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Conservatism and Physical Fitness: Political Science Senior Research, Adrian College

Conservatism and Physical Fitness: Political Science Senior Research, Adrian College



Exploratory Hypothesis: There is a relationship of correlation between physical fitness and ideology.

Exploratory Hypothesis: There is a relationship of correlation between physical fitness and ideology.



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  • I do applaud your random use of capital letters with complete disregard to the rules of standard English. You must be a Mavrick.
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  • Don't tell me you actually got college credit for this claptrap. This is a prime example of why political science gets no respect from the hard sciences. Ridiculous premise, ridiculous research methodology, and a grammatical error in the title page.
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    Conservatism and Physical Fitness: Political Science Senior Research, Adrian College Conservatism and Physical Fitness: Political Science Senior Research, Adrian College Document Transcript

    • Senior Research Conservatism and Physical Fitness Exploratory Study Indicates Conservatives are more Physically Fitness November 2, 2008 Josh Emington Philip Howe Senior Seminar PSCI 409
    • Page |2 Abstract The following is a description of an exploratory experiment conducted to establish a positive correlation between political ideology (conservatism) and physical fitness (respiratory health). The experiment is presented as a design and is also described in terms of the actual methodology which occurred. Upon completion the experiment results were calculated revealing that, although statistically insignificant, indicate a positive relationship between conservatism and fitness, such that the more conservative one is, the more physically fit they are. Subsequent studies would need to be conducted in order to resolve the larger causal research question: “Does political ideology cause a specific level of fitness?” Included is an analysis of possible models and a proposed method for evaluating the relationship as causal. In entirety the work seeks to illuminate the path to testing the question: “Are conservatives or liberals more fit?” empirically and in a manner that both, adds to previous causal knowledge, and addresses the informal questions of our curious culture.
    • Page |3 Introduction Constituencies have long promoted the formation of parties and factions based on political opinions and personal values. Often these groups verbally, and occasionally physically, attack one another claiming that the opposing division is inferior for any number of reasons. Occasionally this bickering turns to claims about the inherent differences between the groups. One such claim was that their ideology was more physically fit. This study addresses the claim by reviewing empirical research on the topics, conducting and presenting an experiment (which tests for correlation), and proposing a study which would make causal research conclusive. This exploratory study is based on the overall research question “Are Conservatives or Liberals more fit?” Proposed as a hypothesis this question became: “Political ideology causes physical fitness.” Due to lack of research in the area this causal premise was not yet legitimate. First a correlation between political ideology and physical fitness needed to be established. The focused initial research question then became: “Does a positive relationship exist between on political ideology and a specific level of fitness?” This study concentrates primarily on establishing a connection between physical fitness level and ideological position. The experiment conducted to satisfy this question used the hypothesis: “Political ideology does correlate to levels of physical fitness.” When complete the study indicated that political ideology is related through a positive correlation to physical fitness such that more conservative subjects display higher levels of fitness and more liberal (less conservative) subjects displayed lower levels of physical fitness. Having determined a relationship between Conservatism and fitness, the initial question of causality may be introduced appropriately. This is addressed with a
    • Page |4 number of possible options which are briefly evaluated. Of these one likely candidate is selected as a connective variable. A design for empirical testing is included following the description of possible relationship models. Although the results of the study lack statistical significance, they do point toward conclusions which are interesting and revealing. The outcome is also consistent with modern testing on conservative thought patterns and supports many recent findings. The product of the study is information which inspires psychological, sociological, biological, anthropological, historical, and political research. One example is that an entirely new paradigm for explaining historical scenarios could be developed based on the differing health of factions. This discovery has potential to fill a missing piece in existing literature, and more importantly in the basics of physiological knowledge. Literature Review Since the formation of the American two party system, and the observation that political views can be characterized as liberal or conservative, there has been much informal debate over whether some characteristics are inherent in individuals of certain political tendencies. Researchers seeing the need to view conservatism or liberalism ordinally, created an index that operates as a scale. This range, called the Wilson-Patterson Conservatism Scale, is used to judge where along the political continuum one‟s ideology falls (G. Wilson & J. Patterson, 1988). A correlation was then established by multiple investigators between political orientation and cognitive methods (A. Chirumbolo, 2002; J. T. Jost, J. Glaser, A. W. Kruglanski, & F. Sulloway, 2003a, 2003b; M. Kemmelmeier, 1997). In fact the discussion regarding cognitive dispositions dates back to “The Authoritarian Personality” (Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, & Sanford,
    • Page |5 1950). Some have even written of the possibility that political tendencies are inherited genetically (Bouchard et al., 2003; Tesser, 1993). In any case, there is ample evidence that Conservatives and Liberals think and act differently, on average, generating new discoveries. Specific characteristics were soon shown to be positively related. One example is that rigidity has been shown to be more likely found in Conservatives (Jost et al, 2003). It has been shown also that colleges are primarily Liberal in political view (Kemmelmeier, Danielson, & Basten, 2005; Klein & Stern, 2005; Klein & Western, 2005; Zipp & Fenwick, 2006). Recent evidence even points to such cognitive styles dictating the possessions we choose, the music we listen to, and even the way we decorate (Dixit, 2007; Drapkin, 2005). Further testing confirms that cognitive style differs in problem solving and everyday life with the use of EEG testing and meta-analysis of old data (Amodio, 2007; Thorisdottir, Jost, Liviatan & Shrout, 2007). Recognizing that these differences exist, has lent authority to claims, that were used jokingly before, but now may carry some actual weight. For instance, since conservatives are said to be more rigid one might imply that liberals then would be naturally more fit due to their ability to adapt to what is proven to be the better physical fitness program. The same claim could be construed to say the opposite. That is, perhaps ability to adhere to a daily plan may have fitness benefits, and in fact it does (Feilding, Katula, Miller, 2007). Other possible normative claims include reference to the higher class of the average conservative being a hindrance to them since the liberal would be working harder physically in order to survive. Also, there is a clear concern most Liberals seem to share over the environment (De-Shalit, 1995). This could imply stronger social responsibility. Many other factors exist, each providing fuel for a claim. Seeing no empirical test that shows a correlation between fitness and political ideology, it is crucial that these claims are investigated.
    • Page |6 Research Question Are Conservatives or Liberals more fit? Is there any relationship between political ideology and fitness? The developed research design created a procedure which could be used to examine these questions empirically. The null hypothesis: “Political Ideology does not correlate with any specific level of physical fitness,” was the anticipated result. The fashioned alternate hypothesis: “Political Ideology does relate to level of physical fitness,” was chosen for use as the experimental model. The alternate hypothesis suggested that subjects with strong liberal or conservative views would show correlating fitness scores as tested. Defining Variables In efforts to promote health and longevity researchers have attempted to standardize physical fitness tests. In this way, the best overall fitness attainable can be promoted. The multistage standardized fitness test is widely used, applicable to all age groups, and directly correlates with cardio-respiratory health. Being the primary concern in avoiding obesity and a vast number of diseases that one would be susceptible to, given they were not in proper physical condition (Leger, Merceir, Gadoury, Lambert, 1988; Lobelo, Ruiz, 2007). Testing the relationship directly between physical fitness and ideology fills an unexplored gap in the research and could have both important historical applications for political theory and interesting insight into the way human thought patterns differ in mass. That, in turn, could have powerful sociological applications. For instance, one genetic ideological trait might be superior, leading to an explanation for a long standing political ideological rule.
    • Page |7 Correlation Research Design Alternate Hypothesis: Political Ideology does correlate to levels of physical fitness. Null Hypothesis: Political Ideology does not relate to a specific level of physical fitness. Test subjects for conservatism after subjecting them to a standardized accepted physical fitness test. The original anticipated result listed here: This would likely reveal no significant correlation between political ideology and health. Ideology seems to be a very abstract and disjointed. For this reason it could be a nonissue in deciding fitness. The material following this section describes methodology that was crafted based on this initial design. Operationalization of variables (Definition of Concepts): Physical Fitness: cardio-respiratory health and ordinary competence as calculated by the Multistage Fitness Test, also known as MSFT, 20m Shuttle, Bleep Test. This test has been shown to indicate a VO2max score which is the commonly accepted measure for aerobic capacity. Political Ideology: attitude measured by the Wilson Paterson Conservatism Scale. Using the best version of this model, which most agree is the British abridged test, the subjects will answer [yes, no, or, ?] to each quick word or phrase for 50 questions and then be scored according to their answer. The results will be a number on the range from a possible 100% correlation liberal with a score of 0 to a vice versa scenario for conservative, with a score of 100.
