Monday, September 10, 2007

Liberal Brains & Conservative Brains

The Denver Post reports on a study on the brain and politics:
Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work.

I'm wondering what value judgment underlies the "better than" conclusion.

I do find the following kind of interesting:
Participants' politics ranged from "very liberal" to "very conservative." Scientists instructed them to tap a keyboard when an M appeared on a computer monitor and to refrain from tapping when they saw a W. M appeared four times as frequently as W.

Each participant was wired to an electroencephalograph that recorded activity in the part of the brain that detects conflicts between a habitual tendency (pressing a key) and a more appropriate response (not pressing the key). Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives when they saw a W.
Maybe the participants thought they would be voting for W if they pushed the W key, eh?

No comments: