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Only in America?

Posted by Feasle on 17 Feb 2013 at 02:56 GMT

What happens when you run experiments like this in countries that are not completely polarized politically?

No competing interests declared.

RE: Only in America?

dmschreiber replied to Feasle on 17 Feb 2013 at 15:45 GMT

Great question! Kanai et al. (2011) found that the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex differed in size when they studied liberals and conservatives in the UK. Twins studies in a number of countries have shown about 40% heritability in political attitudes (Hatemi and McDermott 2012). And, some have argued that there are cross-cultural or universal aspects to political ideology (e.g. Jost (2009), Schwartz, Caprara, Vecchione (2010), Schwartz (1994).)

To the extent that there is continuity in both the biological and ideological/environmental contributions to political cognition from one nation to another, then we would expect to see similar patterns as those described in the present study. Since we're in a particularly polarized moment in political history within the US (McCarty, Poole, and Rosenthal (2006), I would be surprised to find a study done in another country with the same strength of model fit that we obtained. However, replication is one of the central values of politics. So, we'll only know for sure when a test is made.

No competing interests declared.