Arnold Kling  

Who Are You Calling Agreeable?

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The British Psychological Society blog reports,


Among the most strong and intriguing correlations were: Neuroticism correlated with use of 'irony' and negatively correlated with 'invited'; Extraversion correlated with 'drinks' and negatively correlated with 'computer'; Openness correlated with 'ink'; Agreeableness with 'wonderful' and negatively correlated with 'porn'; and Conscientiousness correlated with 'completed' and negatively correlated with 'boring'.

This is from a study of blogs. Pointer from Tyler Cowen. I searched econlog for these words. The counts include many instances in which the words are used not by David, Bryan or me but by people we are quoting.

irony 31, invited 27 David uses "invited" a lot, so if we are not a totally neurotic blog, we can thank him.

drinks 7 (only one of my posts), computer 134. I need to get out more.

ink 14. I would think that the use of "cryonics" would send a stronger signal of openness than "ink," but what do I know?

wonderful 49, porn 10. Apparently, we have to use four-letter words in order to signal disagreeableness. How is it not enough to use the word "libertarian?"

completed 29, boring 37. Bryan is the big offender here, using "boring" constantly. I am starting to doubt that he is ever going to finish that book on selfish reasons for having kids.


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COMMENTS (3 to date)
David R. Henderson writes:

Arnold,
Hilarious!

Luke G. writes:

Completely off-topic:

“Only an expert can deal with the problem.”

This performance piece reminded me your points about being skeptical of “experts.” I’m not sure she would arrive at your same conclusion, however!
http://tv.gawker.com/5587525/what-the-hell-just-happened-on-letterman

Chris Koresko writes:

@Luke G: I'd like to continue (and maybe help legitimize?) your off-topic thread, because while Arnold's post is pretty cool, it's hard to see what comments one could write about it.

So here goes.

I think there are two kinds of experts: those who are recognized for having repeatedly demonstrated a skill which is thought to require expertise (ski jumping, say) and those who are knowledgeable enough to talk impressively about a subject which offers many opportunities to hand-wave failures away (macroeconomics, say).

I'd trust an expert ski-jumper to land on his skis much sooner than I'd trust a macroeconomist to predict next year's GDP growth correctly.

What do you think?

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