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The Politics of Disgust

Disgusted with politics? But just HOW disgusted you can be when confronted with a picture of a man eating a mouthful of writhing worms may lend important insight into your personal political proclivities.

In a new study, political scientists closely measured people's physiological reactions as they looked at a series of pleasant and unpleasant images. Participants who identified themselves as conservative--and, in particular, those who said they were against gay marriage--had strong physical reactions when shown the gross pictures.

Researcher Kevin Smith says, "This is one more piece of evidence that we, quite literally, have gut feelings about politics. Our political attitudes and behaviors are reflected in our biology.

"The proper interpretation of the findings (in the current study) is not that biology causes politics or that politics causes biology, but that certain political orientations at some unspecified point become housed in our biology, with meaningful political consequences."

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