Friday, September 19, 2008

Bushist Fascists Have Scaredy-Cat DNA

They just can't help it.

Vote with your fear: the politics of DNA

LOS ANGELES: Diehard liberals and conservatives aren't made; they're born. It's in their DNA.

That's the suggestion of a study by a group of researchers who wanted to see if there was a biological basis for people's political attitudes.

They found that opinions on contentious issues such as gun control, pacifism and capital punishment are strongly associated with physiological traits that are probably present at birth.

The key is the differing levels of fear that people naturally feel.

The researchers, whose findings were published yesterday in the journal Science, looked at 46 people who fell into two camps: liberals who supported foreign aid, immigration, pacifism and gun control; and conservatives who advocated defence spending, capital punishment, patriotism and the Iraq war.

Subjects were shown a series of images that included a bloody face, maggots in a wound and a spider on a frightened face. A device measured the electrical conductance of their skin, a physiological reaction that indicates fear.

In a second experiment, researchers measured blinks - another indicator of fear - as subjects responded to blasts of noise.

People with strongly conservative views were three times more fearful than staunch liberals.

1 comment:

Ginny said...

You saw this too? I wonder if there's also a genetic component in being reality-based rather than being a delusional religio-political hysteric.

I guess there was an element of truth in calling some pundits "reactionaries."