Some provocative research covered by the Chicago Tribune has proposed that the brains of liberals and conservatives work differently.

David Amodio, the primary investigator, found that the anterior cingulate cortex for liberals performs differently, allowing them to think more flexibly.

The work grew out …

34 Comments to
Liberal & Conservative Brain Differences?

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  1. I think that it is the use of pejorative terms that would offend a conservative. You could say that conservatives are more steadfast, less impacted by outside influences, demanding of clarity, and more cherishing of past experiences. I question the entire study when it insists on derogatory conclusions.

  2. I’m a liberal but I have to agree with Chip. It’s better to avoid putting value judgments on biological functions. A trait that’s adaptive in one setting could be maladaptive in another. That’s why variability in phenotype helps preserve the species.

    Also – we need to steer clear of simplistic biological determinism in interpreting data like these. The differences in the anterior cingulate gyrus could just as well reflect the result of different patterns of thought (different neural modeling) as the cause of them.

    In other words, one could conclude that conservative brains look a bit different from liberal brains because their owners think differently – rather than that they think differently because their brains are different.

  3. Random thought from someone with no scientific background or knowledge of the physical brain make-up…

    I agree completely with the above 2 posters. If we can keep these kinds of studies from sounding even REMOTELY biased, we can probably make major changes in our government and laws – for the better. More research is needed, without resistance to it so it can be done openly and results can be shared the way they ought to be. Conservatives will violently resist any findings in studies that they see view them as derogatory. Think about it for a minute, folks. It is very well known that if you’re smart enough you can impose your opinion onto someone else. We’ve insisted, as a society, to broadcast this knowledge. We’ve also insisted on sharing it. Light references such as stating someone is closed minded or rigid would not be a good thing. They’re very much so considered “bad” characteristics in general terms such as the above. I trust science, scientists and their studies – I trust that it’s not biased and will yield true results versus the results we want. I have a hard time with trusting in this study though because it very much so sounds like someone wants to set me up for a “Divide and Conquer” situation. What I’d also fear is that the sheep that are human beings will interpret it as divide and conquer and begin to do so. Part of me wonders how we’ve regressed so far as a society. We really seem to think that’s the way life ought to be lived – and I thought we stopped playing that game once humans populated the world over. We are not meant to be separate but equal and cannot reinforce that opinion. *Hopping off the soapbox*

  4. I read this study and could only smile. It’s so screwed up that it’s worth a laugh. A great rundown of what is wrong with this study can be found in a Slate.com article titled, “Rigging a study to make conservatives look stupid.”

    I also like that this study seems to ignore the fact that there are moderates, Independents and Libertarians out there, and our thinking is quite different from both the groups who align themselves to one political/moral extreme. I consider myself Libertarian–so, socially liberal, fiscally conservative–and I’m not sure how solid this study would turn out on people like me. I suppose we’d be “halfway” inflexible.

  5. Thou dost protest too much, methinks…

    This study is simply putting an explanatory model on a phenomenon we already see in our politics. Yes, yes, it’s more complicated than that … blah blah blah. Has anybody been paying attention to the hyperpartisan Republican shenanigans over the past 20 years? Ever since Newt Gingrich and Frank Luntz disseminated a list of words to use when talking about Republicans vs. Democrats, the right has thrived on gossip, innuendo, manipulation, deceit and partisanship.

    You can wring your hands and fret about whether the words being used in the study are “derogatory”. The right-wing attitude of putting party before country is what is derogatory… to our civil rights and our American principles. Anything that helps us figure out what the hell is going on inside the head of a Republicanite will potentially help us defuse these extremists.

  6. Once again, science proves what we all knew to be true anyway. I have a plan to fix this problem-

    http://hostilethoughts.blogspot.com/2007/10/brave-new-waterworld.html

    • Thanks. That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.

