I’ve always been a bit of a contrarian.

In the previous entry I discussed a little about how, generally, most folks become more Conservative as they age. This brought to mind the Political Compass test which attempts to establish where you fall in the Liberal/Conservative/Authoritarian/Libertarian scale. I first took the test in 2004 and while I didn’t blog about it at the time I did post it as an image on SEB.

To give an idea of what it attempts to do, here’s their sample graph that plots out where a few famous historical people fall on the scale:


When I first took the test my score was Economic Left/Right -4.62 and Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -4.92 which would place me down around Gandhi on the chart above.

I retook the test in January of 2012 to see if I’d grown more Conservative like you’re supposed to do when you get older. Here’s that graph:

I’m becoming even more of a Republican’s worst nightmare.

Clearly I was the exception to the rule. It’s been another 3 years since and I’m coming up on my 48th birthday so surely I’m starting to reverse the trend by now, right?


If I keep going at this rate they're going to need a bigger graph. 

If I keep going at this rate they’re going to need a bigger graph. 

Thus proving that the idea people become more Conservative as they age is a generalization. I blame my open mindedness and curiosity, both factors psychologists have identified as contributing to a liberal political outlook. If it seems like I’ve been getting worse in my liberal viewpoint over the years, you now have evidence that it’s not just your imagination.

7 thoughts on “I’ve always been a bit of a contrarian.

  1. I am about 1 square further to your left and have been right there for 30+ years

  2. Stay as you are Les , I’m about the same place on the political map as you and i’m
    74. Watched Fox News thought it was a satire, quite funny most of the time .

  3. My graph is within a block of yours, too. Just took it again to be sure.

    Of course, some of the questions asked have enough ambiguity where I’m a little suspicious. For example, they ask about whether some people are “naturally unlucky”, but if “unlucky” is read as being synonymous with “unfortunate”, you can end up with very different interpretations. Context helps, of course, but there were a few questions where the questions themselves were BS.

    Now back to my far-too-infrequent fit of vacationing…

  4. Wow I am to the libertarian left of Gandhi……….not what I was expecting . I thought for sure the some criminals can’t be rehabilitated would do me in.

  5. Same grid as you, but a bit more toward the center on both axes..-3.75 and -4.24.

    I also tended to go with ‘central tendency’ on the questions, not exrtemely agreeing or disagreeing with answers unless I really had a strong opinion.

    Also, some of the questions could have been answered different ways each time I took the test, depending on what it said, versus what could be read into it.

    Example: Should the primary purpose of schools be to prepare people for jobs?
    No, the primary purpose of school should make people well rounded individuals in a variety of basic skills, so that they can find your place in the world, including getting a job.

    But I could just as easily have said “Yes, by preparing people to understand the greater workings of the world, understand responsibility and the vast variety of opportunities, so people can find a job that fits them.”

    If that question was just asking “Should schools primarily just be trade schools” then obviously not.

  6. I’ve actually become less Authoritarian over the past few years, and more Leftist. I’m basically right on the line between libertarian and authoritarian. Once you find out how much power government has, it makes you think twice about that question. Mind-reading is not a joke.

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