Kalina Faulks - Unconscious Reactions Separate Liberals and Conservatives.docx

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Introduction to Probability and Statistics
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Chapter 7 / Exercise 8
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
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Unconscious Reactions Separate Liberals and Conservatives Psychological insights might tone down the bitter feuding between Democrats and Republicans By  Emily Laber-Warren   Blue state, red state. Big government, big business. Gay rights, fetal rights. The United States is riven by the politics of extremes. To paraphrase humor columnist Dave Barry, Republicans think of Democrats as godless, unpatriotic, Volvo- driving, France-loving, elitist latte guzzlers, whereas Democrats dismiss Republicans as ignorant, NASCAR-obsessed, gun- fondling religious fanatics. An exaggeration, for sure, but the reality is still pretty stark. Congress is in a perpetual stalemate because of the two parties' inability to find middle ground on practically anything. According to the experts who study political leanings, liberals and conservatives do not just see things differently. They are different—in their personalities and even their unconscious reactions to the world around them. For example, in a study published in January, a team led by psychologist Michael Dodd and political scientist John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln found that when viewing a collage of photographs, conservatives' eyes unconsciously lingered 15 percent longer on repellent images, such as car wrecks and excrement—suggesting that conservatives are more attuned than liberals to assessing potential threats. Meanwhile examining the contents of 76 college students' bedrooms, as one group did in a 2008 study, revealed that conservatives possessed more cleaning and organizational items, such as ironing boards and calendars, confirmation that they are orderly and self-disciplined. Liberals owned more books and travel-related memorabilia, which conforms with previous research suggesting that they are open and novelty-seeking.
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Introduction to Probability and Statistics
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Chapter 7 / Exercise 8
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
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“These are not superficial differences. They are psychologically deep,” says psychologist John Jost of New York University, a co- author of the bedroom study. “My hunch is that the capacity to organize the political world into left or right may be a part of human nature.”

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