  7. I have worked with & for “Republicans” and people who think like they do. I have found out one thing as being a consistent behavior pattern. If you display attitudes of tolerance and empathy, especially towards anyone not as fortunate and/or powerful as yourself…they begin a pattern of derogatory actions and comments towards you. Not to your face fo course, and NOT to the people who work with or for you, but to anyone who can influence your carreer and lively-hood. ALWAYS

  8. I agree with Clavis: “…the right has thrived on gossip, innuendo, manipulation, deceit and partisanship,” especially on manipulation and deceit–this is observably quantifiable for anyone who is thinking the liberal-left does the same. The left is far more free to rely on facts and data and deal with them honestly, because the two ideologies have produced very different (measurable) results, especially over the last few decades.

    I see no reason why these characteristics wouldn’t be reflected in brain activity; in fact the surprise would be if it weren’t.

  9. Andrew Schamess wrote: “In other words, one could conclude that conservative brains look a bit different from liberal brains because their owners think differently – rather than that they think differently because their brains are different.”

    That seems to put an even worse spin on it, saying people shouldn’t think conservatively because it has a negative impact on brain function.

  10. I’m almost shocked to find that nobody has put this study together with earlier studies that confirms this one.

    In 1969, Berkeley professors Jack and Jeanne Block embarked on a study of childhood personality, asking nursery school teachers to rate children’s temperaments. They weren’t even thinking about political orientation.

    Twenty years later, they decided to compare the subjects’ childhood personalities with their political preferences as adults. They found arresting patterns. As kids, liberals had developed close relationships with peers and were rated by their teachers as self-reliant, energetic, impulsive, and resilient. People who were conservative at age 23 had been described by their teachers as easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and vulnerable at age 3. The reason for the difference, the Blocks hypothesized, was that insecure kids most needed the reassurance of tradition and authority, and they found it in conservative politics.

    The most comprehensive review of personality and political orientation to date is a 2003 meta-analysis of 88 prior studies involving 22,000 participants. The researchers—John Jost of NYU, Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland, and Jack Glaser and Frank Sulloway of Berkeley—found that conservatives have a greater desire to reach a decision quickly and stick to it, and are higher on conscientiousness, which includes neatness, orderliness, duty, and rule-following. Liberals are higher on openness, which includes intellectual curiosity, excitement-seeking, novelty, creativity for its own sake, and a craving for stimulation like travel, color, art, music, and literature.

    The study’s authors also concluded that conservatives have less tolerance for ambiguity, a trait they say is exemplified when George Bush says things like, “Look, my job isn’t to try to nuance. My job is to tell people what I think,” and “I’m the decider.” Those who think the world is highly dangerous and those with the greatest fear of death are the most likely to be conservative.

    Liberals, on the other hand, are “more likely to see gray areas and reconcile seemingly conflicting information,” says Jost. As a result, liberals like John Kerry, who see many sides to every issue, are portrayed as flip-floppers. “Whatever the cause, Bush and Kerry exemplify the cognitive styles we see in the research,” says Jack Glaser, one of the study’s authors, “Bush in appearing more rigid in his thinking and intolerant of uncertainty and ambiguity, and Kerry in appearing more open to ambiguity and to considering alternative positions.”

    The point I am making here should be obvious. Conservatives think the way they do because they have deep seated personality defects and certain areas of their brains simply do not function. I’m not surprised to learn that they whine about these findings. Nor am I surprised to find they can’t learn from the results.

  11. “Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism” by David M. Amodio at NYU demonstrates that people who self identify as liberal are better at noticing differences. Perhaps this is the foundation of the Democratic obsession with race politics and class warfare.

