Al Jazeera, By Wilson Dizard, September 17
Politics stink — literally — according to scientists who released a study this week showing that people find the smells of others who share their political viewpoints more viscerally attractive than the odors of their ideological opponents.
The researchers suspect that preferences of this kind stem from evolutionary adaptations that support bonds between friends and allies.
“People could not predict the political ideology of others by smell if you asked them, but they differentially found the smell of those who aligned with them more attractive,” said Brown University’s Dr. Rose McDermott, the head author of the report.
“So I believe smell conveys important information about long-term affinity in political ideology that becomes incorporated into a key component of subconscious attraction,” McDermott said.