Is the difference between conservatives and liberals simply a few differing political perspectives – and different levels of likelihood to eat lentils?
Perhaps not: a new study has found that conservatives are more likely than liberals to imagine their lives have meaning or purpose.
It’s not just down to religion, either: the researchers believe that there’s something about political conservatism which correlates to finding meaning in life.
‘Finding meaning in life is related to the sense or feeling that things are the way they should be, and that there is a sense of order,’ said David Newman, a doctoral candidate at USC Dornsife’s Mind and Society Center.
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‘If life feels chaotic, then that would likely dampen your sense that life is meaningful
The researchers based their findings on five linked studies where volunteers were interviewed about their political views and whether they found their lives meaningful.
Newman said, ‘It doesn’t mean that every conservative finds a lot of meaning in their life and that every liberal is depressed.’
Other factors may influence whether someone feels that his or her life is meaningful.
Newman said, ‘These factors range from various personal characteristics such as how religious someone is to situational influences such as one’s current mood.’