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Do Conservatives Have Stronger 'Yuck' Reaction Than Liberals?


"...certain political orientations at some unspecified point become housed in our biology."

Perhaps some stories on The Blaze have made you wrinkle your nose in a distinctive "gross me out" reaction. If not, check out the edible insect food cart or the graphic images of Gadhafi being pulled from a drainpipe. Or take a look at the picture below.

How did you do?

Chances are, if you had a "that's gross" reaction to any of the above articles or the image, you may lean a little more to the right on the political spectrum.

Researchers at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, showed people a series of unpleasant images. What they found is that those with a stronger gut reaction -- literally -- to photos of people eating worms or an open, bloody wound, were more likely to identify themselves as conservative. Scientists measured participants reactions to the photos through electrodes placed on their skin.

According to the press release, these findings play in to a growing area of research:

"The proper interpretation of the findings (in the current study) is not that biology causes politics or that politics causes biology," the authors write, "but that certain political orientations at some unspecified point become housed in our biology, with meaningful political consequences."

Acceptance of the role of involuntary physiological responses is not easy for many, however: "Most are proud of their political orientations, believe them to be rational responses to the world around them, and are reluctant to concede that subconscious predispositions play any role in shaping them," they write.

The researchers believe that if the connection between politics and involuntary physiological responses become more widely researched and well-known that it could help reduce "frustration from the perceived illogical inflexibility of political opponents and reduce political hostility."

This study was published in PLosOne.

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