Trump supporters are more disgusted by the smell of human body odor, gas, and feet than other people are, scientists found
- Scientists surveyed Trump and Clinton supporters a month before the 2016 election, and found differences in how the two groups reacted to body odors.
- Socially conservative voters were more sensitive when presented with the idea of a stinky fart or smelly armpit.
- It's a finding that aligns with years of study on psychological differences between people who hold socially conservative and liberal views.
Turns out, supporters of President Donald Trump are especially grossed out by these ideas.Advertisement
Does the idea of a smelling someone's stinky feet gross you out? How about accidentally sniffing a stranger's fart, or standing next to someone wearing a sweaty t-shirt?
Will McNamee (Getty Images)
That's according to a new study released Wednesday from scientists at Stockholm University in Sweden.The psychologists surveyed 391 American adults online in October 2016, a month before the presidential election. The participants represented a mix of personalities and demographics: 172 were men and 219 women, 36% supported Trump over Clinton (a number that tracked closely with national polling at the time), and roughly half of the group were college grads.
Time and again, the researchers found that when they asked questions like whether a participant would be grossed out by a neighbor's stinky feet, farts, urine, feces, or armpit smells, Trump supporters were predictably more sensitive to the idea of foul body odor.The researchers said the finding isn't true across the board for all conservatives; but it was closely linked with people's support for socially conservative ideas and endorsement of President Trump."This relationship seems to be explained by a particular aspect of social conservatism called right-wing authoritarianism," lead author Marco Tullio Liuzza told Business Insider in an email. This "right-wing authoritarianism," he said, includes an acceptance of authority and a hostility towards groups that don't closely adhere to a traditional social order.Advertisement
Conservatives don't like being grossed out
Psychologists have previously found that socially conservative people look away from gross images like blood and vomit quicker than liberals. Conservatives' brains are also more active in areas that are associated with processing fear.
Being grossed out is not a bad thing - such reactions have helped humans survive for millennia. As we wade our way through a world of pathogens, it's helpful to get turned off by any potential germy foreign objects or stinky stuff.
Liuzza said the strong reaction of conservatives "may share an evolutionary source with an emotion that evolved to protect our bodies by poisonous substances and diseases."But the researchers caution that while the trend is an interesting psychological finding, it accounts for only a small portion of individual differences when it comes to people's political preferences. Advertisement
In other words, you can't know for sure who your neighbor voted for just because they're wrinkling their nose.
NOW WATCH: What gaining weight does to your body
- World Heart Day 2020: There has been a 10-20% surge in heart diseases from pre-COVID times in India — Here’s why
- Defence Ministry pegs Pakistan's LoC ceasefire violations at 3,186 so far this year
- PD Vaghela to take over as TRAI chairman from R S Sharma
- Covid-19 tests that give results in minutes to be rolled out across world
- Top stocks to watch— Infosys, Central Bank of India, DHFL, Anuh Pharma, Shalby, Balaji Telefilms and others