Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Political differences

Yes, it really is true: Liberals are cat people, and conservatives are dog people. The original source speculates that this is due to conservatives liking heirarchy, submission, and being "top dog", while liberals tend to be anti-heirarchical and individualistic - just like cats. OTOH, as several of Kevin's commenters note, there is likely a far more mundane explanation: the old rural/urban divide. The preference for cats vs dogs may simply reflect which is a more practical pet in the geographic areas the two political factions predominantly live in.


I'd go with the latter over the former, since the problem is cats aren't anti-heirarchical. Just watch any group of cats in a neighbourhood or living in a house. There is always a top-cat and the heirarchy can be vicious, how a cat owner can miss it is amazing.

(A cat owner)

Posted by Chefen : 3/07/2006 02:56:00 AM

I suspect my cat to be a classical liberal. In return for her human care activities, she expects to be paid the market rate in fish!

Craig Y.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/07/2006 09:30:00 AM

Well, I like cats. We have four cats and there definately is a heirarchy there.

Posted by Lucyna : 3/07/2006 10:04:00 AM

And dogs are loyal and co-operative whereas cats are selfish and feckless.

But there's more here than the obvious partisan smeers. I doubt this can be explained simply by a country/city difference.

The neuropolitics site doesn't give much backgound detail to the people involved and their methodology which is a pity. I'm not sure how they overcome self-selection bias.

But the project of looking at the genetic basis for politcal views is well worthwhile. Even if the heritablity was not the dominant factor, with elections such as in the US splitting almost 50/50 the consequences are considerable.

Posted by neil morrison : 3/07/2006 11:09:00 AM

Nut (my mog) definitely believes
in hierarchy, preferably with her
at the top of it. It's also distinctly matriarchal- she prefers female social company, of whatever species

Craig Y.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/07/2006 04:46:00 PM

My cat, Becks, would agree too. The neighbourhood dogs just do what he tells them.

Posted by Uroskin : 3/08/2006 12:18:00 PM

Nut reacts in puzzlement to bichon frises. When one yapped at
her, she looked at it quizically,
possibly thinking:

"Well, it barks like a dog, but
looks like a mop head. And it's
about as frighening as an azalea
bush. Think I'll ignore it."

Craig Y.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/08/2006 07:03:00 PM

I'm a liberal, my wife is cinservative.

So we have four dogs, one cranky ancient cat, two kittens (well only three years old) and eight other pets.


Phil Lyth

Posted by Anonymous : 3/08/2006 08:13:00 PM