Infectious Disease and Authoritarianism || Jordan Peterson.

What is the Role of Public Health?

There was a paper published in PLOS ONE about a year ago. They were looking at [the following issue]. Let’s say I assessed your political attitudes — I could do that with, say, an authoritarian belief scale, because authoritarianism has been studied quite a bit since the end of World War II. Nobody really knew what to do with it in relation to personality, but it doesn’t matter; you can assess it with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

These people did two things: they did a cross-country survey and then within-country surveys. So if you were looking at a phenomenon, you could look at the country level — US vs. Canada — or you could go into the US and then you could look at a state level. And it’s nice to do the analysis of both levels, to see if it replicates itself across the two different conceptual strata.

And what they found was mind-boggling. It’s Nobel-prize-winning stuff, as far as I’m concerned.

The correlation between the prevalence of infectious disease in a locale and the degree to which authoritarian beliefs were held in that locale was about .7. It’s like, you never see that in the social sciences. That’s higher than the correlation between IQ and grades, which is about as good as we ever get in terms of prediction.

So it’s like, really? It’s that high? And one of the things that implies is that one of the ways to get rid of authoritarian attitudes, assuming that you want to get rid of such things, is through public health.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Read More or Join the Discussion

Thinkspot is now free and open to the public. Browse the curated JBP collection of exclusive lectures and writings, annotate your favourite content, and watch for new uploads coming soon. A login is required for commenting and annotating, but not for reading and viewing.

To Comment on the Excerpt Above:

  1. Log into thinkspot
    2. Click on Dr. Peterson’s Profile

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

New Media Releases

New Podcast Re-release: Walking with God: Noah and the Flood (season 3, episode 7)

  • We are re-releasing Dr. Peterson’s biblical lectures, during a time when we believe it to be helpful.
  • Listen to the current release: “The positive meaning of life is to be found in noting the state of lack of repair of the walled city that you inhabit, and then sallying forth to do something about that, to repair the breaches and to fix up the walls, and to make the structure that you inhabit as secure and as productive as it possibly can be. And there’s no shortage of opportunities to do that. You can do that in your mind, you can do that in your room, you can do that in your own household, in your local community, and maybe if you get good at doing it at all those levels, then you can start to look beyond that. Listen now.

Dr. Peterson in the News


From Dr. Peterson’s Great Books List:

From Cancer Ward:

“A man dies from a tumour, so how can a country survive with growths like labour camps and exiles?



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Đại Việt

Đại Việt


Một kẻ lang thang trên biển rộng trời cao. Viết cho bản thân và gia đình tôi. Anchor: