Link between your decorating habits and your politics?

politics and culture — By on October 21, 2008 at 7:42 am

Does the look of your workplace or your living space reveal anything about your political ideology? According to this story in Live Science, it just might.

A person may hide their political ideology from others, including from pollsters, but the researchers were delighted to learn that a peek into subjects’ living quarters or even workspaces could give that away.

Conservatives and liberals leave behind distinct “behavioral residue” that can be picked up by savvy scientists and possibly other observers, according to the study.

What telltale clues, you might wonder, could possibly be found in one’s home or office? Here’s a sample:

Liberals’ offices were judged as significantly more distinctive, comfortable, stylish, modern, and colorful and as less conventional and ordinary, in comparison with conservatives’ offices, Jost said…

“Conservative rooms tended to be cleaner, more brightly lit, better organized, less cluttered, and also more conventional and ordinary in terms of decoration.” …

Individuals who reported a more conservative ideology also had bedrooms that contained more organizational and cleaning supplies, including calendars, postage stamps, ironing boards and laundry baskets.

Liberals’ rooms on the other hand were marked by more clutter, including more CDs, a greater variety of CDs, a greater variety of books and more color in the room in general.

So, conservatives are more organized and liberals are more diverse? In general that seems to be the case, at least according to this study.

The findings agreed with a link found by Jost’s team between two personality traits and political ideology. In personality tests of thousands of college students, Jost found that liberals tended to score higher than conservatives on one key measure called openness to experiences, which includes holding wide interests, and being imaginative and insightful.

Conservatives showed higher scores for conscientiousness, which measures a person’s need for order, discipline, achievement striving and rule following.

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