Left, right believe in value of hard work

Liberals and conservatives can agree on at least one thing, the need to work hard to achieve success, according to new research at Cornell University.

Liberals and Democrats were found to be more inclined than conservatives and Republicans to believe in the importance of equity, the notion that some groups may need different opportunities to succeed based on their starting point, so that all people have the same levels of success. Still when it comes to proportionality, the idea that effort determines success, there was a much smaller political divide, according to the research paper reported in EurekAlert, the online journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Study details are documented in “All Things Being Equal: Distinguishing Proportionality and Equity in Moral Reasoning,” published in Social Psychological and Personality Sciences. Jeff Niederdeppe, an associate professor of communication at Cornell, is the senior author.

The study’s conclusions were based on a questionnaire completed by some 3,000 participants from the United States, who reported on their political views and party affiliations, as well as their gender, age, education, race and ethnicity.