The current election results have once again brought to the forefront how Liberal and Conservative think differently and it seems it really is all in our heads.
Peering inside the brain with MRI scans, researchers at University College London found that self-described conservative students had a larger amygdala than liberals. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is active during states of fear and anxiety. Liberals had more gray matter at least in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region of the brain that helps people cope with complexity.
The results are not that surprising as they fit in with conclusions from other studies. Just a year ago, researchers from Harvard and UCLA San Diego reported finding a "liberal" gene. This gene had a tiny effect, however, and worked only for adolescents having many friends. The results also mesh with psychological studies on conflict monitoring.
I found this interesting since some of my friends on the conservatives side express fears about the United States Ending or changing to some Deep Dark Communist Hell and we often explain their views away with the word "Fear".
Read More: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the … tudy-finds
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the … tudy-finds
Anybody else find this topic interesting? If we are wired differently how do we meet on common ground?
We don't. Fear is a powerful motivator.
For a long time, evolutionary development favored the fearful, but that is changing as we develop as a society and there are less threats. This is why religion and conservative politics are on the wane.
It is interesting, I must admit - especially when the most conservative ones tend to be fearful of a "New World Order." But - just think - if we all get on the same side and break down the national boundaries - there will be no external threats.
Do you think it impossible that there may be an internal threat in a New World Order?
I am all for breaking down the national boundaries. I would really love it if my grandchildren inherited a peaceful earth and only knew of war from History books.
What happens if that lovely huggy cupcakey peace-on-earth one world government turns into a tyranny?
At least with nation states, you have the chance of escaping to another country.
Well lets hope science can come up with a cure for fear reaction in our brains and then it won't happen will it? Ever wonder what would if we divided the plant into left and right?
I think the research is nailing it - this last Presidential race was insane with the tactics of Romney playing into and drumming up fear among his base - fear of the poor and middle classes threatening to somehow stop big business in its tracks and crash the economy even further with their demands of a level playing field - they played to the right's fear that women want to control their bodies and they got their base hooked into side issues - they thought if they catered to the fears of the while male vote (over 40), they could scare people into voting for their reactionary agendas that reward corporations for ripping off the people and the county - outsourcing, low paying jobs, environmental rape, anti science, control of women's reproductive rights, and on and on - well it didn't fly - the new majority, a coalition of women, students, ethnic groups, and educated people in general voted. Romney and his followers were so shocked, they didn't even have a concession speech prepared - too many people are onto the sleazy campaign tactics, the lies, they anti woman, and racist agenda of their Christian fundamentalist base.
Very interesting but I hate when we put too rigid a name on something because often it may depend upon circumstances. If we talk about foreign trade, for example, we might be liberal as far as wanting to sell our products to another nation but conservative when it comes to letting them sell to us. I think our position as liberal or conservative may have to do with how we are presented with information we use to pick our position and how accurate or truthful that information is..
I agree! But I think our life influences also have a bearing on how we process the information we receive so it would be interesting to learn how or if our brain adapts. Also how come people raised with the same family and influences may process the identical information in different ways.
I have heard about this before...Fascinating and I am going to read more. Thanks for bringing this up.
The spin on this is absurd.
One could spin this the other way and argue that liberals have an incapacity to recognise danger when they see it, and have an absolutely appropriate feeling of fear. But really, I don't buy it.
Are you really trying to prove scientifically that leftism is correct? Don't be asinine.
I am not spinning anything!
I don't think the research is about the left being correct nor do I read it that way, just that we do think differently and that fear plays a part in that thinking. Nobody said anything about the left being fearless.
I fear war, and I am sure my upbringing as an Army brat and life as an army wife has influenced that fear, because I relate it to the possibility of losing people I love, for a time or forever.
I also realize fear to some extent is part of our survival mechanism and important. I would just love to learn more, especially about what influences "the things" we fear.
Well put, Justsilvie, because I think there could be an entire study about influences and the things we fear. For example, the thought occurs to me that people went into showers in the concentration camps because they knew them to be showers thus lacking the fear they would have had if they had known the nature of those showers. a more current example was the use of PCB at one time in this country before its dangers were known and now the use of genetically modified foods because the fear we need to feel, justified or not, is what can protect us in the long run should that fear be shown to be justified eventually. Not fearing PCB's caused thousands of deaths then and now we need to fear GMO foods for the same reason until someone can show that we have nothing to fear. There are those who understand those fears and use them for their benefit - selling deodorant to prevent a fear of offending others, for example, and we need to understand that whole process better.
"I found this interesting since some of my friends on the conservatives side express fears about the United States Ending or changing to some Deep Dark Communist Hell and we often explain their views away with the word "Fear". "
- Just to clarify, do you think it's justified to "explain their views away with the word "Fear"" or are you trying to be balanced?
I don't think it is as simple as the question makes it sound.
A higher reaction to fear of course would explain a lot, but how they got to the conclusion to induce that fear and why the same fears are not shared by everyone is the question that would interest me regarding this research.
Not everything is political or taking sides and since my family and friends are on both sides of the spectrum and I pretty much run to the center I would just love to learn more.
I've never heard of this, but it does seem to make some sense - and it is very interesting. Thanks for sharing this. I wonder what mine would say, since I'm really in the middle with politics?
I'm sorry some people will find any reason to be an ass, and try to find a way to attack you for expressing your thoughts, or something they don't really understand. If you say the sky is blue, they'd say you were wrong and try to find a way to make you look stupid.
You're sorry that people disagree, you mean?
I am pretty much in the middle with you even though the last election threw more to the left. I am glad you find it interesting also KT.
It just occurred to me that if liberals have one part of the brain larger than others and conservatives have the same with a different part, perhaps those in the middle are the ones with the largest brains and are the most capable of wisdom overall.
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