1. What motivated Dr. McConochie to study political psychology after years as a clinical and I/O psychologist?
My research in this field was sparked by an article in the American Psychologist in 2003 (Vol. 58, No. 3, pp. 182 ff.) by Roy and Judy Eidelson, who proposed a theory of five worldviews that underlie international conflicts. I developed a measure of these worldviews, then measures of warmongering to validate the Eidelson worldviews. Then I studied the relationship between warmongering and many other traits. This led to the two religious beliefs factors and then led to the rating scale for warmongering-proneness. In the course of these studies, data pointed to the apparent strong desire among citizens for a new form of democracy. In addition to all this, I have had an almost life-long underlying interest in promoting world peace and improved democracy.
2. Is Dr. McConochie an "advocate" for a particular form of politics, e.g. left- wing politics?
No. Dr. McConochie has, until recently, always registered as an independent because he felt no strong allegiance to any particular political party. As an applied psychologist he has a penchant for finding practical applications of psychology to solving problems. In the field of political psychology this has led to his interest in a rating scale journalists can use to warn the public of potentially dangerous (warmongering) political leaders and in a model for a political party that would be a practical means of promoting public democracy. Thus, to the extent that any applied psychologist accepts his clients' problems as worthy, Dr. McConochie could be considered an advocate for good government, his "client" being humankind in general. He believes his research points to a citizen desire for a specific new form of democracy.
3. Was Dr. McConochie motivated by the Iraq war to develop his warmongering-proneness rating scale for political leaders?
No. This war was coincidental to Dr. McConochie's research interests on warmongering. The incentive to study was sparked not by the war or President Bush's behavior but by the Eidelson paper. The fact that President Bush happens to have a rather high score on warmongering-proneness is coincidental.
4. How have Dr. McConochie's studies in political psychology been funded?
I have supported myself via clinical and industrial/organizational products and services. My research in political psychology has been an unpaid project. I have funded it out of my own pocket. I hope to fund future efforts, including this web site, perhaps by grants and other services provided via this site, such as self-development questionnaires providing site visitors with scores on their politically relevant traits.
5. Where has Dr. McConochie published his research findings?
I have published virtually all of my findings on this web site. I have submitted several articles for professional journal publication and given presentations at conferences, such as the Barcelona meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology. I have submitted my book manuscript to book publishers. I continue to augment and revise my journal manuscripts to address issues raised by reviewers, such as explaining how my studies complement or go beyond prior research by other investigators. I continue to do research as requested by these reviewers, e.g. seeking "professional" raters (academic experts) of political leaders on my warmongering-proneness scale.
6. Why does Dr. McConochie publish all his findings on this site rather than in professional journals and books?
I publish on this site because I want to share my findings promptly with a wide audience, including my "client", the general citizen. Professional publications require a scientific format and detail that make articles difficult for all but scientists to understand or enjoy. Such publications are important, for satisfying reviewers requires high quality research and writing. However, only a small fraction of submitted manuscripts are published and getting published can take years of additional research and manuscript revision.
There is an urgency to many political problems, especially global warming, population expansion, high health care costs, extinction of species, environmental pollution, and wars. This urgency invites prompt attention. My research findings may point to a new form of democracy that will empower the majority of good people in every nation to address problems more quickly, effectively and peacefully. Publishing my results via the Internet reaches a wide audience quickly and very economically for all concerned.
7. What other reason is there for this web site?
The second main reason for this web site is to facilitate research. Data on large, relatively random samples of people is needed to put greater confidence in one's ability to generalize research findings to people in general. By putting research questionnaires on the web, I can solicit participation from students, professionals and the general public everywhere.
For example, I can invite journalists and academic experts (e.g. historians, political scientists and sociologists) and history buffs to rate political leaders on my warmongering-proneness scale, which can be easily completed at this site (see Help with Research).
The website availability of questionnaires will increase sample sizes and diversity (ethnic, age, nationality), thus increasing the confidence I can place in my findings. With other web-presented products I have been able to obtain data on thousands rather than just hundreds of persons, and often in just a few weeks. Also, I hope to stimulate other students and professors to replicate and extend my studies. To this end I make all of my research questionnaires available in the form of a manual (publication #4).
My studies are administered over this site, so anyone in the world can participate in replications of them. Interested professors and other leaders can contact me to make arrangements. Typically, students can be given extra credit for conscientiously completing questionnaires and get their scores immediately on traits measured and a summary of their group's data before the end of the school term. Each questionnaire begins with an informed consent page for "IRB" concerns.
Who designs and conducts these polls?
The PPRI Issues Research Committee, which is obligated by Bylaws provisions to cover certain standard content areas in every poll to assure comprehensive attention to public concerns.