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A large body of political scientists and political psychologists now concur that liberals and conservatives disagree about politics in part because they are different people at the level of personality, psychology and even traits like physiology and genetics.

That’s a big deal. It challenges everything that we thought we knew about politics — upending the idea that we get our beliefs solely from our upbringing, from our friends and families, from our personal economic interests, and calling into question the notion that in politics, we can really change (most of us, anyway).

It is a “virtually inescapable conclusion” that the “cognitive-motivational styles of leftists and rightists are quite different.”

The occasion of this revelation is a paper by John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska and his colleagues, arguing that political conservatives have a “negativity bias,” meaning that they are physiologically more attuned to negative (threatening, disgusting) stimuli in their environments. (The paper can be read for free here.)

Continue reading:  Scientists Are Beginning to Figure Out Why Conservatives Are… Conservative

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13 thoughts on “Scientists Are Beginning to Figure Out Why Conservatives Are… Conservative

  1. Hey, Bob, I’m dumber than dirt, I guess, because I cannot quite figure out how to read this paper ‘free.’ Can you lead a novice, by the nose through the process?

  2. “Indeed, conservatives tend to have a high degree of happiness and life satisfaction.”

    Yes, it’s called living in denial. The highest infant mortality rates, the highest STD/HIV/AIDS rates, the highest divorce rates, the highest obesity rates, the highest high school dropout rates, the highest poverty rates, the highest teen pregnancy rates, the highest diabetes rates, etc., etc., are primarily in conservative states, particularity, the South, according to the CDC.

    A report put out by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, listed the ten states with the worst/best quality of life. According to this multivariate analysis which takes into account a plethora of indicators of societal well-being, those states in America with the worst quality of life tended to be in states where people were predominately conservative.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/10/07/why-the-south-is-the-worst-place-to-live-in-the-u-s-in-10-charts/

  3. Any chance conservatism might soon be classified as a mental illness? Not that renaming it will provide a cure. Stem-cell treatment, perhaps? After all, it is 100% fatal — as compassionate souls, we should try to help!

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