Slate reports that according to a study of political psychology published last week in Science, conservatives tend to be the jumpier lot:

“The Democrats, we hear, have begun to lose their heads. As election polls lurched in favor of John McCain during the past few weeks, the notion of a liberal freakout became a right-wing talking point: Michael Gerson called the Obama campaign “rootless, reactive and panicky”; Carly Fiorina announced that “the Democratic Party is in a full-throated panic over Sarah Palin”; Rush Limbaugh put the left in “a full-fledged panic mode.” Funny, then, that the neuropundits should have reached the opposite conclusion…

“The researchers called 46 political partisans into their laboratory at the University of Nebraska, affixed electrodes to their fingertips and eyelids, and measured sweat output and eye blinks in response to a series of startling stimuli. (Subjects were forced to endure images of bloody faces and maggot-infested wounds, as well as sudden blasts of white noise.) The results: Social conservatives—those who supported the death penalty, the Patriot Act, prayer in school, and the like—sweated more, and blinked more intensely, than the liberals.”

Read the full story here.

Peter Fray

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