Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Childhood harshness induces long-lasting preference for authoritarian leaders

Abstract : Understanding the origins of political authoritarianism is of key importance for modern democracies. Recent works in evolutionary psychology suggest that human cognitive preferences may be the output of a biological response to early stressful environments. In this paper, we hypothesized that people's leader preferences are partly driven by early signals of harshness. We experimentally elicited children's (Study 1) and adults' (Study 2) political preferences using faces controlled for dominance and trustworthiness and showed that early childhood harshness has an enduring effect on adult political attitudes. Importantly, this effect was further confirmed using self-reported extreme authoritarianism (Study 2) and by the analysis of the large database of the European Value Survey (Study 3). We discuss the potential political implications of this early calibration of leader preferences.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-02461685
Contributor : Julie Grezes Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 5:53:39 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 1, 2022 - 11:04:59 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, January 22, 2022 - 8:06:11 PM

File

 Restricted access
To satisfy the distribution rights of the publisher, the document is embargoed until : jamais

Please log in to resquest access to the document

Identifiers

Citation

Lou Safra, Yann Algan, Teodora Tecu, Julie Grèzes, Nicolas Baumard, et al.. Childhood harshness induces long-lasting preference for authoritarian leaders. Evolution and Human Behavior, Elsevier, 2017, 38 (5), pp.645 - 651. ⟨10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.05.001⟩. ⟨inserm-02461685⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

52