Outrage, indignation and severe huffiness

10/28/2008 | Slate

Next week's U.S. election will end a campaign that served as an extended display of umbrage. The response to trivial matters -- comments about lipstick and cleavage, old photos, a cartoon -- repeatedly stole the show. Researchers who've studied human touchiness say it is a social instinct governed by the feeling that you're not getting the respect you deserve. "If you have a more Buddhist view, and are less attached to self, you are less likely to see offense," says Stephanie Preston, head of the University of Michigan's Ecological Neuroscience Lab.

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