Social scientists have long argued whether people are political conservative or liberal is not driven by a logical weighing of the benefits of social policies in the party platform. Psychologists have found that people who identify themselves as conservatives respond much more to fear than more liberal people. Building upon this premise that conservative thinking is more fear based, social psychologists Jaime Napier, Julie Huang, Andy Vonasch and John A. Bargh conducted a study where they were able to get conservatives to respond more to liberal ways of thinking. The paper, which can be purchased here, and this Washington Post article describing the study, are useful tools for those of us trying to build across partisan lines.
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