Oh damn, Rep. Gowdy heating things up.
Gowdy is saying Lerner cannot give her defense, her side of the story, without also being subject to a cross-examination.
By EMMA INNES
- Weaker men more likely to support welfare state and wealth redistribution
- Link may reflect psychological traits that evolved in our ancestors
- Strength was a proxy for ability to defend or acquire resources
- There is no link between women’s physical strength and political views
Men who are physically strong are more likely to take a right wing political stance, while weaker men are inclined to support the welfare state, according to a new study.
Researchers discovered political motivations may have evolutionary links to physical strength.
Men’s upper-body strength predicts their political opinions on economic redistribution, according to the research.
The principal investigators - psychological scientists Michael Bang Petersen, of Aarhus University in Denmark, and Daniel Sznycer, of the University of California in the U.S., believe that the link may reflect psychological traits that evolved in response to our early ancestral environments and continue to influence behaviour today.
Professor Petersen said: ‘While many think of politics as a modern phenomenon, it has - in a sense - always been with our species.’
In the days of our early ancestors, decisions about the distribution of resources were not made in courthouses or legislative offices, but through shows of strength.
With this in mind, Professor Petersen and Professor Sznycer hypothesised that upper-body strength - a proxy for the ability to physically defend or acquire resources - would predict men’s opinions about the redistribution of wealth.
The researchers collected data on bicep size, socio-economic status, and support for economic redistribution from hundreds of people in the United States, Argentina and Denmark.
In line with their hypotheses, the data revealed that wealthy men with high upper-body strength were less likely to support redistribution, while less wealthy men of the same strength were more likely to support it.
Professor Petersen said: ‘Despite the fact that the United States, Denmark and Argentina have very different welfare systems, we still see that - at the psychological level - individuals reason about welfare redistribution in the same way.
‘In all three countries, physically strong males consistently pursue the self-interested position on redistribution.’
Men with low upper-body strength, on the other hand, were less likely to support their own self-interest.
Wealthy men of this group showed less resistance to redistribution, while poor men showed less support.
Professor Petersen said: ‘Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest - just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions.’
However, the researchers found no link between upper-body strength and redistribution opinions among women.
Professor Petersen argued that this is likely due to the fact that, over the course of evolutionary history, women had less to gain, and also more to lose, from engaging in direct physical aggression.
He said, together, the results indicate that an evolutionary perspective may help to illuminate political motivations, at least those of men.
Professor Petersen added: ‘Many previous studies have shown that people’s political views cannot be predicted by standard economic models.
‘This is among the first studies to show that political views may be rational in another sense, in that they’re designed by natural selection to function in the conditions recurrent over human evolutionary history.’
The findings were published in the journal Psychological Science.
n.1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.