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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A New Take on Political Ideology

“Most of the research literature … suggests that conservatives are more easily threatened, more likely to perceive the world as dangerous, and less trusting in comparison with liberals”
An evolutionary psychologist, John Jost of New York University, proposes a new framework for understanding the root causes of our political beliefs

"With another contentious U.S. election approaching, opinions predictably have hardened as voters gravitate toward candidates who best embody their particular political position. Partisans — that is, nearly everyone aside from the handful of genuine independents, who tend to be disengaged from the process — habitually divide the world between right-thinking, like-minded people and those fools who just don’t get it," writes Tom Jacobs. "As much as we stake our identity on such core beliefs, it’s unlikely we emerged from the womb as little liberals or libertarians. This raises a fundamental question: At what point in our development did such predispositions begin to form, to coalesce and to harden? What is it about our biology and/or psychology that propels us toward a liberal or conservative mindset?" READ MORE

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