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:1/19/2017)... , January 19, 2017 According to a new ... and Forecast, 2014 - 2022," the global biometric sensor market is expected to ... to 2022. In 2015, Asia-Pacific dominated the global market ... private sectors. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 2017  In vitro diagnostic (IVD) companies were very ... (M&A), and Kalorama Information expects that trend to continue ... shifting. Generally, uncertainty in reimbursement and healthcare reform in ... changed the acquisitions landscape. Instead of looking to buy ... partners outside of their home country and also to ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. , Jan. 13, 2017 ... provider of technology solutions for the homecare industry, ... appointment of homecare industry expert, Justin Jugs, as ... Justin brings more than 15 years of homecare ... the team in developing strategic plans to align ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR), a biotechnology company developing biological therapies ... Marbán, Ph.D, president and chief executive officer, is scheduled to ... Cowen and Company 37th Annual Health Care Conference Tuesday, March ... 29th Annual ROTH Conference Tuesday, ... Dana Point, CA ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 23, 2017 ... company, and Beyond Type 1, a not-for-profit advocacy and ... today announced a grant from Beyond Type 1 to ... type 1 and other insulin-requiring diabetes.  ... innovative stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies with a focus ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Kan. , Feb. 22, 2017  Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. ... development and commercialization of innovative biopharmaceutical products for companion animals, ... 2017 at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss financial results from ... Interested participants and investors may access the ... ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Park Systems , a leader in ... for all SPIE attendees and Park customers on Feb. 27, 2017 from ... San Jose Convention Center. The luncheon will feature a talk on Automated AFM ...
Breaking Biology Technology: