Science! 40-50% of political differences are genetic

Yes, strange though it may seem, one’s political values aren’t entirely disconnected from one’s personality. Go figure.

Research by John Hibbing, a University of Nebraska political scientist, showed that identical twins share more political beliefs than fraternal twins. They also, of course, share more genes.

“Forty, perhaps 50 percent of our political beliefs seem to have a basis in genetics,” said Hibbing, whose studies were included in Jost’s analysis. While genetics are unlikely to “hardwire” people into being liberal or conservative, Hibbing said that genes could make people more or less likely to have certain values or react to situations in a particular way.

This knowledge could pave the way to a more tolerant society, Hibbing said.

“If you think your opponents are not just being willfully bullheaded but rather have a kind of biological predisposition toward a set of beliefs, you might not spend as much [time] beating your head against the wall trying to get them to change,” he said.