Let’s play a game. Look at the image below, and think about what you see.
From your response, I can probably guess your political leanings.
Want to play?
Okay, let’s go.
If you see a circle, chances are you’re liberal. That is, you tend to support the legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage and aid for the homeless.
Don’t see a circle? You’re probably more likely to be conservative in regard to politics. Likely, you’re interested in protecting the rights of business owners, reducing or eliminating drug use, and have negative views on immigration issues.
As much as I wish I could, I can’t read minds. A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that a person’s political leanings can be gauged based on the results of a shape personality test.
The study was led by Dr. Ben Ambridge from the University of Liverpool, and researchers found that participants who are tolerant of deviants from the norm when looking at shapes like the above circle, or others such as triangles or squares, tend to be more tolerant of marginalized (or deviant) subgroups of society. Not only are they more tolerant of groups that are commonly displaced or discriminated against, but more likely to want to actively help them. This led Ambridge and his team to believe that these participants’ political leanings were more liberal compared to others who had more rigid criteria for determining the shapes. Those who did not find the shape to be close enough to a circle, unforgiving of its asymmetry, tended to have more conservative political views.