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Author Topic:   Study shows conservatism = fear in the brain
Taz
Member (Idle past 3400 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 1 of 36 (598293)
12-30-2010 2:27 AM


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/...ry-e6frg8y6-1225977752796
quote:
POLITICAL views may be hard-wired into people, according to a study that suggests those with right-wing views have a larger area of the brain associated with fear.
Scientists have found that people with conservative views have brains with larger amygdalas, almond-shaped areas in the centre of the brain often associated with anxiety and emotions, London's Daily Telegraph reports.
They also have smaller anterior cingulate, an area at the front of the brain associated with courage and looking on the bright side of life, than those from the opposite end of the political spectrum.
.......
The study was commissioned as a light-hearted experiment by actor Colin Firth while guest editing BBC Radio's Today program, the Press Association reported.
But it has now developed into a serious effort to discover whether we are programmed with a particular political view.
Edited by Taz, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by xongsmith, posted 12-30-2010 2:53 AM Taz has replied
 Message 5 by nwr, posted 12-30-2010 8:08 AM Taz has replied
 Message 9 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-30-2010 12:46 PM Taz has replied
 Message 17 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-30-2010 3:13 PM Taz has replied

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2603
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 2 of 36 (598294)
12-30-2010 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
12-30-2010 2:27 AM


the article says:
The research was carried out by scientists at University College London, who scanned the brains of two members of parliament and 90 students.
That's hardly a good sample to draw any conclusion from.
then it later continues:
Talking about the experiment, Firth said: I took this on as a fairly frivolous exercise: I just decided to find out what was biologically wrong with people who don't agree with me and see what scientists had to say about it and they actually came up with something.
WHOA! Confirmation bias, anyone? What was "wrong" with people who didn't agree with him?
Edited by xongsmith, : knee jerk reading a little further

- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 2:27 AM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 3:08 AM xongsmith has not replied
 Message 4 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-30-2010 4:53 AM xongsmith has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3400 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 3 of 36 (598296)
12-30-2010 3:08 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by xongsmith
12-30-2010 2:53 AM


That's why it said the experiment started out as light-hearted. They weren't really serious about the experiment at first. The trend came as a surprise. I suspect that that quote about confirmation bias was said light-hearted as well.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 393 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 4 of 36 (598301)
12-30-2010 4:53 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by xongsmith
12-30-2010 2:53 AM


WHOA! Confirmation bias, anyone?
What do you think "confirmation bias" means?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by xongsmith, posted 12-30-2010 2:53 AM xongsmith has replied

Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 5 of 36 (598303)
12-30-2010 8:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
12-30-2010 2:27 AM


Thanks. Interesting reading.
I'm skeptical of the "hard wired" part.
Well, actually, I'm skeptical of the whole thing. But it does make for an interesting read.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 2:27 AM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 11:39 AM nwr has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3400 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 6 of 36 (598334)
12-30-2010 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by nwr
12-30-2010 8:08 AM


I'm glad you took it as such. The whole thing was started out as a joke. The reason it made the news because they actually found a correlation from their small sample size in a joking experiment.
It's like me coming up with a hypothesis that Ray Martinez is a 2 headed beast instead of some hispanic person somewhere. Wouldn't it be funny if we found out he's actually a 2 headed beast?
That's what happened here. The experiment started out as a joke. Someone somewhere along the line said "hey, there must be something wrong with these people for disagreeing with us liberals hardy har har..." But then after brainscanning people they literally found a pattern and correlation in the structure of the brain.
Personally, I'm all for turning this experiment into something more serious and obtainning more samples.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by nwr, posted 12-30-2010 8:08 AM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by nwr, posted 12-30-2010 12:23 PM Taz has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 7 of 36 (598339)
12-30-2010 12:23 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Taz
12-30-2010 11:39 AM