    • Page |8 Research The actual result was a positive correlation between physical fitness and Conservative ideology such that strongly aligned conservatives were more fit than strongly aligned Liberals. The range of possible results included a positive or negative relationship between ideology and fitness or no correlation between the variables. In other words fitness and ideology are not connected in any way or they are connected. In this particular experiment one variable, ideology, is a continuum between two ends of a scale which is split between conservatives and liberals. Fitness is a continuum between unfit and fit. For this reason the experiment was conducted before choosing which nominal variable, conservative or liberal, was chosen as the positive side of the correlation. The more conservative one is, the more fit they are according to the resultant model. The resulting positive correlation between the variables of conservatism and fitness begs the question, is the correlation a causal relationship. These questions will be addressed following an explanation of the experiment for causality which was conducted. Political ideology has been defined in terms of political attitude as shown by the accredited Wilson Patterson Conservatism scale. Physical Fitness has been described in terms of VO2max score since this measure has been shown to be an accurate portrayal of general fitness and cardio-respiratory strength. This exploratory experiment was conducted on Adrian College campus, a private liberal arts school of roughly 1,400 students. Unfortunately the sample group that was acquired was not enough to be statistically significant.
    • Page |9 Sample Drawing In order to control for the most representative sample and against specific biases experiments usually use a random sampling process. Regrettably, the designer for this research is a busy and penniless college student who has given himself the task of interesting other exhausted and busy students to take a break from their hectic, filled schedules to run in a fitness test they likely would rather never complete. For these reasons, low funding and demanding target population, the sample was acquired through equal advertisement and public communications throughout the population augmented with the guarantee of an equal chance to win a prize. If this study was to be conducted with unlimited funding it ought to follow proper format for drawing a random Sample. Typical academic studies aim for a 95+/- „standard confidence limit‟. This means one can be ninety five percent sure that a re-creation of identical circumstances (in which the experiment was conducted) would yield the same results within a five percent margin of error. After establishing that the desired confidence limit would be 95 +/-, one could determine the appropriate sample size. In order to establish the proper sample size first the „universe‟ or population of the whole subject pool must be calculated. In Adrian College the active student population is 1,408 people. One thousand four hundred and eight then becomes number in the experiment‟s „universe‟. This means that 303 people would make up the sample size. In order to select the representative sample group of three hundred and three people there are three steps. First the population should be divided by the sample size in order to create the „skip interval‟, in this case 1,408 divided by 303 is equal to 4.64 and continues with many decimal places. The skip interval must be a whole number so the skip interval would become five. Second, a random
    • P a g e | 10 number is selected from a random number generator and use that number to count down the full population list indicating the first sample subject. For instance assume the random number selected is seven. One would count down to the seventh name on the list and indicate it as the first of the sample group. Then third the names should be selected by skip interval. This means that each name five down from the previous name, starting by counting from name seven, will be selected until the completion of the group number. This means that the process would continue until three hundred and three names are selected. Further, the researcher will likely continue to draw approximately three times the sample side in order to compensate for respondents who do not conduct the experiment for whatever reason. In theory, the equity of my efforts toward acquiring subjects is much like a sample selection that continues to select potential subject through skip interval selection until the entire „universe‟ is accounted for. It did however fail to generate the required size for statistical significance as the experiment had twenty seven participants rather than three hundred and three. This is not entirely useless; however, because a sample size of only sixty five would have been a 90 +/- 10 in accuracy. In either case the random population wide sample selection that was used did not adhere to sample drawing guidelines and may have caused some bias if only toward those who read posters or use Facebook. Preparation and Testing In conducting this experiment, four researchers (Group R 1) were selected. They were instructed in gathering data from the fitness test and aiding in the subject numbering process. A separate group of two of researchers (Group R 2) was instructed in running the Wilson Paterson Conservatism test. Each Group was briefed on the necessity for confidentiality and
    • P a g e | 11 objectiveness. They were also told that it is imperative they maintain the illusion that the two trials are separate projects, as if their tests were isolated experiments. In this way, the subjects will be less apt to suspect that there is any link between the two tests. This precaution should have prevented skewing of data from subjects who could possibly have comprehended the objective of the experiment, and attempted to influence the outcome. Still this was not a major concern as fitness is more or less static during the test and ideology has also been proven to be so. A description of supporting evidence and existing literature for the static nature of ideology and fitness can be found both in the literature review and with greater exactness in the conclusion section. The Research groups were then split again so that two members from Group 1 could man the front desk, relatively close to the beep test, in order to assign subject numbers, invite participants, and award random prizes as an incentive for contributing to the data. The following was given to the researchers before the experiment and a test run-through was scheduled: Table Crew Location: Front of the building near the main desk and the base of the stairs. Set Up: Lay out Prizes, Post-its, and markers. Make a place also for the reception of the completed surveys. Process: As subjects arrive greet them and supply them with a number on a post-it note. Ask them to remember the number and let them know that they will be the number rather than their name in the experiment process and results. As subjects finish the process they will come to hand in their survey. Thank each subject as they hand it in checking to see if they have a winning number. If the number has been a randomly selected winner then supply them with a prize.
    • P a g e | 12 Beep Test Crew Location: First Court Area (Blue) Set Up: Six cones of the same color help to outline the 20 yard distance these are placed equidistant along two lines that are 20 yards apart. At the Ten yard mark place 3 cones of another color to mark the halfway tone. (Illustration adapted from cited description of Beep testing by author for clarifying purposes) The Audio should also be set up and tested so that it can be turned on and off as well as restarted. A key is available for this in the offices and has been asked for ahead of time. Process: Wait until a group larger than seven people are present and get as many people to do the test at a time since this will be the only possible kink (time and resources wise) in the experiment. Explain that the jogging measure called the beep test is very simple. There will be a verbal indication to start and a chim to indicate when the person should be past the center cone and a statement/chime indicating what level they made if they reach the far cone in time. Also explain that this is in no way a competition and that their data will be anonymous and confidential. Explain that when they are unable to make an end line they are finished and the last completed Level and shuttle, in the form 6.2(representing level and shuttle), for instance, is what they are to tell the researcher. The results are taken down by number on the preset pads. Either before the run or as results are given inform the subject that they must now proceed to the Bulldog Room to take a very quick survey.
    • P a g e | 13 Survey Crew Location: The Bulldog Room Set Up: The seating should be altered in such a way that it promotes people sitting away from one another and makes it hard for each person to look at another’s paper. I realize not much can be done. Process: As subjects arrive somewhat haphazardly supply them with their number from the survey pile. Inform them that they are not to ask questions or speak with others. Encourage them to sit apart from others while they finish the form. They ought to just follow the simple directions and then take the completed form down to the place they received their number where they may win a prize. [Figure 1] The event was then publicized to all enrolled students equally through the available „mass mediums‟ of the flyer distribution system, Facebook event, and painting the Rock which is in the middle of the campus. Unfortunately this is subpar to the randomized sampling process that could have been done with funding. Above under the previous subheading, „Preparation and Testing‟, is a description of the process one ought to use given adequate time and resources. The flyers where approved via the system and looked like this digitally but where printed on many available colors of cardstock:
    • P a g e | 14 [Figure 2]
    • P a g e | 15 [Figure 3]
    • P a g e | 16 When the subjects arrived Group R 1 conducted the Beep test and recorded the scoring, level and shuttle, for each subject by their number. Beep Test Instructions (Group R2) (Alternate names: Multistage Fitness Test, MSFT, 20m Shuttle, Bleep Test) The multistage fitness test is a commonly used maximal running aerobic fitness test. It is also known as the 20 meter shuttle run test, beep or bleep test among others. Equipment required: Flat, non-slip surface, marking cones, 20m measuring tape, cd or pre-recorded audio tape, cd or tape recorder, recording sheets. Description: This test involves continuous running between two lines 20m apart in time to recorded beeps. For this reason the test is also often called the 'beep' or 'bleep' test. The test subjects stand behind one of the lines facing the second line, and begin running when instructed by the cd or tape. The speed at the start is quite slow. The subject continues running between the two lines, turning when signaled by the recorded beeps. After about one minute, a sound indicates an increase in speed, and the beeps will be closer together. This continues each minute (level). If the line is not reached in time for
    • P a g e | 17 each beep, the subject must run to the line turn and try to catch up with the pace within 2 more „beeps‟. Also, if the line is reached before the beep sounds, the subject must wait until the beep sounds. The test is stopped if the subject fails to reach the line (within 2 meters) for two consecutive ends. There are several versions of the test, but one commonly used version has an initial running velocity of 8.5 km/hr, which increases by 0.5 km/hr each minute (Rob, 1998). [Figure 4] A simple record of Level and Shuttle was kept. Upon finishing the test the group was asked to move to the bulldog room in order to participate in a separate experimental test by a different research group. Upon entering the room they were greeted by Group R2, the survey was conducted, and the