Conservatives Pass the Smell Test

Oh those wacky social scientists. In past years we’ve noted the social “science” findings that conservatives are supposedly paranoid, dumb, authoritarian (though in one celebrated case, the study gots its codes backwards and it was actually liberals who were all of these things), but also that conservatives are better looking than liberals, and even smell better, too.

But it turns out—can you believe it?—that conservatives have a better sense of smell than liberals too, and somehow that makes us want to vote for Donald Trump. Social science says so:

Liuzza MT, Lindholm T, Hawley CB, Gustafsson Sendén M, Ekström I, Olsson MJ, Olofsson JK.

Authoritarian attitudes have been consistently linked to feelings of disgust, an emotion that is thought to have evolved to protect the organism from contamination. We hypothesized that body odour disgust sensitivity (BODS) might be associated with authoritarianism, as chemo-signalling is a primitive system for regulating interpersonal contact and disease avoidance, which are key features also in authoritarianism. We used well-validated scales for measuring BODS, authoritarianism and related constructs. Across two studies, we found that BODS is positively related to authoritarianism. In a third study, we showed a positive association between BODS scores and support for Donald Trump, who, at the time of data collection, was a presidential candidate with an agenda described as resonating with authoritarian attitudes. Authoritarianism fully explained the positive association between BODS and support for Donald Trump. Our findings highlight body odour disgust as a new and promising domain in political psychology research.

In other words, all of those familiar cliches about “smelly hippies” have a firm scientific basis! I’ve always thought there was something suspicious about the amount of pachouli oil used in places like Berkeley, Boulder, Madison, etc. Now I know.

Imagine not liking smelly people. How narrow minded. Though on the other hand, if people follow up on this they might stumble upon the secret Koch brothers plot to encourage the Tide Pod fad as a way of swaying millennials to become more conservative through cleanliness.

More from the Daily Mail here.


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