I think political scientists have said that conservatives often display greater "avoidance" behavior to things that seem novel and have stronger disgust reactions.
I was scanning a paper recently from a political scientist who studied people's personality traits in China and correlated that with political views, and it was interesting because this academic described the very general left/right divide (although there are lots of variations and subcategories) as between the conservative Left and liberal Right. The conservative Left are much more pro-CCP and believe that socialism is better than capitalism, but have a value structure that, in some ways, mirrors that of American conservatives. They're more socially conservative, more authoritarian, more likely to believe in order and security, and they're more traditional, patriotic, nationalist.
There are some vast differences though. Different cultural values to protect, and none of the same debates over social issues like gay rights and abortion.
And they don't tend to display this kind of disgust / avoidance behavior that the American conservatives do, nor "fear of death," which is apparently a characteristic of the American right. Also, the Chinese conservative Left considers economic fairness to be important, which is not the case for the American conservative Right. The Chinese conservative Left does display some avoidance behavior though, but it's in terms of "social/cultural ideology," whatever that means. Meanwhile, the liberal Right were more likely to say they prefer foreign brands, but less likely to buy them.
It's very interesting. It's a long paper and I need to read it in more detail and maybe post about it. But I don't think people are hardwired this way. I can imagine that if we were suddenly propelled into power, a bunch of us would suddenly become "conservatives" in a sense, maybe, but in a different sense than we'd think of American conservatives.
>Of 21 hypotheses, nine received clear support from our results, four received partial support, three were directly contradicted, and five received no support. Among epistemic traits, H1, that conscientiousness would be higher on the Left, and openness, extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness would be higher on the Right, received partial support. Conscientiousness and leftwing ideology evinced the strongest relationship, but openness and agreeableness were also associated with the Left. H2, that cognitive reflection would be higher on the Right, was directly contradicted by the results. Cognitive reflection was higher on the Left, and intuitive answers were more common on the Right. H3, that dogmatism would be higher on the Left, was partially supported: only social/cultural ideology evinced the expected relationship with dogmatism. Overall, there was a weak, marginally significant relationship with rightwing ideology, driven by a significant relationship with rightwing political ideology. H4, that need for structure would be higher on the Left, was supported by the results. H5, that bullshit receptivity would be higher on the Left, was also supported. Need for cognition (H6), which an a priori power analysis indicated would require double and triple our sample size for 80% and 95% power, respectively, received no support from the non-significant findings. H7 and H8, that intolerance of ambiguity and need for cognitive closure, respectively, would be higher on the Left, were supported.
>Among existential traits, H9 and H10, that system justification tendency and authoritarianism would be higher on the Left, respectively, were supported by the results. However, H11 and H12, that threat and disgust sensitivity and fear of death, respectively, would be higher on the Left, received no support. (Our a priori power analysis indicated that we had less than 80% power to detect the effect of threat sensitivity with our sample size.)
>Among relational traits, H13, that social dominance orientation would be higher on the Left, was contradicted by the results: SDO was higher on the Right in China, as it is in Western countries. H14, that a preference for cohesive, tight groups would be higher on the Left, received no support. H15, that anxious and avoidant attachment would be higher on the Left, was directly contradicted by the results: instead, both were significantly higher on the Right, except on social/cultural ideology, where they were related to the conservative Left. H16, that power ladder rankings of socioeconomic status would be higher on the Left, was also supported by the results.
>H17, that those further to the liberal Right would be higher in “moral progressivism” – the difference between the importance of care and fairness, and that of loyalty, authority, and purity – was supported. Unexpectedly, the conservative Left does not fit the moral foundations profile of the Western Right: they are higher on the three “binding” foundations, but also on one of the “individuating” foundations, fairness. H18, that selective exposure would be higher among the conservative Left, was not supported; self-reported desires to learn about and try to understand “the other side” did not vary by ideology. We also found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that those reporting more attention to political news tended toward the conservative Left. H19, that those on the liberal Right would be more likely to think of “equality” as political rather than economic, and to believe that a perfectly free market would reduce inequality, was supported.
>H20, that the self-transcendence and openness to change values would be more important to the Right, and the conservation and self-enhancement values would be more important on the Left, received partial support. Composite measurements of self-enhancement values minus self-transcendence values, and conservation values minus openness values, reveal that the Right tends to endorse self-transcendence values more than self-enhancement values , as expected, but the Left tends to endorse openness values more than conservation values, contrary to expectations. The conservation vs. openness result was driven by the greater importance of hedonism and stimulation on the Left and tradition and security on the Right, and the self-enhancement vs. self-transcendence result was driven by the greater importance of universalism and benevolence on the Right and hedonism on the Left (though achievement was weakly associated with the Right). H21 was partially supported: those on the liberal Right reported a lower preference for domestic over foreign brands, but reported less willingness to try new brands.