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

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9780415535878: Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences

Buried in many people and operating largely outside the realm of conscious thought are forces inclining us toward liberal or conservative political convictions. Our biology predisposes us to see and understand the world in different ways, not always reason and the careful consideration of facts. These predispositions are in turn responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that marks human history.

With verve and wit, renowned social scientists John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford―pioneers in the field of biopolitics―present overwhelming evidence that people differ politically not just because they grew up in different cultures or were presented with different information. Despite the oft-heard longing for consensus, unity, and peace, the universal rift between conservatives and liberals endures because people have diverse psychological, physiological, and genetic traits. These biological differences influence much of what makes people who they are, including their orientations to politics.

Political disputes typically spring from the assumption that those who do not agree with us are shallow, misguided, uninformed, and ignorant. Predisposed suggests instead that political opponents simply experience, process, and respond to the world differently. It follows, then, that the key to getting along politically is not the ability of one side to persuade the other side to see the error of its ways but rather the ability of each side to see that the other is different, not just politically, but physically. Predisposed will change the way you think about politics and partisan conflict.

As a bonus, the book includes a "Left/Right 20 Questions" game to test whether your predispositions lean liberal or conservative.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:


Excerpt from The Left/Right Twenty Questions Game in Predisposed


The Five Questions from Hardwired i

  1. Could you slap your father in the face (with his permission) as part of a comedy skit?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  1. When you go to work in the morning, do you often leave a mess in your apartment or house?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  1. Which lesson is more important to teach to children?
    1. Kindness
    2. Respect
  1. Do you get bored by abstract ideas and theoretical discussions?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  1. Think about this carefully for 15 seconds - “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Which answer is closer to your current thoughts?
    1. Okay...makes sense
    2. What?

Which item from each pair comes closest to describing you?ii

    1. Eccentric
    2. Conventional
    1. Decisive
    2. Flexible
    1. Open-Minded
    2. b. Moralistic
    1. Imaginative
    2. Practical
    1. Simple
    2. Complex

Which item from each pair comes closest to describing you?ii

    1. Small towns
    2. Big cities
    1. Romantic movies
    2. Comedies
    1. Country music
    2. Classical music
    1. Motorcycle
    2. SUV
    1. Book about sports
    2. Book about music

Read the book to take the rest of the quiz and find out how you scored.

iHardwired 2009 Christine Lavin, John Alford, John Hibbing, Jeff Mondak, and Gene Weingarten.

iiThe Secret Lives of Liberals and Conservatives: Personality Profiles, Interaction Styles, and the Things They Leave Behind Political Psychology, Vol. 29, No. 6. (December 2008), pp. 807-840, by Dana R. Carney, John T. Jost, Samuel D. Gosling, Jeff Potter.

About the Author:

John R. Hibbing is the Foundation Regents University Professor of political science and psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a NATO Fellow in Science, a Senior Fulbright Fellow, and a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kevin B. Smith is a professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is an award-winning teacher and author of nine previous books, including The Ideology of Education: The Market, The Commonwealth, and America’s Schools and Analyzing American Democracy.

John R. Alford is an associate professor of political science at Rice University. He has published in areas as diverse as coal mine safety, pro-natalist policies in Eastern Europe, and congressional elections. He has also been active as a consultant and expert witness in the area of redistricting and election law.

Together they are leaders in a growing group of political scientists and psychologists who are utilizing biological techniques to better understand the reasons people’s political views are so diverse and often held so intensely. In 2007 they established the Political Physiology Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the first such lab dedicated exclusively to the analysis of politics. Their articles connecting biology and politics have appeared in scholarly outlets such as Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the American Political Science Review, and Science, and their research has attracted the attention of media outlets ranging from NPR to Fox News, from Spain’s Tiempo magazine to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, and from the New York Times to The Daily Show.

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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Buried in many people and operating largely outside the realm of conscious thought are forces inclining us toward liberal or conservative political convictions. Our biology predisposes us to see and understand the world in different ways, not always reason and the careful consideration of facts. These predispositions are in turn responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that marks human history. With verve and wit, renowned social scientists John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford-pioneers in the field of biopolitics-present overwhelming evidence that people differ politically not just because they grew up in different cultures or were presented with different information. Despite the oft-heard longing for consensus, unity, and peace, the universal rift between conservatives and liberals endures because people have diverse psychological, physiological, and genetic traits. These biological differences influence much of what makes people who they are, including their orientations to politics. Political disputes typically spring from the assumption that those who do not agree with us are shallow, misguided, uninformed, and ignorant. Predisposed suggests instead that political opponents simply experience, process, and respond to the world differently. It follows, then, that the key to getting along politically is not the ability of one side to persuade the other side to see the error of its ways but rather the ability of each side to see that the other is different, not just politically, but physically. Predisposed will change the way you think about politics and partisan conflict. As a bonus, the book includes a Left/Right 20 Questions game to test whether your predispositions lean liberal or conservative. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780415535878

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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Buried in many people and operating largely outside the realm of conscious thought are forces inclining us toward liberal or conservative political convictions. Our biology predisposes us to see and understand the world in different ways, not always reason and the careful consideration of facts. These predispositions are in turn responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that marks human history. With verve and wit, renowned social scientists John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford-pioneers in the field of biopolitics-present overwhelming evidence that people differ politically not just because they grew up in different cultures or were presented with different information. Despite the oft-heard longing for consensus, unity, and peace, the universal rift between conservatives and liberals endures because people have diverse psychological, physiological, and genetic traits. These biological differences influence much of what makes people who they are, including their orientations to politics. Political disputes typically spring from the assumption that those who do not agree with us are shallow, misguided, uninformed, and ignorant. Predisposed suggests instead that political opponents simply experience, process, and respond to the world differently. It follows, then, that the key to getting along politically is not the ability of one side to persuade the other side to see the error of its ways but rather the ability of each side to see that the other is different, not just politically, but physically. Predisposed will change the way you think about politics and partisan conflict. As a bonus, the book includes a Left/Right 20 Questions game to test whether your predispositions lean liberal or conservative. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780415535878

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