September 24, 2008

From Eve Curtis:

Re: Sensitivity to sudden noises may predict your politics (Sept. 18): According to this article, “Those with ‘mea­surably low­er phys­i­cal sen­si­ti­vi­ties to sud­den noises and threat­en­ing vis­u­al im­ages were more likely to sup­port for­eign aid, lib­er­al im­migra­t­ion poli­cies, pac­i­fism and gun con­trol,’ the team wrote.

“On the oth­er hand, ‘in­di­vid­u­als dis­play­ing mea­surably high­er physiolog­ical re­ac­tions to those same stim­u­li were more likely to fa­vor de fense spend­ing, cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, pat­ri­ot­ism and the Iraq War. ’“

This doesn’t make sense to me because I think that physiological reactions to these stimuli could mean that someone is more sensitive and empathetic. Personally, I am very sensitive to violence in the media, so much so that I cannot sit through a violent onscreen scene and have to either close my eyes or leave the room if one is shown, and I definitely jump when I hear a sudden noise, but I am politically left of center. I favor gun control, abortion rights, gay marriage, liberal immigration policies, and I am a peace activist.

Other people I know who hold similar political beliefs as I do have also expressed their discomfort with violent images to me. I am really curious about how this study was conducted.


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