Is there a neurological basis for political persuasion?


The authors cite research supporting their contention that the brains of conservatives and liberals are wired differently.  The main point seems to be that conservatives are more squeamish and more likely to search for threats, while liberals tend to be more adventurous.  They suggest that these differences in temperament are "hard wired" at a fundamental neurological level.


It's interesting to think about.  No one would think it's as simple as genetics or destiny (I think), but maybe those play a role.

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I was once present at the dissection of the brain of an obnoxious, abusive, hateful man who died of metastatic cancer.  His family offered him for autopsy as a sort of last word, thinking that slicing his brain like a deli lunch meat would be a sort of revenge, or least an indignity.  All I can say is it was interesting, it didn't look any different to me than any other brain.  There were no visible brain metastases, so we can't blame the behavior on those.  However, this did not get to the microscopic, let alone biochemical level.


We use medications that modify neurologic responses all of the time, to change emotions and behavior.  For example, it is reported that prozac stimulates changes in neuroplasticity and results in growth of interconnecting neurons in the brain.  I'm curious about whether long term use of antidepressants or other brain-active medications might influence political views.  It's interesting to consider.  Maybe we should see if we can get Michelle Bachmann to start some Efexxor.

Bachmann needs something....  on the other hand, maybe she's already taking something. She does have history of migraines.

Just a thought. But Bachmann, being a woman who wants physical passion at her age, married to guy who spends his time hanging out with gay men he is trying to "cure," and shops for doggie sunglasses. Couple this with a belief in a cosmic jewish zombie that will rescue her from her intense frustrations. No wonder she is bat shit crazy! Geeze, I'd almost feel sorry for her if she wasn't so freaking stupid and brought the situation on herself.

Thanks for this very interesting link.  It reinforces some of my speculations on my ERCP-blog, that there are individual differences in the strength of how much instincts shared with (non-human) animals determine people's behavior and attitudes.   

I speculate that the combination of a strong hierarchy and a strong ingroup-outgroup instincts makes conservative, capitalistic politics more attractive, while weak such instincts attract people to leftist and liberal politics basd upon equality of all humans.  

i dont know much about science and neurology




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