sheets were labeled by subject number. VO2 max As indicated before the variable physical fitness is being defined and measured in terms of respiratory health, specifically VO2 max. The choice to use VO2 max was based on its universal popularity and consistence as well as its ability to predict longevity, resistance to disease, especially obesity, and ability to complete daily tasks. The brevity of the test is also a nice quality. Academic agree on the benefits of cardiovascular/reparatory health which is directly indicated by VO2 max scores (Leger, Merceir, Gadoury, Lambert, 1988; Lobelo, Ruiz, 2007). It is also convenient that the human limit of VO2 max score is approximately 100 and the obvious minimum for a dead person is zero. This means that as a scale ranging from unhealthy to fit, 0 to 100, VO2 max scores will match up very well in comparison with the continuum of 0 to 100 that the Wilson & Patterson Conservatism Scale will provide. In this scale zero is most
    • P a g e | 18 Liberal while 100 is most conservative. Meaning a subject‟s data might read: Subject One, Ideology 45 (slightly liberal), Fitness VO2 max 52.90744140176666. Wilson & Patterson As mentioned previously the Wilson Patterson Scale has been selected for its academically bolstered validity, reproducibility, and consistency. It also is convenient as a truncated survey in terms of time and produces a functional number. With considerable interest and use in academia since its publication in 1968, the scale provides a practical way of avoiding subject bias as well as a clever way to rate subjects conservatism numerically. Item numbers 33 and 39 were re-worded in order to Americanize the political concept of the terms. Number thirty three was originally „Apartheid‟ however the demographic nature of my subject group suggests that a response would be invalid to this term since it refers to a relatively unknown, in this geographic region and generation, governmental abuse and genocide. I choose a widely publicized case which was politically similar that being „Darfur‟ as a replacement. Number thirty nine was also a term lost on American college students. The term, „Birching‟, was replaced with „Caning‟ due in large part to a recent and widely publicized incident in which an American teenager vandalized some property in Singapore and was sentence to caning. Number twenty eight was also a very relatively misunderstood term for the current generation. Unfortunately, there is not a known substitute term which would need to be a political battle inclusive of many different political concerns.
    • P a g e | 19 Wilson & Patterson Scale (Group R1) Which of the following do you favor or believe in? (Circle 'Yes' or 'No'. If absolutely uncertain, circle ?) There are no right or wrong answers; do not discuss; just give your first reaction. Answer all items 1. Death Penalty Yes ? No 26. Computer music Yes ? No 2. Evolution theory Yes ? No 27. Chastity Yes ? No 3. School uniforms Yes ? No 28. Fluoridation Yes ? No 4. Striptease shows Yes ? No 29. Royalty Yes ? No 5. Sabbath Observance Yes ? No 30. Women Judges Yes ? No 6. Beatniks Yes ? No 31. Conventional clothing Yes ? No 7. Patriotism Yes ? No 32. Teenage Drivers Yes ? No 8. Modern art Yes ? No 33. Darfur Yes ? No 9. Self denial Yes ? No 34. Nudist camps Yes ? No 10. Working mothers Yes ? No 35. Church authority Yes ? No 11. Horoscopes Yes ? No 36. Disarmament Yes ? No 12. Birth control Yes ? No 37. Censorship Yes ? No 13. Military drill Yes ? No 38. White lies Yes ? No 14. Co-education Yes ? No 39. Caning Yes ? No 15. Divine law Yes ? No 40. Mixed marriages Yes ? No 16. Socialism Yes ? No 41. Strict rules Yes ? No 17. White superiority Yes ? No 42. Jazz Yes ? No
    • P a g e | 20 18. Cousin marriage Yes ? No 43. Straightjackets Yes ? No 19. Moral training Yes ? No 44. Casual living Yes ? No 20. Suicide Yes ? No 45. Learning Latin Yes ? No 21. Chaperones Yes ? No 46. Divorce Yes ? No 22. Legalized abortion Yes ? No 47. Inborn conscience Yes ? No 23. Empire-building Yes ? No 48. Coloured immigration Yes ? No 24. Student pranks Yes ? No 49. Bible truth Yes ? No 25. Licensing laws Yes ? No 50. Pyjama parties Yes ? No (Wilson & Patterson, 1988) [Figure 5] The subjects were asked to carry their completed surveys to the front desk and hand them in. They were simultaneously thanked for their participation. As the sheets were handed in the number was scanned and randomly selected numbers that matched were awarded with a prize. Prizes included candy bars and gift cards. Upon completion of the experiment the data was collected and analyzed. In order to create practical numbers the data must be clarified it terms of scale, on a continuum. The surveys, which are a series of fifty [yes/no/?] questions, can be operationalized to indicate conservatism as a number between zero and one hundred.
    • P a g e | 21 Conservatism/Liberalism score. Group R2 Scoring is very simple for this questionnaire. Response Response Response question Yes ? No Odd Numbered questions 2 1 0 Even Numbered questions 0 1 2 Add up the values for the odd and even questions The higher the score, the more conservative the attitudes. 100 being most Conservative 0 being most Liberal [Figure 6] Sample’s Ideology The results of the Wilson & Patterson survey are exemplary of the ideological makeup of Adrian College students. One of the most notable patterns was the lack of outliers, in other words the low number of far right and hard left subjects. This tight grouping around the more neutral center of the scale is indicative of a substantial moderate population in the college. It is also clear that more subjects were on the conservative side that the liberal section. This was expected given the immense Conservative population in the city of Adrian and the conservative leanings of Adrian College‟s administration. This result also falls in line with recent evidence that very liberal professors have little effect on their student‟s political leanings. These results
    • P a g e | 22 could also be a cyclical result of the findings of the experiment. Adrian College has just recently in the last two and one half years, recruited student athletes heavily in a bold strategy to bring direct returns to the college. The investment strategy seems to have worked very well increasing student‟s achievements both academically and athletically. This project, the Renaissance, has created a disproportionate student population of primarily athletes. If Conservatism truly does cause physical fitness, and fitness is as static as recent research implies, then individuals prepared to participate in taxing varsity sports would also be physically fit students and therefore likely Conservative. The distributions and patterns explained can be viewed in the following figures, a bar graph and an area graph. [Figure 7]
    • P a g e | 23 [Figure 8] Fitness Evaluation The level and shuttle numbers generated from the subject‟s completion of the beep test can be transformed into a VO2 max score between zero and 70.79020797426175. A VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen in milliliters one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight (Kolata, 2002; Mac, 1997). This indicates fitness best considering longevity and activity conditioning. It is also the truest standardized measure for lung capacity and heart usage. An online calculator for VO2 max calculation based on beep test scored, at url:
    • P a g e | 24 [http://www.topendsports.com/testing/beepcalc.htm], was used to generate the number in the form, # ml/kg/min. The calculator uses an average of the ages that were tested rather than using an actual age in the equation. That is the new formula represents a module which appears as the VO2 max = 5.857 and the highest speed achieved in test - 19.458. Group R 1 Beep Test Score Calculator: 20 meter Shuttle Run Test To calculate your predicted VO2max from your 20 meter shuttle run test result, enter your level and number of shuttles for that level in the boxes below, and then click the "calculate" button. For example, if you scored 8-5 on the beep test, you would enter 8 in the first box, and 5 in the second. Enter your level (e.g., 8): Enter your number of shuttles (e.g., 5): Press the button to see your predicted VO2max score: Your result (ml/kg/min): Calculations The above calculator was developed from the published tables in Ramsbottom et al. (1988) "A progressive shuttle run test to estimate maximal oxygen uptake." British Journal of Sports Medicine 22: 141-5. The calculator appears to be accurate to within 0.1 ml/kg/min of the published values. VO2 max = 31.025 + (3.238 × velocity) - (3.248 × age ) + (0.1536 × age × velocity) (Ahmaidi, 1992) [Figure 9]
    • P a g e | 25 The higher the score the more fit the subject is. The average score is approximately 40. The results may be affected by the differing levels of abilities between sexes which were not taken into account. For instance the average for a 20 year old woman is closer to an average of thirty while the same age man should average at approximately forty. Sample’s Fitness Review of the VO2 max scores allows one to deduce that Adrian College has a very average distribution ranging from over 22 to under 71. The scale is relatively diverse stretching from an indication of low health to near peak physical ability. Between the VO2 max scores 45 and 65 lie the majority of the population. This suggests that students are in fact largely fit which falls in line with predictions made earlier about the student demographic being healthy and athletic. The bar graph below illustrates these patterns and allows for your interpretation.
    • P a g e | 26 [Figure 10] Bivariate Assessment The data was then compared and subject‟s scores were plotted on a graph revealing patterns in the relationship over the continuums. Rather than a haphazard or random arrangement, the points revealed a positive correlation between conservatism and fitness such that subjects with high scores in fitness also tended to have high scores in the conservative scale. This data is preliminary and only suggestive because of the afore mentioned weakness namely, stunted sample size.
