Sunday, 7 June 2009

Creepy-Crawlies and Conservatives

A new study has purported to find correlations between political alignment and the degree to which things disgust you.

The study, conducted by David A. Pizarro, Yoel Inbar and Paul Bloom, and published in Cognition and Emotion, surveyed 181 American adults by subjecting them to a "Disgust Sensitivity Scale" (DSS), to assess their level of disgust in various situations. The subjects were then assessed on a political ideology scale. They found that those who tended to be easily disgusted also tended to be political conservatives.

Pizarro and colleagues followed this up by surveying 91 undergrads by giving them the DSS and then asking them their opinions on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and gun control. Again, they found a correlation between conservative views and being easily disgusted.

This is a pretty interesting find, but it raises a major question: if conservatives are easily disgusted by creepy, slimy things, then why do so many conservative politicians turn out to be complete slimeballs?


Yoel Inbar; David A. Pizarro; Paul Bloom. Conservatives are more easily disgusted than liberals. Cognition & Emotion, 2008; 23 (4): 714 DOI: 10.1080/02699930802110007

A more in-depth article about this study and a related one can be found at ScienceDaily:

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