AirTalk for October 17, 2013

Does our biology determine our political party affiliation?

Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences

Is it possible that people are actually predisposed to their political party affiliation? Social scientists John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford in their book, “Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences” present evidence that political affiliation is impacted by biological influence. Their evidence suggests it is more than just culture or where people grow up that impact their party affiliation, but how people identity has a more physical component.

The authors found that liberals and conservatives had different patterns of processing thought, memory, and attention spans. Their research showed that liberals are innately more comfortable with things that are unfamiliar, while conservatives pay more attention to potential threats. How large of a part do genetics play in shaping our political attitudes? 

Guest:

Kevin Smith, coauthor of “Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences"; Political Science professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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