It has long interested me how people choose their political party or group. It has never made much sense to me. For instance, it’s likely the same person who identifies themselves as pro-life would also be more likely to identify themselves as supporting the death penalty, certainly an anti-life policy. How is this possible?
It seemed there was little that tied the person’s political platform together in a logical way. Forget the cerebral cortex; it seemed to be based on deeper brain function. It might be like color blindness I reasoned. Hardly perceptible to the person with it, or those observing that person. Yet fundamentally framing their world and what they believe about it.
We are now entering a brave new world where we can begin to understand this as a science. For instance, recent studies show that Republican Voters Know GOP Candidates When They See Them (original article here). What the researchers found was that Republican voters were more influenced by facial stereotypes than Democratic voters. The research didn’t identify what it was that people keyed off of, except women and ethnic minorities were viewed as less likely to be Democrats.
UPDATE 6 Sep 2012: Check out my blog post Ann Barnhardt:This Person Doesn’t Look Like A President! for an example of this.