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      Body odour disgust sensitivity predicts authoritarian attitudes

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          Authoritarianism has resurfaced as a research topic in political psychology, as it appears relevant to explain current political trends. Authoritarian attitudes have been consistently linked to feelings of disgust, an emotion that is thought to have evolved to protect the organism from contamination. We hypothesized that body odour disgust sensitivity (BODS) might be associated with authoritarianism, as chemo-signalling is a primitive system for regulating interpersonal contact and disease avoidance, which are key features also in authoritarianism. We used well-validated scales for measuring BODS, authoritarianism and related constructs. Across two studies, we found that BODS is positively related to authoritarianism. In a third study, we showed a positive association between BODS scores and support for Donald Trump, who, at the time of data collection, was a presidential candidate with an agenda described as resonating with authoritarian attitudes. Authoritarianism fully explained the positive association between BODS and support for Donald Trump. Our findings highlight body odour disgust as a new and promising domain in political psychology research. Authoritarianism and BODS might be part of the same disease avoidance framework, and our results contribute to the growing evidence that contemporary social attitudes might be rooted in basic sensory functions.

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          Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a relatively new website that contains the major elements required to conduct research: an integrated participant compensation system; a large participant pool; and a streamlined process of study design, participant recruitment, and data collection. In this article, we describe and evaluate the potential contributions of MTurk to psychology and other social sciences. Findings indicate that (a) MTurk participants are slightly more demographically diverse than are standard Internet samples and are significantly more diverse than typical American college samples; (b) participation is affected by compensation rate and task length, but participants can still be recruited rapidly and inexpensively; (c) realistic compensation rates do not affect data quality; and (d) the data obtained are at least as reliable as those obtained via traditional methods. Overall, MTurk can be used to obtain high-quality data inexpensively and rapidly.
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            Bayesian Model Selection in Social Research

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              Social Dominance


                Author and article information

                R Soc Open Sci
                R Soc Open Sci
                Royal Society Open Science
                The Royal Society Publishing
                February 2018
                28 February 2018
                28 February 2018
                : 5
                : 2
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , Stockholm, Sweden
                [2 ]Department of Surgical and Medical Sciences, ‘Magna Graecia’ University of Catanzaro , Catanzaro, Italy
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome , Rome, Italy
                [4 ]IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation , Rome, Italy
                [5 ]Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet , Stockholm, Sweden
                [6 ]Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study , Uppsala, Sweden
                Author notes
                Author for correspondence: Jonas K. Olofsson e-mail: jonas.olofsson@

                Electronic supplementary material is available online at

                © 2018 The Authors.

                Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Funded by: Vetenskapsrådet,;
                Award ID: 2016-02018
                Award ID: 2016-02742
                Award ID: 421-2012-1125
                Award ID: 421-2012-806
                Funded by: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond,;
                Award ID: M14-0375:1
                Funded by: Stiftelsen Lars Hiertas Minne,;
                Award ID: FO20160386
                Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                February, 2018


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