    • P a g e | 27 [Figure 11] The test should be repeated, to verify results, but this exploratory design may draw interest to the project from which funds or support could be acquired. Substantial tests can then be conducted with much larger subject groups and in a manner which controls for the noted mistakes.
    • P a g e | 28 Results The findings of said exploratory experiment indicate a positive relationship between conservatism and physical fitness. In other words conservatives are more fit than liberals, according to the experiments preliminary results. This conclusion is relatively controversial, as it implies that based on inherent ideology one is either rewarded with longevity and health or punished with vulnerability to obesity and disease. It begs the question: “Are there further interesting differences between Conservatives and Liberals?” The experiment is reproducible and ought to be repeated in differing settings in order to apply it to less biased populations. In this way the results could be better generalized as a college student population is made up of a specific demographic group not applicable to the average world population. As previously mentioned the true value of this result is that it primes a plethora of new research staring with causal analysis and using the results throughout multiple hard science academic subjects. Research maintains that ideology is not simply a loosely chosen opinion but rather an biologically bound consistent personality trait which effects cognitive strategies, problem solving, political „opinions‟ and may very well be genetic (DeAngeles, 2004; Graham, 1977; Wenner, 2007). The nature of ideology indicates that it is reliably consistent from a young age, possibly conception; ruling out the prospect that physical fitness causes ideology (A. Chirumbolo, 2002; J. T. Jost, J. Glaser, A. W. Kruglanski, & F. Sulloway, 2003a, 2003b; M. Kemmelmeier, 1997; Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, & Sanford, 1950). To complicate the scenario the bulk of medical research concludes that youth fitness projects adult fitness, specifically through massive advantages against diseases and in gained respiratory health. Ergo, typical physical health is also elusive as a variable in a causal relationship to ideology. Given
    • P a g e | 29 that a larger study is done confirming my relational results, a correlation exists between the two variables which remain to be explained. Likely a third variable links the two in a causal „X → Y → Z‟ relationship. As political ideology has been shown to have more inherent and behavioral qualities it is logical to presume that political ideology equates to the „X‟ in this function. Note that the given model is perhaps far too simple to explain the true relationship and may include many connective variables like „Y‟. Subsequent research should evaluate the causal relationships between potential connective variables. For example, in a future responsive study, Conservative political ideology may be proven to cause a more rigid schedule as a cognitive strategy for ones daily or weekly exercise regiment. This defined form of „consistency‟ and „rigidity‟ has been shown in previous studies to cause higher levels of physical fitness (Feilding, Katula, Miller, 2007). The completion of such a study would link the variables and explain at least a part of the relationship. Clarifying the relationship however, is muddled by a number of alternate plausible connective concepts including, conservative happiness and contentment as an indicator of fitness, conservative economic status and the ability to buy health, and quite probably several divergent explanations which have not been expressly revealed due to the infancy of this research area. Conservatives Happy/Happiness Healthy Perhaps happiness is the link between ideology and fitness. Some have claimed that conservatives are in general happier or more content than liberals, as a result of their ideological mental strategies (Bryner, 2008). Other researchers determined that contentment and happiness cause healthiness and pristine fitness levels (CTV, 2008). "We found strong evidence that both happiness and life satisfaction have an effect on our indicators of health," Siahpush said (2008).
    • P a g e | 30 These variables seem to connect and could be easily tested for a indirect causal relationship meaning that one could test for conservatism causing fitness through happiness. Basic science does not seem to endorse simple happiness as a major contributor to life fitness however so this is possibly just a small part of the variables relationships. Conservatives Wealthy/Wealthy Healthy It is common knowledge that most conservative policies and ideals are based on a higher level of economic support. Also stereotypically, Republicans in America and conservatives elsewhere, have a higher economic status, on average, than liberals. The credibility of these views should be tested empirically. Research indicates that nations, as well as individuals, are able to purchase health to an extent (Davidson, 2005; Ichiro, 2001). Perhaps the benefits of fiscal security are the link that allows conservatives the advantages and opportunities to be more fit. In this case the connective variable would be economic status and financial freedom. As economic scenarios differ vastly and quickly throughout history and between geographic locations this model appears to be less likely than the other two. This does not rule the model out and it may very well be that each variable is a contributor. I am referring to the possibility that each variable could be responsible for carrying a percentage of the resulting fitness. Conservative Rigid/Rigid Healthy As previously mentioned it has been shown that conservatives are more rigid in their planned activities (Kemmelmeier, 2007). Other researchers published findings that indicate consistency in fitness schedule will cause higher levels of health and fitness (Feilding, Katula, Miller, 2007). This seems a likely connective variable to test because it displays a known and definitive characteristic of conservatives that has been praised as fitness catalyst for a long time.
