Science supports the prevailing stereotypes:
Using data from MRI scans, researchers… found that self-described liberals have a larger anterior cingulate cortex–a gray matter of the brain associated with understanding complexity. Meanwhile, self-described conservatives are more likely to have a larger amygdala, an almond-shaped area that is associated with fear and anxiety.
That paragraph is pretty explicit, and you can see why the media loves it.
1. The subjects who self described as 1-5 “very liberal” to “very conservative”, were students from University College London. Consider: no subject picked “very conservative.” Also consider: Tony Blair would describe himself as a liberal.
2. The study also found high predictive value in the reverse: so looking only at an MRI, the researcher could tell liberal from conservative with 72% accuracy. So let’s accept that the findings correlating anatomy to political persuasion, or some factor it represents, are real.
3. But all you know is what the brain looks like now. You simply don’t know if the brain anatomy caused the subjects to think in a certain way; or thinking in a certain way changed the brain structure.
4. To the extent that we believe anatomy implies a fixed trait, or at least a long lasting one, then this study more readily supports the notion that people who easily identify themselves as X or Y are closed minded tools who can’t be swayed by logic or information. Call CNN.
Also: conservatives have been demonstrated to be cowards.
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