The way you vote on Nov. 6 may have something to do with how you were raised.
But that's not referring to the notion that a parent's political ideology is passed along to her or his child. In fact, it's referring specifically to the way you were raised – the style of your upbringing. A new study in Psychological Science suggests that parenting practices and childhood temperament play an influential role in the politics a person chooses.
This research isn't the first of its kind – there are already studies that have linked authoritarian-esque parenting to a child's adopting conservative values as an adult. But unlike this new study, that existing research had significant problems with the methodology.
For the new study, researchers looked at 708 sets of parents and split them up into two categories that described their parenting attitudes: One that valued a child's unwavering obedience ("authoritarian" was the term the authors used) and one that espoused the notion that children ought to be allowed to disagree with their parents ("egalitarian").
Children of authoritarian parents tended to embrace conservative values by the time they were 18, while 18-year-olds from egalitarian households were on the liberal side.
Researchers also found that children who had higher levels of fearfulness when they were 4-and-a-half years old tended to lean conservative, while their counterparts who were more restless, active and attentive were more to the left.
The trends held even after accounting for influential factors like gender, ethnic background, cognitive function and socioeconomic status.
The study's authors didn't say anything about what type of parenting style led to third-party children.
Photo by DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons.