The same regression analysis also finds that education, gender, and race do not have a statistically significant independent effect on predicting happiness, once all the other factors are controlled.[/i] This could be due to colinearity rather than a genuine insignificance.

I am wary of their modelling techniques. I looked on the link but couldn’t find any regression output. I couldn’t find any t-test p-values or R squared statistics.

I don’t believe that Republicans are on average happier than Democrats. The middle aged blue collar right tend to be quite angry. If the stereotypes are true, Republicans have a higher rate of the weird kind of Christianity. They will say they are happy even if they aren’t. They are scared that people will get the impression that Christianity isn’t providing salvation. They might also say it to ward off further questions about their feelings.

6:34 PM


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