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What your political allegiance says about your personality

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Looking to lose weight or stop smoking? You might have to change your politics as well as your diet, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati in America have found that right-wing people have better self-control than their left-wing counterparts.

To establish this, they conducted experiments with 323 conservative and left-wing students at two universities in the US Midwest as well as a general experiment with 135 randomly selected people across America.

They asked the students to look at the names of colours such as blue written in a different colour, like purple, in what's known as a 'stroop test'.

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The ability to accurately read the colour was deemed as a measure of self-control. As well as undergraduates, the researchers also tested 135 right- and left-wing people online on their ability to solve anagrams, where they measured how long they stuck to the task.

In each study right-wing people responded faster. “Both conservatives and liberals reported that they wanted to perform well, but again, conservatives were responding faster, and this faster response stemmed from their stronger belief in freewill,” lead author Dr Joshua Clarkson, said. "That is, conservatives’ belief in their responsibility for their outcome contributed to their faster responding."


More: The self-control consequences of political ideology

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