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Thread: Neurological basis for political and social beliefs? Further evidence

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    Default Neurological basis for political and social beliefs? Further evidence

    Couldn't find an existing thread on this. Also it's a bit of a gray area which forum this should go in. Anyways...

    So most of ye will remember the story from a year or two ago studying the physical structure of the brain, where conservatives were found to have an enlarged amygdala, while liberals tended to have an enlarged anterior cingulate cortex.

    Study: Liberals and conservatives have different brain structures

    Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults

    This actually at least partially explained a great many things, such as why conservative media and political speeches were heavily focused on emotional button-pressing (particularly fear); and also why conservative political rhetoric had...let us say a casual relationship with objective verifiable facts.

    Now this study - oddly of Vietnam veterans, though I suppose if you want a large group of physically and psychologically traumatised people to study it makes perfect sense. Anyways, it turns out that the vets who were religious fundamentalists showed clear damage to the prefrontal cortex. And that this is because they had reduced cognitive flexibility - a psychology term that describes a personality trait which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.

    Which also explains the very strong correlation between strong religious belief and politically conservative views, neh?

    Link between brain damage and religious fundamentalism established by scientists

    So all this leads to some very interesting questions.

    • What is the direction of cause and effect - do these differences in brain structure cause the views, or does having these views alter the brain structure over time?
    • Similarly - are there certain life experiences, traumas etc that can cause these differences in structure, or are they inbuilt genetically and we are born with them?
    • Does knowledge of what is going on inside our brains influence how we then react to stimuli i.e. are we capable of overcoming instinctive responses and overriding threm with reason (certainly some people are otherewise we wouldn't have skydivers and tarantula enthusiasts) - but again is this a skill anyone can learn or is it itself predicated on having a particular brain setup?
    • Should society treat religious conservatives as mentally-ill sufferers of a chronic condition, who just need appropriate medical care?
    • Does this mean that, eventually, there will be an actual cure for religious mania and conservative batsh1t WingNuttery?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SideysGhost View Post
    Couldn't find an existing thread on this. Also it's a bit of a gray area which forum this should go in. Anyways...

    So most of ye will remember the story from a year or two ago studying the physical structure of the brain, where conservatives were found to have an enlarged amygdala, while liberals tended to have an enlarged anterior cingulate cortex.

    Study: Liberals and conservatives have different brain structures

    Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults

    This actually at least partially explained a great many things, such as why conservative media and political speeches were heavily focused on emotional button-pressing (particularly fear); and also why conservative political rhetoric had...let us say a casual relationship with objective verifiable facts.

    Now this study - oddly of Vietnam veterans, though I suppose if you want a large group of physically and psychologically traumatised people to study it makes perfect sense. Anyways, it turns out that the vets who were religious fundamentalists showed clear damage to the prefrontal cortex. And that this is because they had reduced cognitive flexibility - a psychology term that describes a personality trait which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.

    Which also explains the very strong correlation between strong religious belief and politically conservative views, neh?

    Link between brain damage and religious fundamentalism established by scientists

    So all this leads to some very interesting questions.

    • What is the direction of cause and effect - do these differences in brain structure cause the views, or does having these views alter the brain structure over time?
    • Similarly - are there certain life experiences, traumas etc that can cause these differences in structure, or are they inbuilt genetically and we are born with them?
    • Does knowledge of what is going on inside our brains influence how we then react to stimuli i.e. are we capable of overcoming instinctive responses and overriding threm with reason (certainly some people are otherewise we wouldn't have skydivers and tarantula enthusiasts) - but again is this a skill anyone can learn or is it itself predicated on having a particular brain setup?
    • Should society treat religious conservatives as mentally-ill sufferers of a chronic condition, who just need appropriate medical care?
    • Does this mean that, eventually, there will be an actual cure for religious mania and conservative batsh1t WingNuttery?
    What are you on this morning? Liberals no longer recognize objective reality, to them life is as they would wish it to be, not how it is. A man can declare himself a woman and hey presto, as if by magic, he becomes a she. They say a foetus is not a human life and on their say so, it ceases to be a human life. The people didn’t really vote for Trump and Brexit, and democratic decisions are only democratic if they coincide with the liberal agenda.
    Back to the drawing board for you, Sidey!
    End biased moderation

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    OM and G.....yes, no, yes, no and yes. Yo Sidey, I sorta zoned out after first line but have scientists establshed any link between atheists and their brain? OP suggests it might be a ways off

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wagmore View Post
    OM and G.....yes, no, yes, no and yes. Yo Sidey, I sorta zoned out after first line but have scientists establshed any link between atheists and their brain? OP suggests it might be a ways off
    I thought at first that it was the preface to his autobiography.
    End biased moderation

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    Politics.ie Member silverharp's Avatar
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    conservatives seem to be more successful in life than their polar opposites in the regressive left though, be better looking, less mental illness, more likely to have a family. A bit of biological envy going on here from people who were genetically less fortunate or raised by weak or uninvolved parents?
    "So you think humans should run their societies like lobsters?"........ Cathy Newman C4 News

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