Kevin B Smith, Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Are your political views shaped by your environment? Do you come to your beliefs after long, careful, thoughtful evaluation? Or, does our personality drive our political beliefs? And, what creates that basic personality?
This has been in the news lately:
Nicholas Kristof writes: “…some humans are particularly alert to threats, particularly primed to feel vulnerable and perceive danger. Those people are more likely to be conservatives. Our Politics May Be All in Our Head
See, they think the world is a very scary place! Well, they might be right at least some of the time. But, does that mean you can never leave your zip code??
We’ll get the low-down with Dr. Smith who has spent most of the past decade studying the biological basis of political attitudes and behavior. With John R. Hibbing, he co-directs the Political Physiology Lab at Nebraska, and has helped pioneer the use of techniques from psychophysiology, behavioral genetics, neuroscience and cognitive psychology to study political temperament.
- New York Times, February 2010. “Our Politics May Be All in Our Head,” by Nicholas Kristof
- National Geographic, September 2008. “Conservatives Have Stronger Startle Reflexes?” by Brian Handwerk
- L.A. Times, September 2008. “Born to Be Conservative?” by Denise Gellene
- The Washington Post, September 2008. “Startle Response Linked to Politics” by Shankar Vedantam
- Time Magazine, September 2008. “The Startle Reflex: Key to Your Politics” by Alexandra Silver
- Scientific American, September 2008, “Are You More Likely to Be Politically Left or Right if You Scare Easily?” by Jordan Lite
- Daily Telegraph (UK), September 2008, “Laws of Nature: How to Spot a Conservative” Roger Highfield