Profiling the average doper

Now, I know that’s impossible, what with all the eccentrics and radicals that tend to gravitate to the board. But, helped by all those who’ve given their results from the various socio-political questionnaires, I’ve got this general impression of teh average doper: left of centre on social issues, right of centre on economic issues, anti capital punishment and in favour of gun ownership.

Now, shoot me down!

Sorry, can’t – I’m against gun ownership.


Don’t look to me, **twickster :slight_smile: ** no gun here either. Guess I would favor anyone living outside law enforcement areas to own a musket or two; otherwise just too much fire power and too little control (self or otherwise) for my comfort level.

I was in agreement though, Roger , until you got to favoring gun control. Would also think pro-choice might enter into the equation, although I really doubt a group such as this is going to be captured very easily in a short list.

Viva la…:slight_smile:

Left of centre on social issues? Yep

Right of centre on economic issues? Nope

Anti capital punishment? Yep

In favour of gun ownership? Nope

50% is pretty good :slight_smile:

Although I don’t fit your average, I think across the board you might be right.

Left of centre on social issues? No

Right of centre on economic issues? Yes

Anti capital punishment? No

In favour of gun ownership? Yes

Those who have and use capital should be taxed, but not punished.

Gun Ownership should be optional.

As to right or left of center, you didn’t specify a center, so I can’t say.

Well, this is nice! I am having trouble seeing the screen, so it is lovely that I need only plagiarize, well, blatantly rip off the answer previously given by my honourable friend… oops maybe I need more of the dried frog pills.

Anyway - what I mean is - with thanks to Calm Kiwi
Left of centre on social issues? Yep

Right of centre on economic issues? Nope

Anti capital punishment? Yep

In favour of gun ownership? Nope

50% is pretty good :slight_smile:

Ta much, CalmKiwi :slight_smile:

I have a notion that the death pentalty and the gun things might show different Doper Profiels in the U.K., and in N.Z. and Oz, and maybe Canada than in the U.S.

Seriously, if I have made a whole ton or metric tonne :slight_smile: of typos, I am having trouble seeing screen so I crave forgiveness.


I suspect that the OP confuses “majority” for “average.”

I see this after elections every once in a while: candidate A gets 60% of the votes (of those people who bothered to stop by a voting booth on the correct day) and suddenly the “landslide victory” gets translated into “everybody” voted for him or her. The reality might be that closer to 50% of the people did not prefer him or her, but that too many were too lazy to vote–and even using the actual vote tally, four people out of ten were in opposition.

I suspect that among Dopers, a slight majority who choose to post on those issues tend to favor left-leaning social policies, right-leaning economic policies, tend to oppose the death penalty, and tend to accept private gun ownership. (And, of course, even this categorization is skewed by failing to consider a strong Libertarian element among Dopers that makes a hash of the “Left” and “Right” dichotomy.)

Beyond that, there are a number of issues that can cloud the perceptions of people when making charts. The late Collounsbury was routinely lumped in with the “Left” when posters were whining about the board leaning too much to the Left ort Right in the Pit, yet he was quite clearly an old-line Conservative in economic matters and would have been much more at home with the Moderate Republicans than the Democrats (if the Republican Party had not amputated their Moderate or Progressive wing). His staunch opposition to the Neo-Con political perspective placed him at odds with a number of posters on the Right and he got branded “Left” by default.

The use of “average” (whether it be calculated as a mean, median, or mode average) gives the false impression that “everybody” shares some belief or understanding, when the reality in a place like the SDMB is that most posters on most* issues find themselves in one of several competing camps with a slight majority appearing to favor one or another position.

There are issues on which an overwhelming number of posters tend to agree (with still a lot of disagreement on the details): homosexuality is generally regarded as an innate orientation, not a moral choice, for example, to a much greater degree than one would find in the general U.S. population. Evolution has a much greeater acceptance as a scientific reality on the SDMB than one would find in the general population. Abortion is a issue where I suspect that the numbers are closer to 50-50* than to 95-5, but most people would prefer to simply avoid a topic that gets rancorous so quickly on the grounds that there is little point in raising one’s blood pressure or potentially alienating one’s on-line friends where there is almost no chance that one will persuade them to change their opinions.

** (I am not claiming an actual 50-50 split. The numbers could easily be 60-40 or 80-20 or something else. I am only pointing out that a reading of the board might give a 95-5 impression and that I suspect the numbers are closer to an even split than that.)