The cliché that liberals shop at Trader Joe’s, while conservatives prefer Walmart, is no doubt overstated. But where would the perception come from?
Newly published research provides a compelling answer: brand-name products. Conservatives gravitate toward them, and Walmart, unlike Trader Joe’s, is packed with them.
That provocative conclusion can be drawn from a study in the journal Psychological Science. A research team led by Vishal Singh of New York University’s Stern School of Business has discovered a relationship between voting behavior, high levels of religiosity, and “seemingly inconsequential product choices.”
They argue that your decision to vote for a certain candidate, and purchase a particular brand of detergent, springs from the same basic impulse:
“Our empirical results, based on extensive field data, provide strong evidence that more conservative ideology is associated with higher reliance on established national brands (as opposed to generics) and a slower uptake of new products.”