The political left rolls with the good and the political right confronts the bad: Connecting physiology and cognition to preferences

Michael D. Dodd, Amanda Balzer, Carly M. Jacobs, Michael W. Gruszczynski, Kevin B. Smith, John R. Hibbing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report evidence that individual-level variation in people's physiological and attentional responses to aversive and appetitive stimuli are correlated with broad political orientations. Specifically, we find that greater orientation to aversive stimuli tends to be associated with right-of-centre and greater orientation to appetitive (pleasing) stimuli with left-of-centre political inclinations. These findings are consistent with recent evidence that political views are connected to physiological predispositions but are unique in incorporating findings on variation in directed attention that make it possible to understand additional aspects of the link between the physiological and the political.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-649
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume367
Issue number1589
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Physiology
  • Politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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