Monday, April 11, 2011

Liberal vs. Conservative: Does the Difference Lie in the Brain?

Larger than normal brain parts (anterior cingulate cortices and/or amygdalae)... neuroscientific reasons you may or may or may not be a political "fraidy cat"

By Ozboy

I just read an article on the Time magazine site about a study that identified some differences in the brain structure between liberals and conservatives.

One interesting paragraph reads:
In the study, led by Ryota Kanai of the University College London, people who identified themselves as liberals generally had a larger anterior cingulate cortex — a comma-shaped region near the front of the brain that is involved in decision-making. By contrast, those who identified as conservatives had larger amygdalas — almond-shaped structures that are linked with emotional learning and the processing of fear.
This seems to explain why "liberals" when confronted with a situation will think it through and come to an intelligent understanding of it, while "conservatives" usually just react in fear and circle the wagons - ala the current Tea Party Tin Hat crowd.

Read more:
Liberal or conservative... "size" may actually mean something.

Don't let the cat get your tongues!


Biker Babe said...

IfOnly ... we could see inside their little noggins and know for sure which is which


Sigmond F. said...

I used to be a conservative until I went to the mental hospital and got shrunk. Must of been that amygdalas thingy in me that is what really got shrunk.

Anyway, I feel a lot better and can see things a lot more clearly now. No more hiding in the closet whenever my Democrat neighbor with the Obama sticker come home.

Yung, C. said...

I agree with you Sig, I had a similar experience when I let some of my students shrink me.

It was terribly liberating and I even had the added benefit of not needing to caress my AK-47 every time me and the wife made love.


What most people would probably like to know is what is the size of a brain for a politician who is hypocritical in their views as in, do what I say, not what I do. How about the politicians who think with another organ other than their brain? Seems to me if we could isolate the brain patterns of people who set up FNURE and Envision Utah, we would have pertinent information for future reference.
Hansen asked Shreeve, "Who is Friends of Utah Real Estate?"
Shreeve responded, "That's Blain Johnson".
"Johnson said he believed Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate was a legitimate organization, despite not being able to come up with the names of anyone associated with it".

Flogged Right said...

The labels conservative and liberal change change meaning depending on the location.

There are fully Red Republicans in, say, Eastern California, who would be Centrist Democrats in a state like Utah.

There are Centrist Democrats in Montana who, when faced with the fluff-head policy platforms in Western California, would be Moderate Republicans.
There are gun-wielding, immigrant-bashing, anti-abortion fiscal conservatives in the Mountain West who are Tru Blue Democrats.
A lot of them.
If you mean Conservative, as in wanting to keep what is old-good from getting buried in new-bad...

...such as conserve the environment from the nu-clear bad?
Sure, I am a conservative.

Ugh said...

So the majority Utahns are genetically wired to react with fear? Hmmm.

I think people, at least here in Utah, vote Republican "R" for religion: (1) They don't keep up with politics, (2) they have NO clue what is really happening out in the real world, and (3) the stuff they do "know" they learned from (a) Glen Beck, (b) Fox & Friends, and/or (c) their social circle at church who got all their ideas from (a) and (b), above.

When Utahns then go to vote, (because they are told to by their church) they stand there and go "duuuuuh, I guess I'll vote Republican, I dunno. Duuuuuh"

And that's how our leaders are selected.

H. Miller said...

What a bunch of tripe! We are watching one of the great "Liberals" of this new century go into free fall after his dominate election victory. He has more flip flops than a House of Pancakes on almost everything he has taken a position on.

What that proves is liberals are opportunists, not leaders and they turn off their integrity button to please anyone they are talking to.

Rich G. said...

Yeah, and you prove the point of the article.

When a black man entered the white house, White America went completely insane.

They hated him and called this excellent man a failure before he even took the oath of office.
All because he has was a intellectual black liberal: the white ruling class who dominated every field of endeavor in America for 350 years went, collectively, insane.
Were you part of the mob?

Does our President make mistakes? Sure. What president did not.
You might remember, however, in 3rd grade civics class, the admonition to respect the office and give our lawfully elected leader the benefit of the doubt, in the name of patriotic pride and, ultimately, belief in our system of government.
Is the economy any one elected officials fault? Of course not.

But I am glad we have a man with a attitude set on compromise, that possesses a kind heart and a pliant and agile mind, at this juncture in history.
Unlike some of the most vocal and certainly "un-patriotic" conservatives.

Ozboy (campaign exploratory committee spokes person) said...

I hereby announce the formation of the Rudi Rudizink for Ogden City Mayor exploratory committee.

We will be letting people know in the near future how to join our valiant effort to wrest control of Ogden from the hands of the Wizard of Oz and his slippery band of opportunists commonly known as Godfreyites.

We take this action of forming the exploratory committee after much prayer to the great political gods, and after hearing the pleadings of the people for a more sane, honest, intelligent, competent and interesting city government. We must answer the call of the people, the masses of Ogden yearning to breath free.

Volunteers welcome. Our planned campaign headquarters will be in the world famous KoKoMo Club in wonderful down town Ogden.

OneWhoKnows said...

The KoKoMo Club next to Santa's Castle? Count me in Rudi! I've got your back.

Gangbusters said...

Rich G., you just keep hanging on to that pipe dream. It is about integrity not mistakes. This man in the White House will change his view point to get reelected on any issue.

I would have more respect for him if he held firm on anything he has said. He acts more like George Bush than George Bush. This latest flip flop about the national debt is laughable. He said in 2006 that raising the debt ceiling was indicative of poor leadership. I don't see him saying that now.

PPK said...

