Thanksgiving Dinner

A side of politics at Thanksgiving dinner? It shouldn’t be on the table

People may advise against political discussion during Thanksgiving and Holiday Season to avoid dinner table dramas.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that it is possible to avoid politics entirely if people who are seated at dinner take the time to get to know each other’s “primal beliefs” about politics.

Jeremy “Jer”, is a senior research scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center. He said that primal world beliefs (or “primals”) are a group of “extremely basic beliefs” about the world.

Clifton and his co-authors published a paper recently on primal world beliefs within the context of politics. This is a new avenue for research that I believe researchers have not explored in depth.

Research has shown that there are 26 primary world beliefs. The top three belief systems revolve around the belief in a safe, attractive, and living world.

Clifton stated that he didn’t create safe, enticing, and alive during a telephone interview on Tuesday, November 22. It was born from data and is now reproducing across various groups, cultures, and samples.

Nine studies were used to analyze people’s worldviews. They included 4,500 participants.

Clifton and his team also analyzed 80,000 tweets that shared life and world views.

Clifton stated that people are terrible at understanding the primal world beliefs and values of different groups. So, you can ask many conservatives and a lot of liberals to find out which side believes the world is bad.

Clifton explained that world beliefs influence personality formation and overall well-being.

Clifton stated, “What we discovered is that the belief [that] there is danger in the world is one of the most important primal world beliefs when trying to understand the left or right.” It’s hard to find someone who views the world objectively as a dull, ugly place.

He said, “The belief that the world can be safe, enticing, and alive all correlate with one another, and they together make up the belief that a universe is a good place.”

These are the 3 most important primal world beliefs

The belief in a safe world’

Clifton says that researchers have discovered that people view the world as either “safe” or dangerous.

“That doesn’t mean it has to be an either-or. Clifton stated that it’s a dimension, and we all live in different parts of that dimension. “Some people are more middle-aged and others are more extreme.”

People with a safe worldview view life as stable, cooperative, and secure. Those who see the world differently see it as chaotic, miserable, and full of decay.

“The belief that the world can be safe or dangerous is about all kinds of threats. All of these negative factors include crime, germs, and instability.

The world’s ‘enticing belief’

Clifton said that people with an “enticing” view of the world see life as appealing or alluring, rather than “dull”.

This belief is that the world is beautiful, interesting, funny, and meaningful. Clifton stated that it’s not about pleasure but engagement.

He said that pleasure is more associated with believing the world is safe than it is dangerous. “If the world’s safe, it’s an area where you can avoid feeling miserable.”

People who view the world as exciting look forward to what’s next, while people who see it as dull think that exploration is boring or pointless.

The belief in an ‘alive world’

According to Clifton, the “alive” world belief is when people see life and world events in a deeper way than they do as “indifferent” or “mechanistic.”

Clifton said that those who see the world as living view it as an “intentional and purposeful” relationship with an active universe, which carries out individual actions, communicates its will, and reacts to them.

Although the belief that the world is alive can be tied to being more religious, it is more connected to being spiritual. Clifton stated that many people don’t believe in any religions and who see the world as living.

Clifton said, “[For instance,] an atheist friend who will plan a picnic, and then if the rains, they’re like: ‘OK. It’s a signal from the world that it’s time for me to call my mother and make amends for that fight we had this morning.'”

Clifton says that people who see the world as mechanical view it as indifferent and random. They often see themselves as an interchangeable part of a “mindless” machine with no plans or desires.

Talking politics during Thanksgiving?

The 3 primary world beliefs can help guide you.

Clifton stated that empathy, cooperation, and respect are essential to see the world from a different perspective.

Clifton stated that “In these politically polarized moments, there’s less appetite to do so.” “We all want to see our side win.”

Clifton said that people who consider the world safe will try to allay fears when they meet someone who believes the world is dangerous.

The new primal world belief research paper, which covers politics, has shown that political ideology can be shaped depending on how a person views the world.

Clifton stated, “The belief that the world can be viewed as a hierarchical place implies that it is also a belief that the world has many differences.”

One group views differences as a hard line that commands respect.

Clifton stated that conservatives are more comfortable with this view of the world than liberals. Liberals, however, tend to see the world as a “place full of differences” and “superficial and arbitrarily drawn lines in the sand.”

Clifton stated that “[For instance,] we could discuss lines between the poor and rich, between men or women.” “A lot of debate about trans rights could be down to these fundamental assumptions that we hold about the importance of differences in the world.”

Clifton says that understanding the worldviews of people on opposing sides can help them navigate sensitive conversations respectfully around Thanksgiving and other holidays.

Clifton stated that “We can disagree, and yes, debate can be had, but we can also acknowledge that we all can act based on what we believe is true.” We can also see the world differently and might become more liberal or conservative if we do. It’s a matter of being patient with the other side.

Clifton pointed out that the current research doesn’t show that primal beliefs are positive and that they reflect privilege.

Clifton stated that the assumption that rich people or those who live in high-income zip codes have a better view of the world due to having “probably had an objectively successful and abundant life” has not been proven true.

Clifton stated that he is hopeful because once they can move past that, and start to care again and want to understand, Clifton said. “I believe we will discover that our primal world beliefs can help us understand why we do what we do.”

Clifton does not recommend that people attempt to change the mind of another person when they are discussing politics at Thanksgiving.

“Do I have any empirically proven ways to change these beliefs?” He said, “No, I don’t.” “Down the road, there might be ways to productively talk about these primal world beliefs and try to change them.”

He continued, “The research is on its way.” However, it can be useful to know that these beliefs exist and that you have options.

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