A new study by the University College of London has been getting a lot of blog coverage lately. The study of 93 people found that conservative brains have a larger amygdala than liberal brains. The amygdala is that part of the brain that deals with emotion. This portion of the brain centers on fear and other “primitive” emotions. The study also found that “conservatives’ brains were also found to have a smaller anterior cingulate — the part of the brain responsible for courage and optimism“.
It’s like I’ve always said, conservatives tend to act mostly out of fear and emotion and ignore facts. They are afraid of immigrants, blacks, gays, Hispanics, climate change, women, government, socialism, Nazis, space aliens… And they vote their fears rather than consider consequences. A 2007 study by New York University and UCLA found that “liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas” and they tend to be more supportive of scientific solutions. The study also found that conservatives “tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences“.
A recent University of Maryland study found that Republicans and Fox News viewers are much more likely to be misinformed on important issues than liberals. By 31 points, Fox viewers are more likely to believe that it is not clear that the president was born in the United States. In typical big-amydala fashion, the conservative response has been to attack those who conduct the studies rather than dispute the results. Fox News ran a response falsely criticizing the University of Maryland as being a major party school and having “students who study least“. Conservative pundit Andrew Breitbart attacked the study as having been minutely funded by a foundation that has ties to George Soros. To contest the brain study, one conservative site “discovered the study was commissioned by high-fallutin’ Hollyweird sensation Colin Firth for “light-hearted” reasons“. There is plenty fact to dispute in all these studies, but conservative talking points always seem to focus on an emotional response, in effect confirming the findings that conservative politics are driven by emotion and fear.