Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stupid Is As Stupid Does, Part III


Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain
Even in humdrum nonpolitical decisions, liberals and conservatives literally think differently, researchers show.

The LA Times reported on a simple experiment written up in the journal, Nature Neuroscience, where "...scientists at New York University and UCLA show(ed) that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information...



"Participants were college students whose politics ranged from 'very liberal' to 'very conservative.' They were instructed to tap a keyboard when an M appeared on a computer monitor and to refrain from tapping when they saw a W.

"M appeared four times more frequently than W, conditioning participants to press a key in knee-jerk fashion whenever they saw a letter.

"Each participant was wired to an electroencephalograph that recorded activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that detects conflicts between a habitual tendency (pressing a key) and a more appropriate response (not pressing the key). Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives when they saw a W, researchers said. Liberals and conservatives were equally accurate in recognizing M.

"Researchers got the same results when they repeated the experiment in reverse, asking another set of participants to tap when a W appeared.

"Frank J. Sulloway, a researcher at UC Berkeley's Institute of Personality and Social Research who was not connected to the study, said the results 'provided an elegant demonstration that individual differences on a conservative-liberal dimension are strongly related to brain activity.'"

"Analyzing the data, Sulloway said liberals were 4.9 times as likely as conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits that deal with conflicts, and 2.2 times as likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy.


"Based on the results, he said, liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.

"'There is ample data from the history of science showing that social and political liberals indeed do tend to support major revolutions in science,' said Sulloway, who has written about the history of science and has studied behavioral differences between conservatives and liberals."




Psychcentral.com's take on the report:

"In a study likely to raise the hackles of some conservatives, scientists at New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles, found that a specific region of the brain’s cortex is more sensitive in people who consider themselves liberals than in self-declared conservatives.

"The brain region in question helps people shift gears when their usual response would be inappropriate, supporting the notion that liberals are more flexible in their thinking.

“'Say you drive home from work the same way every day, but one day there’s a detour and you need to override your autopilot,' said NYU psychologist David Amodio. 'Most people function just fine. But there’s a little variability in how sensitive people are to the cue that they need to change their current course.'” 

"The work...grew out of decades of previous research suggesting that political orientation is linked to certain personality traits or styles of thinking. A review of that research published in 2003 found that conservatives tend to be more rigid and closed-minded, less tolerant of ambiguity and less open to new experiences. Some of the traits associated with conservatives in that review were decidedly unflattering, including fear, aggression and tolerance of inequality. That evoked outrage from conservative pundits."

While this post, as well as others, would seem to poke fun at Conservative followers, and portions of the studies quoted could even be described as "selective," the fact remains that Conservative sheeplets are different than liberals and need to have their outlooks, psychological makeup, and behavior corrected.  Blindly following the propaganda of their leaders leads to chaos and destruction of the polis; able propagandists like Limbaugh and the so-called pundits at Fox "News" have brainwashed the True Believer types, and the country has started on a descent to a feudal society dominated by the wealthy Conservative leadership.


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"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on."

Thomas Jefferson

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