Current Affairs

Is this a circle? Your answer might give away what you think about equality

Nick Duffy December 8, 2015
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Is this a circle? According to a study, your answer might give away more about you than you think…
Is this a circle? Your answer might give away what you think about equality
Before we go any further… do you think this is a circle?

After you’ve done that:

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that how you respond to this shape could be more revealing about your personality.

According to the study, people who support liberal policies such as same-sex marriage are likely to agree that the shape is a circle.

However, conservatives and traditionalists are more likely to insist that the shape is too squiggly to count as a circle.

The study looked at the link between political ideals and people’s reactions to outliers.

It explained that “political differences in social policy support may be partly driven by the tendency for conservatives to show greater sensitivity to deviance than liberals… even among targets lacking social or functional relevance”.

Across three studies, participants were shown geometric figures and were asked to identify the extent to which they were circles, or triangles, or squares.

Surprisingly, researchers found a strong correlation between those who had rigid idea of what a shape is, and those who harbour idealistically conservative views.

The study authors noted: “Results suggest that in addition to commonly cited affective and motivational reactions to deviant actors, political differences in social policy may also be driven by conservatives’ greater cognitive propensity to distinguish deviance.”

According to the Guardian’s resident psych expert Ben Ambridge: “People who say ‘Yeah, sure, close enough’ are probably politically liberal, and are likely to support same-sex marriage.

“If you said: ‘No, of course not’, then you are probably politically conservative, and strongly support the idea of protecting the rights of business owners and having a strong military. You are likely to take a particularly dim view of illegal immigration, and would come down strongly on even relatively low-level crime, such as drug use and prostitution.”

Though some readers remain unconvinced, our poll of PinkNews readers seems to have garnered different results to one of the conservative-leaning Telegraph.

46% of PinkNews readers voted ‘yes’ and 54% ‘no’ – whereas nearly two-thirds of Telegraph readers voted ‘no’, and just a third said yes.

Related topics: circle, Equality, Gay, LGBT, marriage, Sexuality, shape, study

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