December 16, 2010

Work Product From The Questionable Methodology Department

I'm quite uncertain about the methodology reported upon here leading to the conclusions thus claimed. The results are interesting but I'm not entirely sure what they really prove -- and I doubt very much that they prove what is claimed. Nor am I at all confident that a study of Asian-Americans' cross-cultural identities first "primed" with respect to work ethics and then "tested" with respect to sexual ethics proves that all these Asian-Americans are somehow neo-Puritans.

Culture matters; the culture we create today will still echo hundreds of years into the future. I didn't need word-association experimental psychology reaching shaky conclusions to tell me that. Puritan culture survives in such a fashion today -- we are much more comfortable with violence than sex in our entertainments and quicker to identify sexual behavior as raising moral issues than almost any other kind. Puritans did not have a monopoly on the association of hard work with good moral behavior, however; nor did they have a lock on personal propriety being a profound virtue.

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