The study, released yesterday, tested the physiological responses of 46 participants to various threatening images, like bloody faces. It found that people who self-identified as “in favor of socially protective policies” responded much more strongly to the stimuli than people who held more liberal views on such issues as welfare, abortion, immigration, gay rights and school prayer.
The researchers concluded that people of different ideological persuasions have divergent physiological reactions, and that people with socially conservative views tend to be more shocked by potentially threatening stimuli.
“Some people have said that we’re calling conservatives frightened’ or something along those lines,” Oxley said. “And we’re not. All we’re suggesting is that there’s a physiological difference between people who hold one set of political beliefs and people who hold another set of political beliefs.”
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