Your sense of smell may predict how you’ll vote, according to a bizarre new study.
Researchers from Stockholm University have found a strong connection between supporting a society led by an authoritarian leader, like Donald Trump , and being sensitive to body odours like sweat or urine.
They believe this may come from a deep-seated instinct to avoid infectious diseases.
Dr Jonas Olofsson, one of the authors of the study, said: “There was a solid connection between how strongly someone was disgusted by smells and their desire to have a dictator-like leader who can supress radical protest movements and ensure that different groups ‘stay in their places’.
That type of society reduces contact among different groups and, at least in theory, decreases the chance of becoming ill.”
In the study, the researchers looked at whether there was a connection between feelings of disgust and how a person would want society to be organised.
To do this, they developed a survey in which participants rated their levels of disgust for body odours, and answered questions on their political views.
Dr Olofsson said: “It showed that people who were more disgusted by smells were also more likely to vote for Donald Trump than those who were less sensitive.
“We thought that was interesting because Donald Trump talks frequently about how different people disgust him.
“He thinks that women are disgusting and that immigrants spread disease and it comes up often in his rhetoric.
“It fits with our hypothesis that his supporters would be more easily disgusted themselves.”
The results suggest that authoritarian political views could be innate and difficult to change.
But Dr Olofsson added: “The research has shown that the beliefs can change.
“If contact is created between groups, authoritarians can change. It’s not carved in stone. Quite the opposite, beliefs can be updated when we learn new things.”
Credit: Mirror UK