The Genetic Foundations of Attitude Formation: The Case of Left-Right Political Orientations

Kandler C, Bell E, Shikishima C, Yamagata S, Riemann R (In Press)
In: Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Interdisciplinary Directions. R. A. S, S. M. K (Eds); .

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Since the pioneering work of Eaves and Eysenck (1974) appeared in Nature some 40 years ago,psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and behavioral geneticists have investigated the effects of nature and nurture on the formation of social attitudes. It has consistently been found that manifestations of social attitudes (i.e., preferences, values, and beliefs pertaining to things like politics, religion, the treatment of ingroups and outgroups, etc.) are genetically influenced. More recently, researchers have focused their efforts on the psycho-physiological pathways between gene activity and attitudes. In particular, a broad body of research examines how personality traits may be a link between genetic factors and political orientations. The latter are typically treated as either a single left-right dimension or divided into two core aspects: resistance to change/authoritarian conservatism and acceptance of inequality/social dominance orientation. In this article, we provide an overview of this research, present some findings from our recent international behavioral genetic study on the topic, and identify key issues for future research. We suggest that future studies treat attitude formation as a complex process in which genetic factors and the psycho-physiological phenomena that stem from them are affected by the surrounding social environment and culture. Such research will require: (1) international study designs capturing individual and cultural levels of variation; and: (2) interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists and researchers in various fields of study such as genetics, psychology, sociology, political science, neuroscience, and human biology.
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Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Interdisciplinary Directions
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Kandler C, Bell E, Shikishima C, Yamagata S, Riemann R. The Genetic Foundations of Attitude Formation: The Case of Left-Right Political Orientations. In: R. A. S, S. M. K, eds. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Interdisciplinary Directions. In Press.
Kandler, C., Bell, E., Shikishima, C., Yamagata, S., & Riemann, R. (In Press). The Genetic Foundations of Attitude Formation: The Case of Left-Right Political Orientations. In S. R. A. & K. S. M. (Eds.), Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Interdisciplinary Directions
Kandler, C., Bell, E., Shikishima, C., Yamagata, S., and Riemann, R. (In Press). “The Genetic Foundations of Attitude Formation: The Case of Left-Right Political Orientations” in Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Interdisciplinary Directions, R. A., S., and S. M., K. eds.
Kandler, C., et al., In Press. The Genetic Foundations of Attitude Formation: The Case of Left-Right Political Orientations. In S. R. A. & K. S. M., eds. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Interdisciplinary Directions.
C. Kandler, et al., “The Genetic Foundations of Attitude Formation: The Case of Left-Right Political Orientations”, Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Interdisciplinary Directions, S. R. A. and K. S. M., eds., In Press.
Kandler, C., Bell, E., Shikishima, C., Yamagata, S., Riemann, R.: The Genetic Foundations of Attitude Formation: The Case of Left-Right Political Orientations. In: R. A., S. and S. M., K. (eds.) Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Interdisciplinary Directions. (In Press).
Kandler, Christian, Bell, Edward, Shikishima, Chizuru, Yamagata, Shinji, and Riemann, Rainer. “The Genetic Foundations of Attitude Formation: The Case of Left-Right Political Orientations”. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Interdisciplinary Directions. Ed. Scott R. A. and Kosslyn S. M. In Press.
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