Cleanliness is next to... conservatism?

August 15, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- In every election cycle, politicians on both sides of the aisle are accused of practicing ‘dirty politics.’ Neither side is immune from these charges but research from psychological science suggests that we may subconsciously associate our notions of ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ with specific political ideologies.

In a research article published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for , researchers Erik Helzer and David Pizarro of Cornell University found that people who are reminded of physical purity report being more politically conservative and make harsher moral judgments regarding sexual behavior.

In the first experiment, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire on their political attitudes. To do so, they had to either step over to a hand-sanitizer dispenser placed at one end of a hallway or walk down an empty hallway. Results showed that people who were exposed to reminders of cleanliness (the hand-sanitizer dispenser) reported a less liberal and more conservative political orientation than people who received no such reminders.

In the second experiment, before being asked to rate their moral approval of various behaviors, some volunteers were exposed to a sign that promoted the use of hand wipes to help keep lab space clean. Those who were reminded of physical purity rendered harsher judgments of sexual acts than the control group.

Helzer and Pizarro note that these findings, when combined with previous research, suggest a two-way link between conservatism and concerns for moral purity. The researchers surmise that political orientation (identifying as more conservative or more liberal) may be shaped, at least in part, by the strength of a person’s motivation to avoid physical contamination. People who try to avoid such contamination are more likely to be vigilant in seeking out threats to purity, which ultimately reinforces a politically conservative worldview.

The researchers emphasize the fact that the effects in these two studies were the result of subtle environmental cues. It’s possible then, that everyday reminders of cleanliness in public places – such as signs in restaurant bathrooms urging employees to wash their hands before returning to work – may have unintended effects on people’s social attitudes.

So here’s a dirty trick, don’t display your cleaning products around unless you want to nudge your friends to the right.

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10 comments

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freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Aug 15, 2012
My 10 year old noticed this over a year ago. The Progressive Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, lived in filth and made everything filthy. When a Progressive environmental group held a rally at the park, they left the place filthy. When the Progressive unions protested, againt the park was filthy. However when the conservative Tea Party held a rally in the park, the park was cleaner than when the rally started.

Moral of the story is, if you want a clean world vote conservative. If you want a filthy hatefilled world vote progressive.
Shootist
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 15, 2012
Progressives are so tolerant.

"New Black Panthers to RNC: Our 'Feet Will Be On Your Motherf***ing Necks'" http://www.breitb...ur-Necks

VIDEO: Biden Imitates Sign Language Lady... http://nation.fox...age-lady

In Harvard essay, young Michelle Obama argued for race-based faculty hiring... http://dailycalle...-hiring/
Vendicar Dickarian
1 / 5 (3) Aug 15, 2012
hahahahah suck it you liberal geeks!
gmurphy
not rated yet Aug 16, 2012
The association with purity is somewhat worrying, as racial purity often served as the theoretical backbone of Nazi policies of racial superiority and later genocide.
freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Aug 16, 2012
Nazi got their ideas for racial purity in large part from the Progressives, esp. the Porgressives organization Planned Parenthood founder. Trying to link racial purity, which is what Planned Parenthoods aim, to conservativism is quite a stretch.
gmurphy
not rated yet Aug 17, 2012
@freethinking, citation please.
freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2012
Why any Aftican American can ever support PP is a testament to the power of Progressive Propaganda that would make Nazis proud. PP learned early on a lot about propaganda from Nazis. PP today is still a hateful and racist organization. Here are just some links that I quickly picked up. Do your own research.... google .... planned parenthood nazi eugenics .... just for starts.

http://www.lancas...ood.html

http://www.nation...goldberg

http://www.ewtn.c...stry.txt

http://blackgenoc...ger.html
gmurphy
not rated yet Aug 17, 2012
Maybe I should have been more specific, I wanted specifically evidence to support your claim that 'Nazi got their ideas for racial purity in large part from the Progressives'. You have provided me with a confused collection of documents which link planned parenthood to Nazism but do not support your assertion that the Nazis ideas on racial purity where taken from PP. I did my own research. The concept of racial purity stems originally from the concept of racial hygiene (policies restricting procreation). Arthur de Gobineau was the first man to theorise on the notion of racial purity and it was his theories that the Nazis adopted, which they heavily modified to purge any positive statements he made about the Jewish people. Your suggestion that 'Nazi got their ideas for racial purity in large part from the Progressives' is completely disconnected from reality. http://en.wikiped..._Germany http://en.wikiped...eugenics
freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2012
Wikipedia is a great place to start. But do some more research. Racial purity started in large part with the progressives early in the 1900's, racial purity used the excuse of feeble mindness. I don't have time to delve into this subject right now, but do your own research. Where did the nazi's get their ideas from, you'll be surprised to find out many of them came from the great progressives of the 1900's, Planned Parenthood founder.

As I tell my kids, wikipedea, great place to start, then look into it more.
alfie_null
3 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2012
@freethinking,
If the Wikipedia entries didn't mention planned parenthood, it's likely because there's no relevance. Far less likely because there's an error in the entry.

If you search enough, you are going to find sites with material that supports your point of view. Veracity is a big problem, as the Internet has made it easier for everyone to communicate ideas with deceptively equal credentials. Some of us understand this.

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