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Political attitudes vary with physiological traits - PsyCrit

Political attitudes vary with physiological traits

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Political attitudes vary with physiological traits: Oxley, D. R., Smith, K. B., Alford, J. R., Hibbing, M. V., Miller, J. L., Scalora, M., Hatemi, P. K., Hibbing, J. R. Science Vol. 321 (19) September (2008).

Abstract

Although political views have been thought to arise largely from individuals’ experiences, recent research suggests that they may have a biological basis. We present evidence that variations in political attitudes correlate with physiological traits. In a group of 46 adult participants with strong political beliefs, individuals with measurably lower physical sensitivities to sudden noises and threatening visual images were more likely to support foreign aid, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and gun control, whereas individuals displaying measurably higher physiological reactions to those same stimuli were more likely to favor defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism, and the Iraq War. Thus, the degree to which individuals are physiologically responsive to threat appears to indicate the degree to which they advocate policies that protect the existing social structure from both external (outgroup) and internal (norm-violator) threats.

Responses

 Date"Date" is a type and predefined property provided by Semantic MediaWiki to represent date values.AuthorLead-in
Physiology may not be (political) destiny23 February 2009Evan CharneyOxley et al. (2008) translate an eyeblink and a slight sweat, provoked by different kinds of pictures, into a political position. Science magazine apparently raised no objections. Charney points out that both eye blinks and GSR changes can be interpreted in very many ways. Oxley et al.’s grand conclusions leave their modest data well behind.
Although political views have been thoughtAlthough political views have been thought to arise largely from individuals’ experiences, recent research suggests that they may have a biological basis. We present evidence that variations in political attitudes correlate with physiological traits. In a group of 46 adult participants with strong political beliefs, individuals with measurably lower physical sensitivities to sudden noises and threatening visual images were more likely to support foreign aid, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and gun control, whereas individuals displaying measurably higher physiological reactions to those same stimuli were more likely to favor defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism, and the Iraq War. Thus, the degree to which individuals are physiologically responsive to threat appears to indicate the degree to which they advocate policies that protect the existing social structure from both external (outgroup) and internal (norm-violator) threats.oup) and internal (norm-violator) threats. +
Oxley 2008 +
Science Vol. 321 (19) September +
2008-Oxley +
Political attitudes vary with physiological traits +
2008 +
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