Oh come on, Rich G. THE mighty "race card" yet AGAIN. Get over your damn self. Sounds to me that YOU are the only "insane" person on here feeling (yes, I said feeeeeeeling) the need to even USE the race issue. Who else is?? YAWN. This is sooo not about whatever damn race. Look the hell around you. The news (MSNBC, mind you) was showing our wonderful debt ticker and how we've just passed the $14 TRIL point. That's not race. That's pure stupidity from all sides.

You are wrong on so many levels with your "insane" comment. And the funniest part of your whole post is the tone. Sounds awfully full of "emotion", if you ask this cowboy.

Damn, now I'm almost sounding logical. Better have a beer.

FDR said...

Rich G. you must have missed the part where Harry Reid said in range of a microphone, that Obama said he would not compromise any more during the negotiations and that stopped the momentum of the talks. Then later, Obama stuck a knife in the back of the other democrats and agreed to the same thing he nixed. There is nothing but confusion coming from the left on these spending cuts. I can hardly wait until the big stuff comes up. Obama will sell his democratic soul to get reelected.

ozboy said...

I think any one who ignores the "race card" thing, as it pertains to the exceptional amount of vitriol directed toward Obama from the right wing, just plain doesn't want to admit it exists. Very few racists have the balls to admit it.

Leo D. said...

4th generation Utah Republican from Nephi: "I AM NOT A RACIST!!!!! I just dont think they should have the priesthood. Or special rights. And I should not have to serve them if I dont want. Damn Federal Government."


Fredrick Douglas said...

You Dems who now play the race card are idiots. Where was the race card when 58% of Americans voted for Obama? Not a word was mentioned about race in that election by Democrats. In fact, it was a proud moment for me and this country when this man could be elected.

The issue is competence and honesty. He has flipped on almost everything he said now in just two plus years. This indicates a lack of commitment and integrity to his stated views and vision.

Where was he in September and October on the 2011 budget? He was hiding even though as president, he has the responsibility to set the country's agenda. His party had control of both houses of congress and he was in the White House, yet he and his party never even proposed a budget. Now he pretends it wasn't his fault.

The democrats must get over the fact that Obama is just incompetent and a poor manager. It happens in in the best of political people.

If you want to have a real discussion about race in today's politics, explain why there is a Congressional Black Caucus in Washington. It is exclusive to blacks and it's members are those who said they fought for inclusion of everyone in America in our society in the last century, but they do not allow any other race in their Congressional Caucus. The last racial holdout group in Washington DC. Check it out!

Woodrow Wilson said...

Fred, you are right. It is sad to see the president of the United States reacting to a republican congressman's plan on the budget, instead of leading the country with his so called progressive plan for change.

Make no mistake, the Obama administration and the democrats are in free fall right now. On the looming debt extension, the president has been hiding under his desk for most of the year on this, and then he flip flops on his stated position against increasing the debt ceiling in 2006 and we also note that every democratic Senate member voted against raising the debt ceiling when Bush was president as well, but now they are for it. It is the old John Kerry mantra "I was against it before I was for it".

ozboy said...


You wrote: "Make no mistake, the Obama administration and the democrats are in free fall right now."

Only in your dreams pal, there and in the diluted fantasies of the Tin Hat Tea Party crowd and the bozo's who control Utah politics.

I suppose with those dimwits Palin and Trump being the leading GOP presidential candidates one could use the same rationale and say the Republicans are gaining great momentum!

rich g said...

The problem the republican party actually faces is demographics.

You cannot be the party of the older, white, affluent, and undereducated, in a country that is becoming younger, darker, poorer, and more inclined to believe the ivory-tower scholars over the busybody clergy.

RudiZink said...

"You cannot be the party of the older, white, affluent, and undereducated, in a country that is becoming younger, darker, poorer, and more inclined to believe the ivory-tower scholars over the busybody clergy."

Bingo, rg! I do believe you're onto something insightful there.

Woodrow Wilson said...

Ozboy, watch as Obama acts like a lemming following the lead of republican congressional members. He was no where to be seen on the 2011 budget until he was smoked out by Paul Ryan. The president's job is to lead, not follow, but there he is pretending he knows what he is doing.

Obama's major flaw as a leader is that he blames everyone else when things are bad, and takes credit himself when things are going well.

Who cares who the republican candidate is at this point, the way Obama is screwing up it doesn't matter. Remember, never get in the way when someone is making a big mistake. He is going to crash and burn like a old sputnik.

Winston Smith said...

What you rant about, basically, is that President Obama refuses to be an ideologue, and wants to move America's ball forward, regardless.

I dont even think President Obama wants his own way, all of the time. Imagine that: the most powerful man in the world, not acting like a deranged ideologue.

Like I tell the kids, do you think you have to have your own way? All of the time. hat would be poor behavior in a leader.

Looks to me like he is keeping his head, in a tough game.
You might consider doing the same.

Fredrick Douglas said...

Winston, most democrats are in denial, it is possible that Obama is not up to the job. He is a great campaigner, but that doesn't make him a good president. We are stuck with him since we elected him, but that doesn't make him immune from criticism.

Instead, we see some people that go into the race issue because they do not want to face up to his failures as president. I fully expect that the race question will be raised more and more as Obama sinks in the polls. It was not mentioned at all during his successful run for president that he won. Even in some of this blog dialog, the race button has been engaged by those defending him.

I can hardly wait as the Middle East continues to flare for President Obama to push his "Save Humanity" switch which he apparently turns on or off depending on which dictator or King we are talking about.

deb said...

"...can hardly wait for him to..."

People who want the president to fail are not welcome at my Fourth of July barbecue.

Queenie said...

Jeez deb, I don't see the word fail in that comment. When someone questions the president's actions or inconsistent policies, it does not indicate a wish for failure. Even people that are part of the loyal opposition have a right to express their feelings.

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