For years we (liberals) have been informed that "psychological research" indicates political conservatives (namely Republicans) are "happier" than their liberal counterparts. This so-called "ideological happiness gap" has inspired elaborate psychological theories for why conservatives enjoy life more than us liberals. But let's back up here first to point out that psychology is the weakest and fuzziest of all the sciences.
Psychological studies by their nature are subjective and the general consensus now is that psychology is the least trustworthy science in terms of proving its claims or theories. From 'Live Science':
"There was something wrong with psychology. A cascade of warning signs arrived all at once in 2011. Famous psychological experiments failed, over and over, when researchers re-did them in their own labs. Even worse, the standard methods researchers used in their labs turned out under close scrutiny to be wishy-washy enough to prove just about anything. Nonsense, ridiculous claims turned up in major journals. It was a moment of crisis....For scientists who had dedicated their lives to this science and these methods, it was as if the rug had suddenly been ripped out from under them.
This is why any given psychology study must be taken with a grain of salt until all possible parameters are investigated and tested. That goes for the claim of conservos- Repukes being "happier" than libs. I am not going to recount here all the specious reasons the claim is made, as people can find out for themselves by a bit of Google searching, e.g.
But other studies have disclosed the so-called happiness gap is just an illusion, a psychological mirage. This is according to a new study published in the journal Science, which found that the tiny statistical differences in previous studies may all trace to conservos' well known propensity to "self enhance", i.e. pump themselves up into fictions of what they really are: greedy, ruthless, self-absorbed and uncaring rubes who subscribe to beliefs beneath the purview of any truly intelligent human .
Again, also, we must come back to why this area of psychological "research" is so pathetic that it would make a physicist - or astronomer - howl with laughter at the methodology. For example, most of these studies asked subjects to self-report their happiness and do so on 1-10 (numerical) scales. Cheap and easy to implement but too subjective to be regarded as anything other than howler science, or even pseudo-science. So, given conservatives are far more prone to be hostage to the Dunning-Kruger effect than more reflective liberals, it makes sense they'd rate their happiness scale higher, once again self-enhancing reality.
Let's focus on that aspect. To get enough subjects to nail down this tiny statistical effect, the researchers in the Science study used a website—YourMorals.org—open to people of any political persuasion. A total of 1433 people filled out and submitted not only the standard happiness questionnaire but also a series of questions called the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding. That instrument measures "the tendency to engage in self-deceptive enhancement." For example, people who highly agree with statements such as "I am fully in control of my own fate," or, "I never regret my decisions," are deemed to be self-enhancing.