  12. It might also be worth noting that liberal minded people are far more likely to go into the mental health professions. Liberals tend to gravitate to fiends in which they can “make a difference” where as Conservatives gravitate to business with a focus on profit. In my experience I can tell you that every psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor and social worker I have had political discussions with identify as liberal, moderate or uninterested in politics. I have yet to meet any who self identifies as conservative. We must seriously consider bias in our own ranks. Being a rare Libertarian in the mental health field, I am frequently appalled by politically / socially bias assumptions mental health practitioners carry over into their work. Women are seldom held to the same standards as men in cases of sexual abuse of children or domestic violence. Practically every boy who’s mother complains about his behavior to a mental health professional will be diagnosed as ADHD, IED or ODD and medicated. Unproven 12 step programs which promote the disease / victim model are widely promoted. A problem with mental health being so deeply populated by folks who lean left wanting to “make a difference” that their desire to do good compounded by a professional bubble lacking dissenting opinions leads to a climate skewed by pervasive yet not necessarily accurate assumptions.

  13. So scientists from California and New York conduct studies and later write an article that flatters liberals and dismisses conservatives as inflexible numbskulls. Why am I not surprised by these ‘scientific’ findings?

    If these findings are true, then the Democratic Party should have no problem digging itself out of the Michican-Florida voter disenfrancizing fiasco. They will surely use their flexible brains to figure out how not to splinter the Democratic Party over a superdelegate/popular vote fight.

    My stunted inflexible brain can’t wait to see what these geniuses do.

  14. @ Bushs 3 recessions failure or treckle down economics and 18 th economics when Nixon gave up a bastion of 18th economics and gave up the gold standard to finace the Veit Nam war finally the industral rev had the capital advance conservation a total failure 2 Bushes 3 recessions 18 th century economics

  15. Gerald L Ellingsworth demonstrates his cognitive flexibility by grossly deviating off discussion topic. Classical rules of grammar and punctuation are also abandoned in favor of more dynamic hybrid language technology. Clearly leftists like Gerald L Ellingsworth are shining examples of intellectual superiority. It’ was all so brilliant, I have no idea what all he said.

  16. A comment on the study noted by Marq Goldberg:

    quote:
    “Twenty years later, they decided to compare the subjects’ childhood personalities with their political preferences as adults. They found arresting patterns. As kids, liberals had developed close relationships with peers and were rated by their teachers as self-reliant, energetic, impulsive, and resilient. People who were conservative at age 23 had been described by their teachers as easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and vulnerable at age 3. The reason for the difference, the Blocks hypothesized, was that insecure kids most needed the reassurance of tradition and authority, and they found it in conservative politics.”

    Wouldnt “self-reliant” be a more apt description of conservatives? Its conservatives that tend to champion smaller government, less government intervention in personal affairs, and laizzez-faire economic practices.

    Also, the conservative children were described as “indecisive”? yet elsewhere in this thread, conservatives are described as inflexible and steadfast in thier viewpoints. Liberals are characterized as being the more flexible and seeing more grey area. That just doesnt add up.

    I’m Libertarian/Conservative and i see a lot of myself in the descriptions given to both groups of children.

    re Marqs comment:

    “The point I am making here should be obvious. Conservatives think the way they do because they have deep seated personality defects and certain areas of their brains simply do not function. I’m not surprised to learn that they whine about these findings. Nor am I surprised to find they can’t learn from the results.”

    In my life experience it is Liberals who tend to show the same “personality defect” namely arrogance. they tend to think that anybody who doesnt believe as they do is somehow stupid, and by stupid i mean has much lower intelligence. Conservatives are often portrayed unrealistically as uneducated countrified rednecks or trailer trash. i have a liberal friend who honestly believes that President Bush is functionally illiterate. He has insisted so many times. I tried to point out that Bush is a Yale grad and that Yale isnt in the habit of passing idiots through that school but he just wouldnt let facts get in the way of his opinion. I would not describe him as “flexible” in his thought.

    also:

    “Liberals are higher on openness, which includes intellectual curiosity, excitement-seeking, novelty, creativity for its own sake, and a craving for stimulation like travel, color, art, music, and literature.”

    i love all that stuff.

    response to gerald:

    “@ Bushs 3 recessions failure or treckle down economics and 18 th economics when Nixon gave up a bastion of 18th economics and gave up the gold standard to finace the Veit Nam war finally the industral rev had the capital advance conservation a total failure 2 Bushes 3 recessions 18 th century economics ”

    i cant understand most of what you wrote, but there has only been 1 period of economic recession during the Bush administration. This occurred early in 2001 a few months after he took office and months before most of the economic bills he signed went into law. Recessions are a normal part of overall economic growth and historically happen about once every 5-10 years in this country.

