In today’s world liberals look at conservatives as the villains, and vice versa. How did this come to pass? In this essay a model of the biological roots of liberalism and conservatism is advanced; this is followed by a discussion of why cognitive dissonance may represent the key process in our social evolution. Alfred Russel Wallace’s experience with cognitive dissonance is then detailed, including how he dealt with it.


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Evolution | Life Sciences | Politics and Social Change | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology