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Parasite stress and pathogen avoidance relate to distinct dimensions of political ideology across 30 nations.

Title: Parasite stress and pathogen avoidance relate to distinct dimensions of political ideology across 30 nations.
Name(s): Tybur, Joshua M, author
Inbar, Yoel, author
Aarøe, Lene, author
Barclay, Pat, author
Barlow, Fiona Kate, author
de Barra, Mícheál, author
Becker, D Vaughn, author
Borovoi, Leah, author
Choi, Incheol, author
Choi, Jong An, author
Consedine, Nathan S, author
Conway, Alan, author
Conway, Jane Rebecca, author
Conway, Paul, author
Adoric, Vera Cubela, author
Demirci, Dilara Ekin, author
Fernández, Ana María, author
Ferreira, Diogo Conque Seco, author
Ishii, Keiko, author
Jakšić, Ivana, author
Ji, Tingting, author
van Leeuwen, Florian, author
Lewis, David M G, author
Li, Norman P, author
McIntyre, Jason C, author
Mukherjee, Sumitava, author
Park, Justin H, author
Pawlowski, Boguslaw, author
Petersen, Michael Bang, author
Pizarro, David, author
Prodromitis, Gerasimos, author
Prokop, Pavol, author
Rantala, Markus J, author
Reynolds, Lisa M, author
Sandin, Bonifacio, author
Sevi, Bariş, author
De Smet, Delphine, author
Srinivasan, Narayanan, author
Tewari, Shruti, author
Wilson, Cameron, author
Yong, Jose C, author
Žeželj, Iris, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2016-11-01
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: People who are more avoidant of pathogens are more politically conservative, as are nations with greater parasite stress. In the current research, we test two prominent hypotheses that have been proposed as explanations for these relationships. The first, which is an intragroup account, holds that these relationships between pathogens and politics are based on motivations to adhere to local norms, which are sometimes shaped by cultural evolution to have pathogen-neutralizing properties. The second, which is an intergroup account, holds that these same relationships are based on motivations to avoid contact with outgroups, who might pose greater infectious disease threats than ingroup members. Results from a study surveying 11,501 participants across 30 nations are more consistent with the intragroup account than with the intergroup account. National parasite stress relates to traditionalism (an aspect of conservatism especially related to adherence to group norms) but not to social dominance orientation (SDO; an aspect of conservatism especially related to endorsements of intergroup barriers and negativity toward ethnic and racial outgroups). Further, individual differences in pathogen-avoidance motives (i.e., disgust sensitivity) relate more strongly to traditionalism than to SDO within the 30 nations.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_27791090 (IID), 10.1073/pnas.1607398113 (DOI), PMC5098626 (PMCID), 27791090 (RID), 27791090 (EID), 1607398113 (PII)
Keywords: Culture, Disgust, Evolutionary psychology, Pathogens, Political ideology
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Adult
Communicable Diseases/parasitology
Communicable Diseases/psychology
Models, Psychological
Social Dominance
Surveys and Questionnaires
Young Adult
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Issue: iss. 44, vol. 113

Choose the citation style.
Tybur, J. M., Inbar, Y., Aarøe, L., Barclay, P., Barlow, F. K., De Barra, M., … Žeželj, I. (2016). Parasite stress and pathogen avoidance relate to distinct dimensions of political ideology across 30 nations. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America. Retrieved from