    ————————————–

    I think the first 2 posters got it right. Many shades of conservative/liberal and several other outliers.

  17. The most important thing to recognize about
    this debate is that there are actual
    categorical differences between the two. A
    Conservative individual is not going to be
    comfortable in a mostly Liberal dominated
    world. Neither is a Liberal going to be
    comfortable in an all Conservative world.

    I believe the pain for each would not just be
    “uncomfortable” – it would be profound.

    Now stand back and look at the political
    platforms of each group and ask yourself this
    question; “Which group makes the most
    allowances for the others existence and
    self expression” in the way it views society?

    Which world view has as it’s core value the
    idea that EVERYONE should thrive?

    I’m not going to tell you. I have found that
    where sensibilities are concerned, arguments
    seldom surfice. You can’t argue color
    coordination with somebody born color blind.

    So if you get it – than you know who you are
    and if you don’t? – you’re probably going to
    join a political party with people who don’t
    make you feel like you have missing pieces.

    Thank You

  18. I see this simply as evidence that liberals can think outside the box, and are needed to show conservatives that there even IS a box.

  19. Sure the brains are different.But all the adjectives were added by a liberal ?
    Liberals emotionally believe the following and conservative do not:
    The poor can be eliminated with help.
    Submission will eliminate aggression.
    Non aggression will eliminate aggression.
    Igualizing all races will eliminate hate and racial strife
    OK to lie because “the ends justify the means”
    Rich people are bad
    Fairness in life is attainable
    There are many more but this is all I can think of right now.

  20. Forgot to mention these liberal errors in judgment are caused by a lack of knowledge about human nature.
    Conservatism is designed to take advantage of human nature to produse a happier way to live for most.
    Forgot to mention these liberal errors in judgment are caused by a lack of knowledge about human nature.
    Conservatism is designed to take advantage of human nature to produce a happier way to live for most.
    Liberals are so frustrated ,unhappy and angry because what they believe don’t seam to ever work.

  21. Conservatives say:

    i cant understand most of what you wrote, but there has only been 1 period of economic recession during the Bush administration.
    ———————————————–
    Moderates say:

    Now stand back and look at the political
    platforms of each group and ask yourself this
    question; “Which group makes the most
    allowances for the others existence and
    self expression” in the way it views society?
    —————————————-
    And liberals say:

    Don’t start a $3 TRILLION war before you’ve taken the time to find out if there’s a valid reason for it. Don’t have economic policies that allow 2% to control 90% of the wealth.
    ————————————-

    So there you have it. Conservatives are completely out of touch with reality and have ZERO capacity for independent thought. They literally have to be told what to think because their brains simply do not function.

    And moderates cannot tell which of any two conflicting thoughts is superior to the other no matter how much evidence they are presented with. Do you honestly STILL think the torture issue has two sides? Or the Iraq war?

    Liberals aren’t arrogant. We’re just the only ones who can examine a question by taking in all the pertinent information, evaluating it, and coming to conclusions that hold up to the light of day. But more importantly our decisions hold up to HISTORY.

    Conservatives could not have run this country so far into the ground without a LOT of help from moderates. Pre-Bush the biggest problems facing this country were A) Our President was having an affair with a consenting adult of the opposite gender and B) What to do with all the surplus we were generating.

    I would advise the moderates and conservatives to start taking in information from both sides of the isle, not just one side, and thinking their way through the issues with simple common sense. But if they could do that they would be liberals.

  22. Marq, please pay close attention to what Ernest Collins is saying.

  23. Read The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer. Truly a light bulb moment in understanding the Authoritarian psyche backed by decades of experimental data.
    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

  24. What’s the funniest thing about this article? This page basically confirms the hypothesis. With conservatives in flexible and oppose to new ideas. It’s as if you people wanted the article to be right if you wanted to it be wrong you should have agreed. Oh!I’m sorry manipulation must be a higher brain function huh? didn’t mean to trip you up there.

  25. I FIND THE CONSERVATIVES I KNOW TO BE VERY CLOSE MINDED IN THE SENSE THAT ONCE THEY MAKE A DECISION THEY WONT ALLOW ANY WAVERING FROM THAT DECISION—UNFORTUNETLY THEIR THOUGHT PROCESS MIMICS THAT OF RELIGOUS FANATICS—-OR IS IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
    OLD QUOTE…NOT ALL CONSERVATIVES ARE STUPID PEOPLE–BUT ALL STUPID PEOPLE ARE CONSERVATIVES
    COULDNT BE A BETTER TIME FOR THIS QUOTE TO RE-APPEAR

  26. Funny study and debate. I was an intense liberal and I turned conservative many years ago after having a long discussion with my new step father (an extremely kind, giving, well educated and crazy smart man). In his youth he also changed from liberal to conservative in his 20′s after a few light bulb moment. After our heated debate, he grabbed a notebook and pen and we wrote down my arguments vs his. He then gave me one week to prove my claims and he did the same. He destroyed me. It changed my life and changed the way I look at the world. I am surrounded by liberals in my personal and professional life and I am confident when I say that they do not see the world properly. They see their world not “the” world. I do not intend this to be as demeaning as it sounds, just my observations. I sometimes wonder if more conservatives turn liberal or liberals turn conservative. I bet it’s the latter. Peace.

  27. What anon said to Marq Goldberg was … well.. PURE GOLD!!

    Signed,

    another (intelligent, sensitive, and not at all arrogant) conservative.

    P.S. Nice post, Entropy. (I KNOW it’s the latter.)

  28. I know alot of libs who have turned conservative but not the other way around It seams that we have a study already into conclusion here, and that is the liberal view is kind of like puberty. We all go through it and go through the necessary changes to bring us into adulthood but some people hang onto pubescent behavior(liberal) and at some point after someone shows the liberal where they went astray the light goes on and they graduate to conservatism…problem is some never do get it and thus carry on as libs. I am forever gratefull to my friend who turned the light on for me years ago. As for you libs out here the first thing u have to learn if you want the light to ever turn on is that you have to quit trying so hard to change others and instead start looking into the mirror because your biggest hurdle will be staring you in the face!

  29. On reading the report and the comments it stimulated, the following thoughts occurred to me. First, that the language describing the two poles of human attitude in question was far too simplistic. Secondly, that the language of the conclusions was astonishingly bigoted; suggesting that democracy is all wrong and that only one half of society (the liberal left) should be allowed to vote and rule while all conservatives should be sent off to Russian style mental institutions.
    Third, that I should read up on the brain areas in question, to find fuller descriptions of the parts involved, the amygdala (conservative) and the cingulate gyrus (liberal).
    Leaving aside the fact that the operation of the brain in a balanced person utilises many parts in conjunction, it does seem that the amygdala, rather than inducing irrational fear and suspicion, helps us understand the uses of ‘fear’ in helping us control emotional response and dangerous situations, as opposed to the cingulate gyrus which may be seen as inducing irresponsible abandon – impulse over caution. In this light it is possibly a conservative leader who would be least likely to push the button to release the missiles.
    But, as I say, nature has built us for survival, which means developing the propensity to compromise between the extremes.

  30. It would seem to me that the actual language denotes the mental position of each. I don’t agree with the denigration of the language of the study but I do think that the word conservative denotes “resistance to change, unwillingness to look beyond the limits of the box, reluctance to seek out new ways, and wariness to others who are not like them”. On the other hand the word liberal to me means openness to new ideas, willingness to change, ability to think out of the box and more understanding of those who are not like them. Just think of it historically. I believe that the founding fathers were “liberals” while the Torys were “conservative” (didn’t want change, not comfortable with a new nation, didn’t want to gamble their position with the Crown). I believe the liberals wanted to eliminate slavery while the conservatives (Southern Plantation owners) wanted the status quo. I believe that liberals wanted to give equal rights to blacks and women and today gays while conservatives wanted the status quo. I believe that liberals wanted some safety net for the elderly (hence Social Security and Medicare), conservatives opposed it and still do. I believe that liberals could see the wrongness of the Viet Nam war and that it was not winnable, while conservatives felt that our liberty would be in jeopardy if we left. The same can easily be said of the wars we are fighting today

  31. Fascinating topic! I’ve been building my own theory on this for years, and assumed it was being studied and discussed out there in the world.

    I think perhaps the most interesting point is (and I haven’t heard either side disagree,) is that there are psychological bases for the political choices we make, many of which are quite fundamental in our nature and temperament. What this means, therefore, is that we are not choosing from these political perspectives based solely on their merit; we are identifying with those that follow the rules of our own temperament. Although this does make it complicated to attempt an analysis of either wing objectively on its merits (Joe says, “sushi is good!” and Mary says, “not to me!” …so is sushi good?) it does force us to recognize through what “lens” someone is evaluating an argument and where they’re coming from.

    Now that all the niceties are out of the way…
    This is absolutely NOT to say that objective, valuative measures are NOT appropriate; I would fundamentally disagree with that. Even for those arguments that stem from a personality trait, some traits are, well, not as good as others. And clearly we can’t launch into a theorietical discussion of morality, but I will say that a proper starting point of arguing what might be “good” or “bad” is this: does it evolve us?

    I am a staunch liberal, and I have understood for years that a typical conservative perspective about cutting, say, some social program helping the poor, is fundamentally abrasive to me because my personality is such that my social perspective taking skills (empathy- putting yourself in another’s shoes) are very honed. My conservative friends’ are not; which is why they are the only ones who utter phrases like, “why should HE get to xxx,” “I tried hard, if he wanted to, he could too,” and “why should I have to foot the bill for xxx?”

    As to the “rightness” of social perspective taking skills, for example, all we have to do is ask, “would nurturing that skill evolve us?” I would say yes. And we could make a list and discuss each one in turn, if you like.

    Now, as a conservative, you may be offended that it is being suggested that your group lacks social perspective taking skills, but that doesn’t make it untrue. And they may very well be attributable to temperament the way that introversion and extroversion are, for instance. But regardless of their biological nature, I would still suggest it is “better” to have them, and “worse” to not. Policy discussions that are won by them, and the resulting policies for our civilization, are better. You make not like the terminology, but it still means the same thing. “Mental flexibility” still means “the ability to hold two conflicting throughts in the mind at the same time,” and it is still a fundamental element of higher intelligence. Whatever you call it, accusing someone of lacking it is likely to sound like an insult. Unfortunately, it’s also a measurable observation. If you don’t want to think that way, change. Or acknowlege that you should change and are trying to change. But if you believe so strongly in the merits of your conservative argument, it would not be considered an insult if someone told you you lacked these traits- they are the building blocks of conservative thought.

    • Darwinlady… Your wordy argument was meant to convey intelligence and mental dexterity better equipped to handle different situations and whatnot. Liberalism is frustrating because it’s ignorance is so blatant and easy to see but liberals are blind to it. You have the basis of conservatism all wrong as do most liberals. It is a basic belief that everyone can succeed and be successful, including the poor. Proper research about the correlation of politics and the poor is shocking. I believe most, if not all that you believe about helping the less fortunate. I have a great desire to do good as you do, the problem is that conservatives are better at seeing 1 or 2 steps ahead of liberals. The what ifs and then whats. “What if” liberalism went unchecked and “then what”? Everybody would be worse off in the long run. Dismount from that high horse you are on, you are not as mentally flexible as you might think.

