Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ambiguity Song

It goes like this:
Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work.

In a simple experiment being reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.

Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions.
The study design and fuller results are in the article, but it looks solid. It explains why fear benefits Republicans; while people might be more open-minded generally, the fear of a terrorist climbing in the window changes the calculus. Interesting and alarming.


Anonymous said...

I read the article;to me the theory seems flawed.
But my partner sez it makes perfect sense to him; "I always knew there was something mentally wrong with republicans."

cwilcox said...

I saw that too! I particularly liked how the reporter who wrote about it said these results were attributed to study of "knee jerk" reactions to expected or unexepected stimuli. Now we know why Conservatives like to say "knee jerk Liberals" so much. Just like they call us hateful and Godless and corrupt and unaccountable. By attacking us with their weakness they attempt to transfer their shortcomings on their opponents.