"Does your heart race at the sight of puppies? Do pictures of vomit make you sweat? If so, you may be more likely to vote.
Politics is an emotional business, but it seems that subtle physiological reactions have political consequences, too. For example, Douglas Oxley at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln discovered that political conservatives react more strongly to shocking images and sudden noises by sweating more and blinking harder, compared with liberals.
To find out whether such physiological responses were also related to political action, Michael Gruszczynski, also at Nebraska, and colleagues asked 51 people about their degree of political participation, such as whether they voted or had ever contacted government officials.
The researchers then ran tiny currents across the volunteers' skin to monitor how much they perspired as they looked at pictures of sunsets, cute animals, fist fights and vomit – pictures already known to evoke an automatic sweat response.
The team found that the more a person sweated in reaction to the pictures, the more likely they were to actively participate in politics – with those whose perspiration increased the most around twice as likely to participate in political action as those who perspired the least."
via New Scientist/read more