Hard conservatives, soft liberals
Traditionally, conservatives have presented themselves as tough, while liberals have been seen as bringing a softer touch to politics. Based on the results of a new study, these metaphors are so ingrained that they’ve become almost tangible. People who squeezed a hard ball while viewing a face were more likely to judge that face to be a Republican compared to when they were squeezing a soft ball. Likewise, after writing about a Republican, people were more likely to judge a ball to be harder than after writing about a Democrat. The effect also translated to academic disciplines, as squeezing a hard ball made it more likely that students would identify a professor as a physicist.