What are the psychological differences that make people liberal democrats, conservative republicans, or libertarians?

While I am definitely prototypically liberal, I know a lot of good solid people who happen to be conservative. I also live in a state (California), where some of the excesses of liberalism are self-evident. There is merit to traditionally conservative principles like respect for tradition and desire to reward those who work hard over those who don’t…just as there is merit in traditionally liberal ideas like having empathy for those who are unlucky. There is merit in the libertarian viewpoint as well.  However, when these principles conflict, individuals make consistent choices as to what kinds of resolutions they generally prefer…to reward productivity, to take care of the less fortunate, or to refrain from interfering. It is this consistency which makes people liberal, conservative, or libertarian, and there are psychological variables which differ reliably among these groups, leading to these consistencies.  Below are posts which relate to these differences:



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