…the roots of political judgments may lie partly in fundamental personality types and even in the hard-wiring of our brains.
Researchers have found, for example, that some humans are particularly alert to threats, particularly primed to feel vulnerable and perceive danger. Those people are more likely to be conservatives.
One experiment used electrodes to measure the startle blink reflex, the way we flinch and blink when startled by a possible danger. A flash of noise was unexpectedly broadcast into the research subjects’ earphones, and the response was measured.
The researchers, led by Kevin B. Smith of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, found that those who had a stronger blink reflex at the noise were more likely to take such conservative positions as favoring gun rights, supporting warrantless searches, and opposing foreign aid.
That makes intuitive sense: If you are more acutely sensitive to risks and more fearful of attack, you also may be more aggressive in arming yourself and more wary of foreigners.
Scholars also measured changes in the electrical conductance of research subjects’ skin, after they were shown images meant to trigger disgust — like a person eating a mouthful of worms. Our bodies have evolved so that when we’re upset, glands secrete moisture to cool us down, and that increases conductance.
Liberals released only slightly more moisture in reaction to disgusting images than to photos of fruit. But conservatives’ glands went into overdrive.
Of course, since this is science proving something, the right-wingers among us will claim it’s not real, something from the liberal media and will ramble off some Bible verse that has nothing to do with anything.