Just read a fascinating article in Pychology Today, Feb 2007, p81, describing empirical research on the differences in personality and experiences of liberals and conservatives. 9/11 made many people conservative and one theory is that the fear of death did it.
are neater, keep houses cleaner, better lit, and more conventional, have fewer books, are more religious, more pessimistic, like country music, like TV and talk radio, have a greater desire to pick a position and stick to it, are more conscientious. Those who think the world is dangerous and have a great fear of death are more likely to be conservative.
As kids, conservatives were easily victimized and offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and vulnerable.
keep houses more cluttered, have more travel documents, their books cover a wider variety of topics, like classical and jazz, are more optimistic, like abstract art, like romantic comedies, poetry, diary writing, acting, and playing musical instruments. They are more intellectually curious, excitement-seeking, creative, and crave stimulation in the form of travel, color, art, music, and literature. As people travel and become more educated they get more liberal. They see shades of gray more than conservatives.
As kids, liberals were more self-reliant, energetic, impulsive and resiliant, had a close relationship with peers.