Fear Not Common In Obama Supporters

Do you scare easily? Then you probably feel like voting republican, atleast according to a study conducted in Nebraska. (Not to be confused with the picture to the left.)

The scientists claim their study is evidence that our political views are not only a matter of personal belief but psychological orientation and even genetics.

The research involved an experiment in which volunteers who had strong political opinions were exposed to a series of frightening images and sounds. The volunteers psychological responses were then recorded by measuring the electrical conductance of their skin as well as their blink responses from which the scientist then could determine the degree of fear each person was experiencing.

Democrats seemed to fair better than their right wing counterparts who were more frightened during the experiment and the scientists conclusion is quite interesting; people who scare easily looks for a leader who have a firm stand on national security (and the like) and will be drawn towards the right since republican views tend to be more protective of social groups (favouring capital punishment, higher defence spending and such).

This might also help explain the unbelievable reelection of George W. Bush, in 2004, whose hard leadership (horrible as it is) attracted more voters after the attacks on the twin towers. The nation was as startled, scared and eager for revenge as it ever had been and Bush’s call for a war on terror couldn’t have come at a better time.

Having said that the study should in no way generate a generalization. The images the volunteers were forced to endure (such as maggots feasting on an open wound) would scare even a loyal lefty like me and I’m sure there are some republicans (one or two) who wouldn’t even flinch. Furthermore the researchers stress there is no political relevance to their discovery.

Dr Hibbing, one of the scientists, said the study still might help explain why it is so hard to change ones political mind.

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“I even have the hope that this might facilitate understanding a little bit. Instead of political opponents thinking the opposite party are being wilfully bull-headed, you can say ‘well ok, they see the world differently than I do'”

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Dr Hibbing’s hope is clearly desirable and I do share it, after all who doesn’t want the ideal political atmosphere? However, pointing out that this discovery might help turn hope into reality I must also stress the fact that these studies can be misinterpreted and should be conducted more carefully. How horrible wouldn’t it be if this discovery leads to generalization which instead of creating a sense of understanding breed more prejudice and hatred?

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— Kajsa, Admin Future for America
     politics.of.tomorrow@gmail.com

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~ by politicsoftomorrow on September 19, 2008.

One Response to “Fear Not Common In Obama Supporters”

  1. Mycket intressant och viktig diskussion. Det skulle kunna förklara många mäkliga valresultat, som tex att Bush kunde bli återvald. Men som du säger är det viktigt att vara försiktig med att dra allt för entydiga slutsatser. Jag kan bli skeptisk till alla ensidiga förklaringsmodeller, tex att förklara människors värderingar med biologi eller nåt annat. Svårt att säga vad som kommer först den genetiska bakgrunden som skapar en läggning (tex benägenhet till rädsla) och som leder till ett visst tänkande, eftersom det lika gärna kan vara tvärtom. En viss politisk åskådning kan ju motivera till att vi ser och upplever något som skrämmande. Men oavsett hur vi ser på denna höna eller ägget-problematik , kan vi ju faktiskt bemöda oss om att bli tillträckligt självreflekterande för att faktisk ibland kunna förändra våra egna utgångspunkter. Jag delar helt din och Hibbings syn att det är viktigt att försöka öka sin förståelse för att meningsmotståndare inte tänker fel men annorlunda. Jag tycker dina inlägg här, även om de ger uttryck för tydliga åsikter, just bidrar till en sådan mer nyanserad debatt. Det är alltid mycket stimulerande läsning.

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