John R. Hibbing, Ph.D. is the Foundation Regents Professor of Political Science and Psychology at the University of Nebraska where he conducts research on the psychological and biological correlates of political orientations. With Kevin Smith, he co-founded the Political Physiology Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Senior Fulbright Fellow, a NATO Fellow in Science, and was recently elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. With John R. Alford and Kevin B. Smith, he co-authored the recently released Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences.
What makes conservatives and liberals so different? Buried in many people and operating largely outside the realm of conscious thought are forces inclining us toward liberal or conservative political convictions. Our biology predisposes us to see and understand the world in different ways, not always reason and the careful consideration of facts. These predispositions are in turn responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that marks human history.