PROBLEM: The pre-societal, animal model of conflict resolution is simple, brutal, and effective. Leaving aside political gambles, moral considerations, and the like, the strong are more willing to fight for their self-interest, while the weak find it more advantageous not to assert themselves. Extrapolated to a fairly simple conflict of interest -- wealth redistribution -- do modern humans operate under the same logic?
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METHODOLOGY: Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark and UC Santa Barbara collected from several hundred men and women in Argentina, the U.S., and Denmark. They categorized the subjects by socioeconomic class, their upper-body strength, or "fighting ability" (as measured by the "circumference of the flexed bicep of the dominant arm"), and their responses to a questionnaire gauging their support for economic redistribution.
RESULTS: Rich men, who would benefit least from redistribution, were more likely to be opposed to it -- but only when they also had large biceps. There was a negative correlation between the two, so that rich men with less muscle strength were more open to redistribution. In men of lower socioeconomic status, the correlation was reversed: stronger men were more in favor of redistribution, while men with smaller muscles were less likely to support it.