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Fri Apr 4, 2014, 07:11 PM

This Machine Can Tell Whether You're Liberal or Conservative

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Thomas Jefferson was a smart dude. And in one of his letters to John Adams, dated June 27, 1813, Jefferson made an observation about the nature of politics that science is only now, two centuries later, beginning to confirm. "The same political parties which now agitate the United States, have existed through all time," wrote Jefferson. "The terms of Whig and Tory belong to natural, as well as to civil history," he later added. "They denote the temper and constitution of mind of different individuals."

Tories were the British conservatives of Jefferson's day, and Whigs were the British liberals. What Jefferson was saying, then, was that whether you call yourself a Whig or a Tory has as much to do with your psychology or disposition as it has to do with your ideas. At the same time, Jefferson was also suggesting that there's something pretty fundamental and basic about Whigs (liberals) and Tories (conservatives), such that the two basic political factions seem to appear again and again in the world, and have for "all time."

Jefferson didn't have access to today's scientific machinery—eye tracker devices, skin conductance sensors, and so on. Yet these very technologies are now being used to reaffirm his insight. At the center of the research are many scholars working at the intersection of psychology, biology, and politics, but one leader in the field is John Hibbing, a political scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln whose "Political Physiology Laboratory" has been producing some pretty stunning results.

"We know that liberals and conservatives are really deeply different on a variety of things," Hibbing explains on the latest episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast (stream above). "It runs from their tastes, to their cognitive patterns—how they think about things, what they pay attention to—to their physical reactions. We can measure their sympathetic nervous systems, which is the fight-or-flight system. And liberals and conservatives tend to respond very differently."

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/inquiring-minds-john-hibbing-physiology-ideology


We should strap one of these puppies onto every person that wants to hold a political office ...

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply This Machine Can Tell Whether You're Liberal or Conservative (Original post)
MindMover Apr 2014 OP
PoliticAverse Apr 2014 #1
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2014 #2
MindMover Apr 2014 #3
JoeyT Apr 2014 #4
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2014 #11
JoeyT Apr 2014 #16
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2014 #17
KittyWampus Apr 2014 #5
rrneck Apr 2014 #6
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2014 #13
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2014 #12
NightWatcher Apr 2014 #7
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2014 #21
Marr Apr 2014 #20
KittyWampus Apr 2014 #8
IDemo Apr 2014 #9
progressoid Apr 2014 #10
CJCRANE Apr 2014 #14
davidpdx Apr 2014 #15
hfojvt Apr 2014 #18
MindMover Apr 2014 #19

Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 07:24 PM

1. They should all go through one of these...

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 10:19 PM

2. What's really really weird about this...

Is that the testing shows that the biggest difference between liberals and right wingers is that right wingers get more easily disgusted, and yet it is the right wingers that consistently commit evil against other human beings, things that shock, and see no problem with it, feel it isn't wrong, and show no sensitivity toward that evil.

How do you figure?

One of the biggest differences clearly involves the emotion of disgust. Hibbing isn't the only one to have found a relationship between conservatism and stronger disgust sensitivity—this result is also a mainstay of the very influential research of moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who studies how deep-seated moral emotions divide the left and the right (see here). In one study, Hibbing and his colleagues showed that a higher level of disgust sensitivity is predictive not only of political conservatism but also disapproval of gay marriage. It is important to underscore that your disgust sensitivity is involuntary; it is not something under your control. It is a primal, gut emotion.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 10:29 PM

3. so conservatism is inbred ...nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 10:48 PM

4. It's not that weird if you consider

that they use that disgust to dehumanize whatever the object of it is. Their behavior isn't disgusting to them, because they consider the target of their behavior to be untermensch.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 06:58 PM

11. I do see what you're saying. I still think it's weird because Repuke behavior is the true

repulsive behavior.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 09:52 PM

16. I think it is too.

Even weirder when they're the ones that wave a cross around like they were fighting vampires, while opposing literally everything Jesus actually said.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 11:45 PM

17. Yes. It's pure hypocrisy. nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 10:53 PM

5. my attempt to explain. Disgust is partly a function of "otherness". We are disgusted by things

 

we perceive as outside of ourselves. Getting a strangers saliva on us is disgusting. Experiencing a spouse's spit is actually desirable. This is because we have internalized a spouse's being into our own.

So because conservatives experience others as so alien and separate from their own self… they are capable of doing harm to others not part of their "tribe".

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 10:58 PM

6. People can be disgusted with themselves as well. That's what a concience is for. nt

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Response to rrneck (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 07:02 PM

13. True. I'm disgusted with myself when I take a Repuke seriously or speak to one :) nt

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 07:02 PM

12. Ah ok. So they are disgusted people of different races being in love, for example...

but not disgusted by Charles Koch, who is such an evil pig and works so hard to do tremendous harm to the poorest people in this country. Causing hunger and death to some does noty cause the Repukes nausea. The joy of a mixed couple being together, however, causes them great nausea attacks.

You know, some people just fit the description of evil rather nicely, and few do it better than the Republicans.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 11:00 PM

7. and Fox News is 24/7 hate and disgust. Do you believe in coincidence?

All Fox does is get their viewers mad. Mad at Obama and mad at the woman who buys champagne with food stamps and mad at the government for this and mad at the school who sent a kid home for ...

Fox News: All Assholes All The Time.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 12:23 AM

21. "Fox News: All Assholes All The Time." <-- that's it! nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 12:21 AM

20. I don't think we're as different as is suggested.

 

I mean, yes-- if you look at people as unchanging beings that are simply born with a certain mindset. But I don't think we are, really.

I wish I could remember the specifics of the study I'm half-recalling here...

Anyway, it tracked a collection of conservative students during their college careers. They tended to come from very insular communities, and became much more liberal on a variety of issues as they met and mixed with different types of people.

It seems completely unsurprising that someone who comes from a homogenous little society would be very easily disgusted.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 11:03 PM

8. I totally disagree that this is like being left-handed. People can change

 

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Apr 4, 2014, 11:10 PM

9. Look for these to be used soon to expedite voter purge lists n/t

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 04:40 AM

10. Interesting but,

I'm a little concerned when these kinds of studies limit us to just liberal or conservative. Seems to me there are a lot a variations on the political spectrum.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 07:13 PM

14. IMO there are basically three groups of people: liberal, moderate, conservative

in any political or religious system.

Liberals of any religion or none are fairly similar (live and let live types) and conservatives of all religions are usually the restrictive types that want to get in the way of other people's personal lives.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Apr 5, 2014, 07:31 PM

15. That picture is freaky

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 12:04 AM

18. I worry about research from UNL on this

After all, in Nebraska some people think that Bob Kerrey is a liberal.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 12:10 AM

19. LOL... nt

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