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Conservatives and liberals have similar physiological responses to threats

Abstract : About a decade ago, a study documented that conservatives have stronger physiological responses to threatening stimuli than liberals. This work launched an approach aimed at uncovering the biological roots of ideology. Despite wide-ranging scientific and popular impact, independent laboratories have not replicated the study. We conducted a pre-registered direct replication (n = 202) and conceptual replications in the United States (n = 352) and the Netherlands (n = 81). Our analyses do not support the conclusions of the original study, nor do we find evidence for broader claims regarding the effect of disgust and the existence of a physiological trait. Rather than studying unconscious responses as the real predispositions, alignment between conscious and unconscious responses promises deeper insights into the emotional roots of ideology.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 5, 2022 - 5:05:56 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 10:53:34 AM

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Bert Bakker, Gijs Schumacher, Claire Gothreau, Kevin Arceneaux. Conservatives and liberals have similar physiological responses to threats. Nature Human Behaviour, Nature Research 2020, 4 (6), pp.613-621. ⟨10.1038/s41562-020-0823-z⟩. ⟨hal-03631530⟩

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