Taz writes:
Personally, I'm all for turning this experiment into something more serious and obtainning more samples.
Yes, I would favor that.
"Conservatism" names a rather broad and complex spectrum of views. It will probably turn out to be impossible to find a basis for all of them.
There is one fairly common, but not universal thread. And that is the tendency of conservatives to follow authority. But you might also find that tendency in the extremes of left wing politics. The people who prefer to think for themselves tend to be somewhere in the middle.
It would not surprise me to see indications in brain structure that are correlated to "thinking for one's self" vs. "following authority." But the hard question will be whether that brain structuring had an innate cause, or is the result of the brain's adaptive development to support the kind of behavior that the person follows.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 11:39 AM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 12:37 PM nwr has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3400 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 8 of 36 (598341)
12-30-2010 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by nwr
12-30-2010 12:23 PM


nwr writes:
The people who prefer to think for themselves tend to be somewhere in the middle.
Not necessarily. A long time ago my philosophy professor warned me about the fallacy of the middle man. People tend to think that the middle ground (or compromise) is somehow always right. This is, of course, absurd.
In fact, I have become convinced that the middle ground is rarely ever right in most cases. But that's a whole different story.
That said, notice that the article said "right-wing conservative" not just conservative. In other words, they were referring to very conservative people.
Added by edit.
Here is an example of the middle ground being BS. This has nothing to do with politics. One of my life-long friends got into a relationship with a pregnant woman a few months ago. Now, anyone who's ever taken care of a baby would know that all it does is eat, poop, and cry in the middle of the night.
Truth be told, the baby came popping out this time last month. I just got word from his "wife in name only" that during an episode of the baby crying at night he gave her an ultimatum of either him or the baby because he couldn't handle waking up in the middle of the night anymore.
K (we'll call her K for now) is a sweet girl and I almost pound the hell out of S (we'll call him S for now) for hurting K like that. S is convinced that he's right, that since K was staying at his place he makes the rules. I'm on the other side of the spectrum because I think he's an asshole.
Then along came Polly (another friend of ours). Polly wanted to compromise. She said that it's ok because "everyone is different". I call that the bullshit of the middle ground. When you commit to someone, especially a pregnant sweet girl like K you don't turn into an asshole because the baby is doing what he's suppose to do. "Everyone is different" is just an excuse of the middle ground.
Off the top of my head, I can't think of many examples where the middle ground isn't BS. Sure, sometimes it's the best deal we can get, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's right.
And sorry for the long story. Just giving an example that doesn't involve the nazi holocaust or gay marriage
Edited by Taz, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by nwr, posted 12-30-2010 12:23 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by nwr, posted 12-30-2010 1:07 PM Taz has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 36 (598344)
12-30-2010 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
12-30-2010 2:27 AM


So what?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 2:27 AM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 12:53 PM New Cat's Eye has replied
 Message 16 by Rahvin, posted 12-30-2010 3:11 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3400 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 10 of 36 (598345)
12-30-2010 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by New Cat's Eye
12-30-2010 12:46 PM


Hey CS, which one are you in the avatar? Top or bottom?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-30-2010 12:46 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-30-2010 1:03 PM Taz has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 36 (598350)
12-30-2010 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Taz
12-30-2010 12:53 PM


What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 12:53 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 1:29 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6438
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 12 of 36 (598351)
12-30-2010 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Taz
12-30-2010 12:37 PM


Taz writes:
A long time ago my philosophy professor warned me about the fallacy of the middle man. People tend to think that the middle ground (or compromise) is somehow always right. This is, of course, absurd.
You have taken "somewhere in the middle" to be a position of compromise. That's not at all what I intended. Rather, I was talking about being pragmatic, as contrasted with being highly ideological.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 12:37 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 1:26 PM nwr has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3400 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 13 of 36 (598354)
12-30-2010 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by nwr
12-30-2010 1:07 PM


If what you're talking about is pragmatism, then you're talking about a liberal ideal. That's not a moderate position. That's a liberal position.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by nwr, posted 12-30-2010 1:07 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by nwr, posted 12-30-2010 6:00 PM Taz has not replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3400 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 14 of 36 (598355)
12-30-2010 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by New Cat's Eye
12-30-2010 1:03 PM


Because they haven't figured out how to run motorcycles on Tibetan prayers yet.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-30-2010 1:03 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-30-2010 2:19 PM Taz has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 36 (598362)
12-30-2010 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Taz
12-30-2010 1:29 PM



This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Taz, posted 12-30-2010 1:29 PM Taz has not replied

  
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