Navigation Links
Political motivations may have evolutionary links to physical strength
Date:5/15/2013

Men's upper-body strength predicts their political opinions on economic redistribution, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The principal investigators of the research psychological scientists Michael Bang Petersen of Aarhus University and Daniel Sznycer of University of California, Santa Barbara believe that the link may reflect psychological traits that evolved in response to our early ancestral environments and continue to influence behavior today.

"While many think of politics as a modern phenomenon, it has in a sense always been with our species," says Petersen.

In the days of our early ancestors, decisions about the distribution of resources weren't made in courthouses or legislative offices, but through shows of strength. With this in mind, Petersen, Sznycer and colleagues hypothesized that upper-body strength a proxy for the ability to physically defend or acquire resources would predict men's opinions about economic redistribution.

The researchers collected data on bicep size, socioeconomic status, and support for economic redistribution from hundreds of people in the United States, Argentina, and Denmark.

In line with their hypotheses, the data revealed that wealthy men with high upper-body strength were less likely to support redistribution, while less wealthy men of the same strength were more likely to support it.

"Despite the fact that the United States, Denmark and Argentina have very different welfare systems, we still see that at the psychological level individuals reason about welfare redistribution in the same way," says Petersen. "In all three countries, physically strong males consistently pursue the self-interested position on redistribution."

Men with low upper-body strength, on the other hand, were less likely to support their own self-interest. Wealthy men of this group showed less resistance to redistribution, while poor men showed less support.

"Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions," says Petersen.

Interestingly, the researchers found no link between upper-body strength and redistribution opinions among women. Petersen argues that this is likely due to the fact that, over the course of evolutionary history, women had less to gain, and also more to lose, from engaging in direct physical aggression.

Together, the results indicate that an evolutionary perspective may help to illuminate political motivations, at least those of men.

"Many previous studies have shown that people's political views cannot be predicted by standard economic models," Petersen explains. "This is among the first studies to show that political views may be rational in another sense, in that they're designed by natural selection to function in the conditions recurrent over human evolutionary history."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Learning to recycle: Does political ideology matter?
2. European support for the first network of research and training in political ecology
3. Political strife undermines HIV treatment
4. Tendency to fear is strong political influence
5. Your body doesnt lie: People ignore political ads of candidates they oppose
6. New evidence that many genes of small effect influence economic decisions and political attitudes
7. Revolutionary Face Recognition Media Exploitation System Now Available to Enhance Public Safety in Europe
8. Fred Hutch evolutionary geneticist Harmit Malik selected as an HHMI investigator
9. Huddersfield scientist helps to reveal a link in the evolutionary chain
10. Virtual, squishy creatures evolve to run using evolutionary algorithms
11. Evaluating evolutionary rates could shed light into functions of uncharacterized genes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung ... global partnership that will provide end customers with a ... and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... DUBAI , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... can be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system ... in the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface ... requirements of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions ... the ID readers into the building installations offer considerable ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely ... pulse and body mass index, and, when they opt ... and convenient visit to a local retail location at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects ... the two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which ... "In certain areas ... have common economic goals, why not sit down and address ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a ... eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research ... by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- A person commits a crime, and the detective uses ... criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness makes ... uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that caused ... not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge technology ... Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... YORK , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign ... to envision new ways to harness living systems and ... Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City ... than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture ...
Breaking Biology Technology: