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Liberal & Conservative Brain Differences?

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 of decades of previous research suggesting that political orientation is linked to certain personality traits or styles of thinking. A review of that research published in 2003 found that conservatives tend to be more rigid and closed-minded, less tolerant of ambiguity and less open to new experiences.

It appears that conservatives have not responded well to this work, and some have taken offense. I personally think this kind of work is a fascinating way to try and understand political orientation, but I wonder how much effect this really has.

Furthermore, it would be even more interesting to find out how this brain region could be influences by environmental factors. Like could learning flexibility as a child create more of this ability structurally as an adult? No matter what, this certainly won’t be the last study on politics and psychobiology.

Liberal & Conservative Brain Differences?

Will Meek, PhD

Will Meek PhD is a psychologist in Vancouver, Washington, and writes weekly at his blog: Vancouver Counseling.


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APA Reference
Meek, W. (2007). Liberal & Conservative Brain Differences?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/liberal-conservative-brain-differences/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 20 Dec 2007
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Dec 2007
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.