This Machine Can Tell Whether You're Liberal or Conservative

Thomas Jefferson was a smart dude. And in one of his letters to John Adams, dated June 27, 1813, Jefferson made an observation about the nature of politics that science is only now, two centuries later, beginning to confirm. “The same political parties which now agitate the United States, have existed through all time,” wrote Jefferson. “The terms of Whig and Tory belong to natural, as well as to civil history,” he later added. “They denote the temper and constitution of mind of different individuals.”
Tories were the British conservatives of Jefferson’s day, and Whigs were the British liberals. What Jefferson was saying, then, was that whether you call yourself a Whig or a Tory has as much to do with your psychology or disposition as it has to do with your ideas. At the same time, Jefferson was also suggesting that there’s something pretty fundamental and basic about Whigs (liberals) and Tories (conservatives), such that the two basic political factions seem to appear again and again in the world, and have for “all time.”

…This is not fringe science: One of Hibbing’s pioneering papers on the physiology of ideology was published in none other than the top-tier journal Science in 2008. It found that political partisans on the left and the right differ significantly in their bodily responses to threatening stimuli. For example, startle reflexes after hearing a loud noise were stronger in conservatives. And after being shown a variety of threatening images (“a very large spider on the face of a frightened person, a dazed individual with a bloody face, and an open wound with maggots in it,” according to the study), conservatives also exhibited greater skin conductance—a moistening of the sweat glands that indicates arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, which manages the body’s fight-or-flight response.

The results of Hibbing’s study were clear: The conservatives tended to focus their eyes much more rapidly on the negative or aversive images, and also to dwell on them for a lot longer. The authors therefore concluded that based on results like these, “those on the political right and those on the political left may simply experience the world differently.”
“Maybe you’ve had this experience, watching a political debate with somebody who disagrees with you,” says Hibbing. “And you discuss it afterwards. And it’s like, ‘Did we watch the same debate?’ And in some respects, you didn’t. And I think that’s what this research indicates.”

Perhaps there are perception differences.

But a difference of point of view does not account for the culture of death we find ourselves surrounded by.

Here’s a test you can take

You’re 26% conservative, 74% liberal.

Hahahah even though the “qualities” used to measure are bizarre and hilarious, the result is pretty accurate :rotfl:

I scored 13% conservative and 87% liberal. That seems about right (or left) to me.

Can you promise me that that I won’t have to look at pictures of spiders? If fear of spiders indicates conservatism, then I’m about as conservative as they come.

You’re 78% conservative, 22% liberal.

I thought I was more 60/40, but eh, close enough! :smiley:

You’re 95% conservative, 5% liberal.

“You’re 74% conservative, 26% liberal.”

You’re 27% conservative, 73% liberal.

OK, to be fair, they’re kinda right. Fiscally liberal, somewhat socially conservative. I don’t fit in with either party. Give me 40 years and I’ll be the next Ross Perot. :stuck_out_tongue:

If the Democratic party did not support abortion or gay “marriage”, or anything else that is against our faith, then I would be a liberal.

How is it even possible for a serious Catholic to even be a liberal?

If you vote for someone who supports things against our faith, especially abortion and gay “marriage”, wouldn’t that obviously be a mortal sin?

The test showed me to be 82% conservative and 18% liberal
but although I used to be more conservative than liberal other tests have seemed to be more accurately portraying me more recently as a centrist, that is, almost right in the middle …

My age and my needs have changed, like for example, I’m not rich and/so very dependent on my social security income and small pension …
there is something else though that I’m almost ashamed to say here;
That is, if my wife or even my daughter were in danger of dying due to a pregnancy and giving birth, I’m afraid my tune may have changed on abortion for a circumstance like that.


I didn’t like those questions. I could have answered them any number of ways depending on the situation. Really, how do you choose between cats & dogs? They are both equally awesome.

Ended up with 74% conservative & 26% liberal

92% conservative, 8% liberal.

I’m 71% liberal and 21% conservative :D:cool::shrug:

So what is the other 8%? Undecided? :stuck_out_tongue:

If I may, I would like to recommend a book entitled “Beyond Red and Blue…” by a Peter Wenz. A bit of a irritating read, but nonetheless illuminating.
Just because I always hate this sort of dichotomy.

That all being said, I do not doubt the existence of mental dispositions.

I mean, there’s other things…like government spending and welfare and stuff. Australia’s prime minister, by American political standards, is a liberal.

You’re 81% conservative, 19% liberal.

I think that’s pretty accurate. I’m conservative in most respects, especially socially, but moderately liberal economically.

29% conservative, 71% liberal.

Fairly accurate. I’m only really “conservative” on social issues dealing with teachings of the Church. Economics, foreign relations, immigration, the environment, health care, and virtually every other issue I’m fairly liberal on.

I’ve always described myself as a socially conservative Keynesian :smiley:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit