Response to disgusting images reveals political ideology

How strongly your brain responds to disgusting images could predict with 95-98 percent accuracy whether you are a liberal or a conservative, a research found.

New York: How strongly your brain responds to disgusting images could predict with 95-98 percent accuracy whether you are a liberal or a conservative, a research found.

The findings of the study support the theory that political ideology - whether someone is a liberal or a conservative - can be transmitted through generations.

"Disgusting images generate neural responses that are highly predictive of political orientation even when those neural responses do not correspond with an individual's conscious reaction to the images," said lead researcher Read Montague, professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in the US.

Conservatives tend to have more magnified responses to disgusting images, but scientists don't know exactly why, Montague said.

"Remarkably, we found that the brain's response to a single disgusting image was enough to predict an individual's political ideology," Montague added.

In a brain scanner, participants were shown disgusting images, such as dirty toilets or mutilated carcasses, mixed with neutral and pleasant images, such as landscapes and babies.

Afterward, the participants took a standard political ideology inventory, answering questions about how often they discuss politics and whether they agreed or disagreed with topics such as school prayer and gay marriage.

Responses to disgusting images could predict, with 95-98 percent accuracy, how a person would answer questions on the political survey.

The study is forthcoming in the journal Current Biology.

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