Right-wing brain wired for inflexibility, knee-jerking: science

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Right-wing brain wired for inflexibility, knee-jerking: science



[url=http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-politics10sep10,1,5376455.sto... brain, left-wing brain wired differently -- new study[/url]

Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work.

In a simple experiment reported todayin the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.

Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions.

The results show "there are two cognitive styles -- a liberal style and a conservative style," said UCLA neurologist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, who was not connected to the latest research.


So you're saying that conservatives have a brain defect from being able to adjust to change?

Heywood, please step in here!


For some reason, that URL is blocked but [url=http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-politics10sep10,0,... one is not.[/url]



Originally posted by quelar:
[b]So you're saying that conservatives have a brain defect from being able to adjust to change?

Basically, yes. The conservative brain lacks functionality found in the left-wing brain.


So I've been right all this time.


I somehow feel vindicated.



Lead author David Amodio, an assistant professor of psychology at New York University, cautioned that the study looked at a narrow range of human behavior and that it would be a mistake to conclude that one political orientation was better.

Ha! What a conservative.


That's interesting. There was another UCal study a few years ago about what makes a political conservative. [url=http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/07/22_politics.shtml]Adolf to Ronald and Rush[/url]


Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:

[LIST][*] Fear and aggression
[*] Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
[*] Uncertainty avoidance
[*] Need for cognitive closure
[*] Terror management[/LIST]

jeff house

Although the headline of this thread says the brain is "wired" for one or the other political orientation, that is not what the author of the study says:


As to the more intriguing question of which comes first, the patterns in neuron activity or the political orientation, Amodio is reluctant to hazard a guess.

"The neural mechanisms for conflict monitoring are formed early in childhood," and are probably rooted in part in our genetic heritage, he said.

"But even if genes may provide a blueprint for more liberal or conservative orientations, they are shaped substantially by one's environment over the course of development," he added.

Obscuring causal links even more is the fact that the brain is malleable and neural functions can change as a result of new experiences.

A moment's thought will demonstrate that, in asking a person "are you liberal or conservative"
described his or her PRESENT orientation, and nothing about how permanent that orientation will be. People learn to me more, or less, flexible as their experience dictates.


Pogo Pogo's picture

When I grew up play was whatever we decided to do. Now it is too important to leave to chance and parents must control every part of a child's play.

And now, on top of taking away true play time from our kids, we are also building conservative neural pathways.

[ 12 September 2007: Message edited by: Pogo ]


Isn't that fascism? Or Dictatorship?

And if it is, don't you want your kid to respect the authorities in power now? [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]



Fear and aggression
Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
Uncertainty avoidance
Need for cognitive closure
Terror management

Sounds like the brain of a young child.


Well, Roosevelt did say a conservative was a man who had never learned to walk. [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

(or was that walk forwards? [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] )

I'm really not surprised by this. I've seen evidence that right-wing political thought is riddled with an essentially insular, "I"-focussed outlook, which is very rigid, and makes it hard to get a person who thinks that way to "put him/herself in the shoes of someone else".

It's why they can tell you with a straight face, courtesy of [url=http://rackjite.com/web/political_philosophy.htm]Rack Jite[/url]:


Next time you are listening to a conservative do their usual harangue against Blacks, the homeless, Gays or some Other, when they pause long enough to wipe the spittle from their chins, politely inquire how they would feel if they happened to be Gay, Black or Other. Invariably comes the same answer, “I am not Gay! I am not Black! I am not homeless! And if I were, which I am not, I would overcome any and all obstacles in my path.” These statements are then followed by high decibel bootstrap speeches and Neanderthal Law of the Jungle platitudes. Considering that no amount of reason, logic or facts can dissuade them, it may very well point to an inborn disability.

And for your reference, he has had that on his website since 1996.