Politics and Experiences (10-13-21)

Buisch and colleagues investigated links between political orientation and place experience.  They report that “Based on work suggesting possible ideological differences in genes related to low-level sensory processing, we predicted that taste (i.e., gustatory) sensitivity would be associated with political ideology. In 4 studies . . . we test this hypothesis and find robust support for this association. In Studies 1–3, we find that sensitivity to the chemicals PROP and PTC—2 well established measures of taste sensitivity—are associated with greater political conservatism. In Study 4, we find that fungiform papilla density, a proxy for taste bud density, also predicts greater conservatism, and that this association is partially statistically mediated by disgust sensitivity. This work suggests that low-level physiological differences in sensory processing may shape an individual’s political attitudes.”

Benjamin Buisch, Rajen Anderson, Yoel Inbar, and David Pizarro. 2021.  “A Matter of Taste:  Gustatory Sensitivity Predicts Political Ideology.”  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 121, no. 2, pp. 394-409, https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000365