Thursday, October 28, 2010

Democratic brands vs. Republican brands

From Advertising Age.Republicans are more strongly committed to their 10th strongest brand choice than Democrats are to their second—59.5 for Cheerios vs. 58.7 for Sony. I guess that's to be expected. Republicans would be expected to stick with things they like, and Democrats may be expected to be more open to new things.

That doesn't quite explain the areas of difference, though.
  • Three Democratic brands don't appear on the Republican list: Google, Sony, Amazon.
  • Three Republican brands don't appear on Democratic list: Fox News, Fox, Lowe's.
It's not just that Democrats like new brands and Republicans don't. Although Democrats like Google and Amazon, Republicans like some relatively new brands such as Fox News and Lowes. The real difference seems to be that Republicans don't have any Internet brands among their favorites.

There may even be a genetic components to this.
Scientists at the University of California San Diego and Harvard University … wanted to explore if politics were heritable by identifying a specific gene variant associated with political leaning. They hypothesized that individuals with a genetic predisposition toward seeking out new experiences would tend to be more liberal.

The 7R variant of DRD4, a dopamine receptor gene, had previously been associated with novelty seeking. The researchers theorized novelty seeking would be related to openness, a psychological trait that has been associated with political liberalism.

However, social environment was critical. The more friends gene carriers have in high school, the more likely they are to be liberals as adults. The authors write, "Ten friends can move a person with two copies of 7R allele almost halfway from being a conservative to moderate or from being moderate to liberal."

They theorize a larger social network may bring more diverse viewpoints, which could be an influence on the liberal development.

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