Monday, May 13, 2019

Got my PHD in Disgustology

CBC Radio presents such fascinating stories.  On Saturday, they related research that show liberal and conservative thinking and emotions are fundamentally different and are wired in the brain. They can predict from people's physical sensitivity to disgust whether they are liberal or conservative.  The differences are so pronounced that there are standard traits on each side.  This area of research and study is now termed disgustology.

What the Scientific American article says: 

"According to the experts who study political leanings, liberals and conservatives do not just see things differently. They are different—in their personalities and even their unconscious reactions to the world around them. For example, in a study published in January, a team led by psychologist Michael Dodd and political scientist John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln found that when viewing a collage of photographs, conservatives' eyes unconsciously lingered 15 percent longer on repellent images, such as car wrecks and excrement—suggesting that conservatives are more attuned than liberals to assessing potential threats."

Conservatives are more fundamentally anxious than liberals. There is a high level of sensitivity for disgust among conservatives.  Studies show it extends into taste and smell, what people prefer to eat, how sensitive they are to bitter tastes, and more.

Researchers now have theories of how disgust is associated with views on transgender rights, immigration, and similar topics. "At a deep, symbolic level, some speculate, disgust may be bound up with ideas about “them” versus “us,” about whom we instinctively trust and don’t trust. In short, this research may help illuminate one factor—among many—that underlies why those on the left and the right can so vehemently disagree."

The tweet by right-wing Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro draws on the area of disgust.  He tweeted out a short clip of two 'perverts' gallivanting on a balcony at Rio's Carnival...He trolled the Left into defending an act that most people understandably find revolting (peeing on someone).

So here's our train picture of the day demonstrating the disgust factor with a well-known expression that originated in Scotland.


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