What do you think of this study of red brains v. blue brains?

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What do you think of this study of red brains v. blue brains?

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Redigerat: sep 12, 2007, 6:16 pm

A study purports that liberals and conservatives actually have different brains. Here's the article. What do you think? (Oh, I hope the link works.)

The link works, but the newspaper requires registration. I would just copy and paste except I don't want to break any content/ownership rules.

Redigerat: dec 25, 2007, 9:00 pm

Do I think that economic liberals think differently than traditional conservatives (i.e, conservatives who base their politics on religion and/or cultural traditions)? Yes. At the same time, I think that social liberals (who dabble in protectionism, social welfare, etc), think differently than economic liberals, traditional conservatives, et al*.

In other words, I wouldn't be surprised to find that there are a number of different "models" which people in the modern world either grow into (due to socialization) or are predisposed to follow due to the way that our respective brains actually function. But, if that is the case, I have to assume that there are more than two models, and that there is far more cohabitation (in political parties, marriages, etc) than most would predict...

*There are, for example, the authoritarian nationalists (be they communist, fascist, tribal or otherwise), who certainly must think differently then the groups that I've previously mentioned... And then there are the nihilistic and apathetic, who really just don't care about politics--but don't care about politics in a completely differently way than, say, the egotistical sociopaths... And then...

Redigerat: sep 12, 2007, 8:22 pm

Years ago, I read that conservatives tend to prune and liberals to fertilize--I despaired of ever converting my shears-bearing husband!! What he could do to a fruit tree...

sep 12, 2007, 8:22 pm

Well, the study's authors are claiming actual neurological differences between those who self-identify as "conservative" or "liberal," without the level of analysis you're describing. I'm sure many people couldn't tell you what kind of "liberal" or "conservative" they are. In my mind the findings are highly suspect, especially given only 42 students were tested. It's an interesting idea, though.

dec 25, 2007, 2:19 pm

There's a bit of a chicken vs egg problem here.

I have no doubt that "liberal" and "conservative" people derive their different positions by starting from different assumptions. But do the different assumptions lead to different brains, or was it different brain types that latched on to the different assumptions?

I suspect that the level of actual knowledge about how brains work is not up to the task just yet of sorting all that out; so I say, lets stay at the level of assumptions and not bother about the underlying brain mechanisms unless we're specialists in psycho neuroanatomy or whatever the field will be called when its invented.