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Conservatives and Genetic Fear

Every wonder why conservatives seem to expect the worst of people (Muslims, the poor), while liberals tend to dwell more on the goodness and dignity of all? Or why conservatives are more receptive to threats of terrorism? There may be a scientific explanation!

A new study done at the University College of London shows that people with conservative views have larger amygdalas, the so-called “reptile brain” associated with fear, anxiety, and emotions, and also have a smaller anterior cingulate, the area associated with courage and “looking on the bright side of life”.

Not yet known is which way the effect goes — do conservative thoughts result in a larger amygdalas, or do people have conservative thoughts because they have a larger amygdalas. As usual, further research is warranted!

What’s really funny is that the study was done almost as a joke. The neurologist who conducted the study was asked if there were differences between liberal and conservative brains for a television show in the UK.

Another study, performed by researchers at Harvard and UC San Diego, found that the DRD4 gene predisposes people to being liberal, but only if they had active social lives as adolescents. The same gene has also been linked to people who like to try new things.

Conservatives naturally rejected the study, since they don’t believe in science. Says one, this is just “another fraud up there with … Global Warming”.

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7 Comments

  1. Mad Hatter wrote:

    The next logical step is to now work on a cure for conservativism. Things are looking brighter everyday!!

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  2. Patricia Andrews wrote:

    Love this post, but should be Muslims, not Moslems :) Must be my inner reptile coming out!

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  3. Lorne Marr wrote:

    Across the political spectrum you could find many politicians who give the impression of having no brain at all regardless of their political orientation.

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  4. Don wrote:

    @ Lorne Marr ‘>D Yahoo!!

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  5. Jason Ray wrote:

    @ Lorne Marr – Our political system is a hierarchical pyramid, and as you get closer to the top there is less oxygen and so it’s harder to find intelligent life there.

    And we can’t really blame them, they are politicians. And we all know here the word politics comes from: Poly , meaning many, and Ticks meaning blood-sucking parasites.

    Happy New Year!

    Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 1:17 am | Permalink
  6. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Well said Lorne Marr, LOL @ Jason Ray

    Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  7. Captain Save a ho wrote:

    Just means conservatives are more like males.
    http://www.bionity.com/en/encyclopedia/Amygdala.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/business/media/25adco.html

    Also see here
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/12/social-networking-amygdala/
    :D

    Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

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