The 'left' and the 'right' are two terms that often appear and tend to be used in everyday conversation, the media, and scientific discourse. In most theories on political orientation the terms left and right are used as theoretical concepts that facilitate the description and classification of social reality. This usage of the concepts is justified and can be very useful. However, at the empirical level they are often used with the aim of detecting and examining them in connection with what people think. In this article the author describes a series of analyses that indicate that when the left-right concept of political orientation is tested and assessed such usage proves misguided. The author employs 'immediate validation' in the article's analysis, an original method still under development that is part of the broader stream of cognitive approaches applied in survey methodology.
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