Sociologists at Washington State University found both liberal and conservatives in the United States disapprove of individuals putting the health of their community at risk, but conservatives cared more about why those individuals were taking the risks in the first place.

Christine Horne.
Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson.
Kirkpatrick Johnson

Sociology professors Christine Horne and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson asked Americans across the country whether they approved of actions like wearing a mask or stockpiling necessities.

“The more harm there was, the more disapproval there was,” Johnson says. “People were more disapproving of social gatherings than they were about doing a job.”

Johnson and Horne randomly assigned half of their respondents to read a scenario where an individual was putting their own health at risk, and the other half read about someone who was putting the health of the community at risk. They then asked the respondents whether people would disapprove of the behavior in the story and how much they thought liberals and conservatives would disagree.

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Washington State Magazine