New research demonstrates that an individual’s political identity is related to their romantic and residential preferences. The findings, published in Politics and the Life Sciences, suggests that political beliefs play an important role in choosing romantic partners and preferred living locations, especially for those with strong partisan views, potentially exacerbating political polarization.
The research was based on niche construction theory, a concept from evolutionary biology. This theory posits that organisms, including humans, actively modify their environment and social contexts, influencing their own evolutionary trajectory. In the context of human behavior, this means that people are not just passive recipients of their social and political environment but active agents shaping their surroundings to better align with their beliefs and preferences.
The new research aimed to explore this theory in the modern political landscape of the United States, where increasing polarization suggests that political identities might be playing a key role in how individuals construct their social and physical niches – particularly in choosing life partners and living environments. [Continue reading…]