by Patrick Appel
When you talk about the psychological, physiological, or biological underpinnings of political views, you have to understand that such dispositions are inherently content free. They clearly “push” individuals towards accepting certain views and certain arguments that feel right to them—thus, a person highly sensitive to fear threat may be less likely to worry about civil liberties in the wake of 9/11, or to naturally feel support for the death penalty. But the precise views that feel appealing to such a person would also be very different in the U.S. at the present moment than they would be in, say, China. And they would also change over time in the U.S. itself.