LETTERS: You are born with a party preference

It seems you are born with either conservative or liberal/socialist brains and there is nothing anyone can do to change this.

This is more or less an explanation of why some people will vote the way they do in any election — local or federal — and why nobody can do anything to change their minds.

A study in Sweden was done in 2012 on a group of random individuals who were asked a series of questions as well as their response to pictures which they were shown. After that, an MRI brain scan was done on them.

The results were very inclusive and reported to a number of scientific journals.

“In the 16 peer-reviewed scientific studies … researchers found that liberals and conservatives have different brain structures, different physiological responses to stimuli and activate different neural mechanisms when confronted with similar situations. For example, conservatives spend more time looking at unpleasant images, and liberals spend more time looking at pleasant images.”

The example shown was that of an atomic bomb explosion (conservatives) and a pleasant scene of a South Seas vacation (liberals).

“… political conservatism is promoted when people rely on low-effort thinking … low-effort thought might promote political conservatism because its concepts are easier to process, and processing fluency increases attitude endorsement.”

“… individuals with marked involuntary physiological responses to disgusting images … such as of a man eating a large mouthful of writhing worms, are more likely to self-identify as conservative and, especially, to oppose gay marriage, than are individuals with more muted physiological responses to the same images.”

The MRI scans actually showed a difference in the brains of liberals, who have a bigger anterior cingulate cortex and a greater tolerance to uncertainty, while the conservatives have a bigger right amygdala and have more sensitivity to fear.

One last item (among many others) pertaining perhaps to religious beliefs as well as political orientation is this: conservatives have stronger motivations than liberals to preserve purity and cleanliness.

“… reminders of physical purity influence specific moral judgments regarding behaviours in the sexual domain as well as broad political attitudes …”

Ah, what the heck, let me add one more which should give you a good clue as to which realm you belong:

“Liberals follow the direction of eye movements better than conservatives.”

Uh, that’s eye avoidance, shifty eyes? Check out your friends on this one. To conclude: It seems you are born with either conservative or liberal/socialist brains and there is nothing anyone can do to change this.

Frank Martens