So far, the "Lady Macbeth Effect" has been mostly a curiosity -- a peek at the quirkiness of the not-entirely-rational human mind. But might this scientific insight actually be clinically useful? Tel Aviv University psychological scientist Reuven Dar and his colleagues thought that it might.
Nobody thinks, "Democrats drink more water," or, "Republicans wear warmer clothes." Knowing someone's politics should not affect how cold or thirsty we think they are -- yet these results suggest that it does.
The next time you find yourself at a great concert, let your inner air musician fly. You're just reflecting the way your body wants to understand the music. And when the band tells you to clap, join in. You'll end up feeling much closer to everyone else in the crowd.
Conservative and liberal minds, it appears, may be fundamentally different psychologically, with conservatives much more sensitive to everyday triggers for physical disgust, and much more likely to commingle repulsion and moral judgment.
In one experiment, the strength of blink reflexes to unexpected noises was measured and correlated with degrees of reactions to external threats. Conservatives reacted considerably more strongly than liberals.