Political View – Nurture AND Nature

December 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

I always thought your definition of your political stance stems primarily from your parents.  From how they instilled it and taught it, as much as what they taught.  Of course, a liberal viewpoint that teaches tolerance of other views is less worried about making sure their kids think/act/vote the same way then a viewpoint that tends to remain conservative and historically less tolerant (no source is needed (sources would be longer than the post)).

But recent research may spread even more light on that.  It may be the double whammy of your parental environment combined with the genes handed down by the parents.

It also definitely explains the day and night difference in conservative vs liberal broadcasts. Conservative broadcasts are almost by rule focused on spreading fear.  Recently, the policies of Bush and Cheney were frought with motivation through fear.  And fear-mongering was a basis for the McCain and Palin campaign.


Life’s Extremes: Democrat vs. Republican

Researchers have long wondered if some people can’t help but be an extreme left-winger or right-winger, based on innate biology. To an extent, studies of the brains of self-identified liberals and conservatives have yielded some consistent trends, Schreiber said.

Two of these trends are that liberals tend to have more activity in parts of the brain known as the insula and anterior cingulate cortex. Among other functions, the two regions overlap to an extent by dealing with cognitive conflict, in the insula’s case, while the anterior cingulate cortex helps in processing conflicting information. [10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Brain]

Conservatives, on the other hand, have demonstrated more activity in the amygdala, known as the brain’s “fear center.” “If you see a snake or a picture of a snake, the amygdala will light up — it’s a threat detector,” said Iacoboni.

A study of British subjects earlier this year supported these past imaging studies with measurements of brain structure. The study showed that on average the amygdala is bigger in conservatives, likely indicating greater use of it in neurological processing. In contrast, liberals often possessed larger anterior cingulate cortexes.

Altogether, these findings suggest liberals can more easily tolerate uncertainty, which might be reflected in their shades-of-gray policy positions. In the U.S., those typically include being pro-choice and lenient on illegal immigration.

Conservatives, meanwhile, have a more binary view of threats versus non-threats. 

Adam Hadhazy, LiveScience Contributor
Date: 18 December 2011


Entry filed under: Politics. Tags: , , , , , .

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