Do you strongly support the war in Iraq and strict immigration policies? If so, you're more likely to have strong physiological responses to threatening stimuli such as loud noises and disturbing images, according to a study published in Science this week. Using tests of skin conductance in response to different types of images and startle response to loud sounds, researchers found that people with higher physical sensitivity to threatening stimuli are more likely to favor political policies that involve protecting the country from internal or external threats. "I think this is the seminal study, the first of many, where political scientists will think about physiology in the study of political views," said linkurl:James Fowler,; a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego, who studies the genetic basis of political behavior. "This is first empirical data to associate physiological response to environmental threat and political attitudes," said linkurl:Kevin Smith,;
The Scientist

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?