      • Entripy
        Liberals are blind because they can’t see ahead unlike conservatives? Or more intellectually honest because outcomes are really not meant to be so tightly wrought? It is the process that matters, the end never justifies the means.
        Particularly in these times of media manipulation where image obsessed trivia displaces thoughtful enquiry.
        It is the conservatives who are afraid of progress, who cannot adapt, who are afraid of their ignorance.
        Simples!

  32. “You have the basis of conservatism all wrong as do most liberals. It is a basic belief that everyone can succeed and be successful, including the poor.”

    This is absolutely and demonstrably false. You may consider yourself a conservative, but you do not understand conservatism at all, as few of today’s American conservatives do. The following is a much more accurate description of the basis of conservatism, in America or anywhere else. It is from an essay by Philip E. Agre, an associate professor of information studies at UCLA. I have abbreviated for the purposes of this post, but the point remains the same:

    “In nearly every urbanized society throughout human history, there have been people who have tried to constitute themselves as an aristocracy. These people and their allies are the conservatives. The most central feature of conservatism is deference: a psychologically internalized attitude on the part of the common people that the aristocracy are better people than they are. The true goal of conservatism is to establish an aristocracy, which is a social and psychological condition of inequality. More generally, it is crucial to conservatism that the people must literally love the order that dominates them. People who believe that the aristocracy rightfully dominates society because of its intrinsic superiority are conservatives; democrats, by contrast, believe that they are of equal social worth. Conservatism is the antithesis of democracy. This has been true for thousands of years.”

    Name any progressive social, political or economic movement of any time, anywhere, that sought to expand the rights, freedoms, powers, or opportunities of the common people and I will show you how it was bitterly, and usually violently, opposed by the conservatives of its day. Abolition, women’s suffrage, labor rights, civil rights, reproductive rights, you name it. Conservatives are forever ready to stand in the way of empowering ordinary and unfortunate people or even giving them an equal playing field in which to empower themselves. Backing up this claim with facts is entirely effortless. Conservatism exists to establish and maintain the dominance of one group over all others, plain and simple. The key feature of conservatism is the psychological aspect – the willingness of large numbers of common people to embrace being on the losing end of inequality. Call it deference, submissiveness, or servility, it eventually amounts to the same thing. A great deal has been written about the psychology of conservatism and the odd ways it manifests itself in our public behavior. I recommend you take time to enlighten yourself.

    What you apparently identify with as conservatism is actually what until recently was known as classic liberalism, a label which applies to the political philosophy of democracy, equality and basic human rights – foremost among them the freedom to build a happy life for oneself and one’s family – that arose in response to the excesses of aristocracy in England and Europe, and that the United States was founded upon. It’s a philosophy whose buzzwords and catchphrases have been hijacked by the modern conservative movement in America to advance the interests of the wealthiest and most powerful elite, the 21st century American corporate aristocracy that funds the movement. Nothing has changed of course, but it might help if you at least recognize who’s side you’re speaking for.

  33. At the top of page , it states liberals can think more flexible. Proof of this, is the fact that the majority of entertainers,(like actors and musicians), are liberal because of their flexible imagination ,
    and able to think outside the box. Many conservatives are too controlled by fear to think outside the box.

  34. There is a problem with the terms used here Politically Fiscal conservatives may not necessarily be conservative by the research criteria. Most small business owners are considered politically conservative. If your a small business owner I assure you that your a risk taker. Their also very capable of being decisive.

  35. Conservatives (so-called) are physically more inclined to be drum- & wife-beaters. It’s a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless; so,of course, they object to this being pointed out as being brain-driven. Many things are.
    You inherited your brain, you use it. Wear the appropriate color of brain-badge. Get used to it (if you haven’t already) self-professed Conservatives; at least nobody’s calling you Fascists in this study!

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