    • P a g e | 31 Subsequent to a more reliable and statistically significant study of the relationship between ideology and physical fitness, an experiment on the causality between political ideology and consistent physical exercise is in order. The most plausible course of action would be to propose an pragmatic experiment with the aim of establishing the three variable causal bond. Causality Research Outline This is a proposed design for an experiment which is yet to be preformed which would be used to determine whether a causal relationship between conservatism, rigidity, and fitness exists. Hypothesis: Conservative political ideology causes consistency in personal physical exercise. Subjects ought to be randomly selected and tested for political ideology which can be done with the Wilson/Paterson scale. The results should form two groups of subjects, those who are considered to be significantly conservative and those who are considered to be not significantly conservative. The later will represent a control group. The actions of subject should be recorded candidly in their everyday life in order to acquire data on which subjects have exercise schedules, how closely they follow them if they have them, what choices they make in diet, and how consistently they follow their described health/fitness objectives. In the initial experiments funding may be lacking. It is more practical to select a location where random people live near to one another so that opportunity, age, and diet selection could be automatically controlled for. This method would allow data collection to be far less expensive and more controlled in terms of options. Examples of such locations include colleges, camps, retirement homes, and communal living. Data should be collected at least on a daily basis and a record of consistency and rigidity to fitness planning can be retained. These records could then be standardized and evaluated with respect to physically productive planned activity. A suggested
    • P a g e | 32 method would be having an uninvolved panel decide whether the person adhered to their fitness objectives in a day when they review the researcher‟s written report. The judgment can then be translated into a number representative of consistency. Simple biveriate analysis ought to reveal whether or not the „variable‟ of conservatism has caused a mental rigidity to fitness programs. Consequences The portrayed blueprints for study could potentially establish a causal relationship and answer with certainty the original research question. In layman‟s terms this answer would likely be: “Yes, conservatives are more physically fit. They are more fit because they stick to a fitness plan with rigidity.” Should the experiment suggest that conservatism causes adherence to exercise programs a underlying three variable relationship would be established. This could confirm the hypothesis correlation from the ideology and fitness exploratory experiment through definitive explanation. According to a thorough study conducted by Fielding, Katula, and Miller in 2007 adherence to physical activity causes better health and higher fitness. This study serves to Connect „Y‟ to „Z‟. In this case, the relationship between conservatism and fitness can be described in terms of mental rigidity. In other words that projected result would reveal that conservatives stick to an exercise plan and that such adherence raises their fitness level, proving that indirectly conservatism, however inherent, causes higher fitness levels. Conclusion Political ideology is positively related to physical fitness, according to the experiment conducted of Adrian College students. This study was contrived in order to evaluate whether or not a relationship existed between the variables in the research question. That is a correlation was found in order to justify the preparation of an empirical test for ideology to indirectly cause
    • P a g e | 33 fitness. In order to accomplish this, a number of steps were executed and described. First an investigation of relevant literature was completed by delving into issues involving accurate measures of fitness, the nature of ideology, measures of conservatism, differences between ideologies, etc. Upon examination factors where defined to become variables for measurement. Simultaneously the research question was developed and manipulated in order to create two separate but useful hypotheses, one causal and one relational. The logical start was the correlation study which was developed using classic experimentation methods. Using the most suitable measurements of the variables, (political ideology and physical fitness) “Wilson & Patterson Conservatism Scale” integer and VO2 max quantity. The experiment was then planed conducted and reviewed establishing data to assess. Analysis of the data revealed information about the sample‟s demographic physically and politically. More importantly it concluded that a correlation did exist such that conservatism and physical fitness are bound in a positive relationship. The obvious corollary to this observation was to explore the feasible models for causality, which connect the variables in a causal manner. Three likely relationships were briefly discussed and one was selected as for assessment. Rigidity as a connective variable is set for an analysis again using classic experimental techniques and planning. Much further research has been proposed and discussed however the focus of the study is proof indicating a correlation between fitness and ideology. In review, the study recounts the exploratory experiment which concludes with a positive relationship linking conservative ideology and physical health. Future research is proposed which could confirm a causal relationship and open the door to more discoveries. It is the intention of this study to inspire supplementary knowledge particularly on the physiological nature of human factions and its ideological consequences.
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