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Surprising Science

Irrational Political Decisions

How you sit and which hand you wright with may in part determine you political preferences. Recent research reveals that irrational processes account for much of our behavior.

“That metaphors can reflect real behaviour is well known. Social interactions that are friendly are often described as ‘warm’ and past experiments have shown that if people are given a warm drink they are more likely to behave towards others in a warm manner than if they are given a cold drink. Similarly, experiments exploring the concepts of ‘up=good’ and ‘down=bad’, in which people are asked to move objects either upwards or downwards on a shelf, reveal that ‘up’ primes people to be positive and ‘down’ primes them to be negative. With these sorts of studies in mind, Dr Oppenheimer and Dr Trail set out to determine if orienting people towards their left or right sides shifts their political opinions.”


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