I've had a story rambling around in my head for years, and one of these days I'm going to write it: it's about a right-wing ideologue who starts a nation-wide self-help group whose mind and life exercises are designed to subtly, over time, re-make all the new age-y liberals who participate into cold, hardened conservatives.
...conservatives are more likely than liberals to sense contamination or perceive disgust. People who would be disgusted to find that they had accidentally sipped from an acquaintance’s drink are more likely to identify as conservatives.And there's the rub: Haidt creates this appealing sounding "how can you tell if you're a liberal or conservative" dichotomy game that's just too fun to play. And then he mentions that obedience to authority and revulsion at things you find disgusting are actually moral values!
The upshot is that liberals and conservatives don’t just think differently, they also feel differently. This may even be a result, in part, of divergent neural responses.
One of the main divides between left and right is the dependence on different moral values. For liberals, morality derives mostly from fairness and prevention of harm. For conservatives, morality also involves upholding authority and loyalty — and revulsion at disgust.
Obedience and disgust are to morality what lust and desire are to chastity.