Anorak | Trump voters least likely to stomach smell of other people

Trump voters least likely to stomach smell of other people

by | 1st, March 2018

“Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes,” said Anna Quindlen in her Short Guide to a Happy Life. In a shorter guide: if you want to smell the linen and Alpine air, avoid Lefties. They stink and don’t much mind.

Jonas Olofsson at Stockholm University, Sweden, has linked a person’s response to smell to their politics. The less tolerant you are of another’s person’s stench, the further to the right you veer. Your attitude to personal hygiene can influence which political crowd you run with.

A test group of volunteers responded to questions about how revolting they found exposure to someone else’s sweat, the urine, faeces and more. Paired with responses to such statements as “Our country needs a powerful leader, in order to destroy the radical and immoral currents prevailing in society today”, Olofsson noticed that respondents most disgusted by other people’s smells tended to score more highly for authoritarian views. “Those that were most supportive of Donald Trump had the highest body odour disgust sensitivity,” says Olofsson. “People who react strongly to odours might claim to have a sensitive nose, but when we test them, they are average.”

Adding: “We think that olfaction might be at the root of the pathogen detection system, so body odour disgust might be the most primitive, most fundamental way to detect pathogen.”

The study, which can be read in full here, speaks of Trump:

Only a few studies have investigated the relationship between disgust sensitivity and voting preferences. In Study 3, we found positive evidence in favour of a weak relationship between disgust sensitivity to body odours and attitudes toward the Republican candidate Donald Trump. Importantly, this relationship is fully explained by authoritarian attitudes which were stronger among participants supporting Trump, a result that confirms the notion that in our study sample, Donald Trump was capable of attracting the sympathies of authoritarian voters.

Anyone else see a line of Trump-endorsed scent-free perfumes?

In fact, it can be argued that Trump’s firm stance against immigration, especially from groups viewed as culturally unfamiliar, might meet an implicit need of protection from pathogen threats from people perceived as either potential carriers of unfamiliar pathogens, or groups whose behaviours in disease-avoidance relevant behaviours (e.g. hygiene or food preparation) was perceived as deviant. Our findings suggest that high reactivity to pathogen threats signalled by body odours is part of an ideological disposition towards authoritarian candidates, because of the link between disease avoidance and authoritarianism.

Build a wall and stick some fans on the top of it. An ill wind blows…

Posted: 1st, March 2018 | In: News, Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink