Liberals vs. Conservatives: The Neurologists’ Take

I have a pint of attention for neurological study results not only because I’m such an information junkie but also because the subjects placed under study here are oftentimes trivially interesting. A year or two ago for example, I encountered a curious finding on how the sarcastic’s brain functions.

So when early this week this PDI article reported on a certain political scientist of New York University, David Amodio and his colleagues’ endeavor of placing the liberal and the conservative under the microscope, this libertarian-leftie decided that it had to be worth the attention. To summarize they had 43 right-handed subjects tested. The computer tests were done to evaluate the subject’s response when the need to change routines arises and the article goes on with the results:

The match-up was unmistakable: respondents who had described themselves as liberals showed “significantly greater conflict-related neural activity” when the hypothetical situation called for an unscheduled break in routine.

Conservatives, however, were less flexible, refusing to deviate from old habits “despite signals that this … should be changed.”

Interpretations differ however. One suggestion is that it may mean that “liberals are nimble-minded and conservatives rigid and stubborn.” Another one suggests that “wishy-washy liberals don’t stick to their guns, while conservatives are steadfast and loyal.”

No wonder I seem to think about things too much. 😀


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