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:2/10/2016)... , February 10, 2016 ... According to 2016 iris recognition market report, ... recognition is more widely accepted for border ... both fingerprint and iris recognition technology in ... to avoid purchasing two individual biometrics devices. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 ... of the "Global Facial Recognition Market ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has announced the ... Market 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has announced the addition of ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , Feb. 3, 2016 ... Police Department in Missouri ... of license plate reader (LPR) data from Vigilant Solutions. ... a hit-and-run case in which the victim was walking out ... a parking space next to his vehicle, striking his ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , February 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Precision Medicine Efforts by Enabling Scientific Understanding of ... Disorders and Rare Diseases --> ... for genomic diagnostics in South Asia and a leading ... it would contribute $10 million to the GenomeAsia ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Germany and GERMANTOWN, ... QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced ... RNA Panels for gene expression profiling, expanding QIAGEN,s portfolio ... The panels enable researchers to select from over 20,000 ... and discover interactions between genes, cellular phenotypes and disease ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... February ... ... a business-to-business publication dedicated to delivering cutting-edge information focused on the development ... Life Sciences to become a premier sponsor of the 2016 BioProcess International ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... 150 years, continues today to pursue the highest level of accuracy and quality ... the AR9 Refractometer and the AR5 Refractometer. Accurate, reliable and tough enough ...
Breaking Biology Technology: