Political Map: Does Geography Shape Your Ideology?


The political map of America changes, but it doesn’t change very quickly. Massachusetts was a reliably liberal state decades ago and still is. The South is still the South. This raises the question of why it is that certain areas come to be reliably liberal or conservative.

Exactly, so that’s the theory suggest that geography shapes your ideology. There’s new research now that links the red state/blue state phenomenon with the fact that 40 to 50 million Americans move every year. So we are an increasingly mobile society. I spoke with psychologist Brian Nosek at the University of Virginia. He’s been tracking more than a million Americans and they revealed two things about themselves: one, their political orientation and two, their zip code.

So a Ph.D. student who is working with Brian Nosek, Matt Motyl; he devised this interesting experiment. He manipulated people’s ideology to see what effect it had on their desire to pick up and move. He gave people a questionnaire that was designed to trick them into feeling either more liberal or more conservative than they really were.

Read the whole story: NPR

See Brian Nosek at the 26th APS Annual Convention.

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