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Does brain structure determine your political views?

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posted on May, 24 2014 @ 10:44 AM
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Does brain structure determine your political views?

Politics is one of the most complex areas of human thought. So when I heard the claim that scanning people's brains could predict political choices, I was naturally sceptical.


Brain science is achieving extraordinary insights, but mapping what you can measure in a brain scanner on to human social interactions is a huge leap, like trying to find exact correlations between two bowls of soup - only one soup is made from vegetables, macaroni and stock, and the other soup is made up of abstract ideas like economics, equality and history.

But in the US and in Britain, psychologists and neuroscientists are doing serious research into linking political attitudes to what goes on inside our skulls.

"By looking at how the brain is processing political phenomena, we can understand a little better why we're doing what we're doing," says Darren Schreiber, of Exeter University.

Writer and performer Timandra Harkness investigates how our political views are linked to the way our brains function. Personality Politics will be Broadcast on BBC Radio 4

*Listen to the programme*


Here you go...

I did a quick search and didn't find anything under this title So, now it seems there are possibly deep rooted reasons for while some think left and others right. Now if true then to elaborate and postulate further one should be able to deduce why there never seems to be a meeting of the minds why the distrust/disagreements and in some cases disgust and mental blocks between the two.


"I laughed them out of the room," he says. But when John Hibbing and his team at the University of Nebraska showed him their data he changed his tune.


Some older related threads on the topic...

Brain structure differs in liberals, conservatives: study

Conservative or Liberal, gray matter may decide how you vote in November

Thoughts?

LOL

edit on 24-5-2014 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 24 2014 @ 10:53 AM
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I've read studies on this subject. The way that the signal flows through the brain does seem to have an impact on whether you are liberal or conservative. It seems that the conservative people actually analyze possible side effects better than liberals do.

I haven't read this particular study yet, I am going to check it out.



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 10:56 AM
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Almost certainly does

The Science of Human Individuality, Roger J. Williams

"Your brain differs more from the person next to you than your face."

There are only individuals saying we, there is no we.

edit on 24-5-2014 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-5-2014 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 10:59 AM
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Uhhmmm
I dont think so personally
I more of the view

"Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head," said the French revolutionary-era politician François Guizot. It's a quote that has been reworked many times over the years, and these days "socialist" or "liberal" is likely to take the place of "republican".

Those fond of the adage may welcome a new study, which confirms that as people hit middle age their youthful radicalism tends to shifts towards more conservative thinking.
www.theguardian.com...

So in other words age changes our motives and political views



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 11:01 AM
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It seems that the reason for the research is to allow politicians to deceitfully change how people perceive what they are saying to grow their supporting base. I can see this as a well funded program by both of the political parties. Good job opportunities for some who wish guaranteed employment for a while.

Of course, this will be taxpayer money that funds this research, not contributions..



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 11:03 AM
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I wouldn't doubt that our brain structure and brain activity correlates to our political beliefs, but what we must keep in mind is that our brain structure is formed as we grow based on our life experiences, the things we learn, the neural pathways we strengthen when we focus on certain ideas, etc. It's very much like the chicken and the egg problem, you cannot easily say we think the way we think because of our brain structure, since our brain structure is crafted by the way we think and our experiences in life. The brain is a very dynamic and elastic organ, you can remove parts which are responsible for processing sound and other parts of the brain will adapt to fill that role.



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Emanual Kant wrote in 1780 that our brain comes first. A person has a multitude nerves and the world projects a multitude of sensations. Without built in organization, there would be no way to process all of it.

Like the lines of a computer program, there has to be an organizing principle in control at the outset or chaos and dysfunction would result.

Each persons mental hardware (upgradeable) is unique, but is made by biology, not initially by experience.

Truth, for each person, is based in his biology.



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 11:39 AM
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a reply to: Semicollegiate

Of course the brain starts with everything it needs to function, and keep the body functioning, but it doesn't have any real knowledge. It's like an empty sponge waiting to soak up everything the world has to offer it. And it will expand and grow based on what it sucks up. We certainly don't start off with any idea of political concepts, they are something we learn as we grow up, and it's obvious just by looking at different nations and the different beliefs they hold, that where you grow up will heavily influence the beliefs you hold later in life.

Our brain is a learning machine, like a self learning algorithm, it can start off empty but if you provide it with training data it will learn to solve problems by its self, the programmer doesn't need to tell it how to solve those problems. That is exactly how technology such as voice recognition and facial recognition work. They are not problems we can simply program into a computer and expect it to work well, solving those problems is so complex that the only way we can solve them is to let the computer learn to solve it by its self.

The human brain is exactly the same. We don't start off knowing how to use a computer, or knowing how to cook a delicious meal, or knowing how to play an instrument, those are all things we must learn through training and practice. Our brain is the most sophisticated self learning machine on this planet. We have figured out how to send men to space, we have figured out how particles behave at the quantum scale, we can solve problems that we've never even seen before, even if we start with no knowledge of how to solve the problem.

Biology merely determines how well you will learn, what you choose to learn and what you choose to believe is not dictated by biology. I like to believe humans have free will because without it we are nothing and our scientific exploration is fundamentally pointless since we'd have no real choice in the experiments or the measurements we choose to make. So you can either believe the things you just said and believe that science is pointless, or believe that humans have free will and can act beyond the limits dictated by their biology.

PS - you may notice that even right now this discussion is helping to develop our perspective and opinions on this subject.
edit on 24/5/2014 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:01 PM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

It's like an empty sponge waiting to soak up everything the world has to offer it.


The world and our bodies are too complex for the brain to do that without some organizing principle.

The brain and body do have the ability to change their structure over time, but there is an original, default, structure made from biochemistry that is the starting point.


Biology merely determines how well you will learn


If biology determines how we learn, then it has precedence over learning. The brain structure exists before learning.


I like to believe humans have free will because without it we are nothing and our scientific exploration is fundamentally pointless since we'd have no real choice in the experiments or the measurements we choose to make. So you can either believe the things you just said and believe that science is pointless, or believe that humans have free will and can act beyond the limits dictated by their biology.


The unique structure of each persons brain means that free will is more likely, not less likely. Mostly it means that each person has to find his own path to deeper understanding, and cannot always explain himself to another. Nor can the perspective he needs always be taught to him.

We need as much freedom as we can get.


edit on 24-5-2014 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:02 PM
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I've no proof, but I'd not be shocked if medication had some factor in it too. It messes with your brains and bodies functions after all. It can make someone act irrational, among other things.

Food for thought.



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:09 PM
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Sure, liberals are led by their reptilian brain to follow the herd. Ultimately to join a collective of the majority of people they are exposed to. Once in the herd, they all think alike and absorb the common and collective thinking of others rather than have to think for themselves. Their brains don't have to process a lot of data, and expend time on research, study and contracted periods of deeper thought.

But of course, conservatives also do this.



Which herd to YOU follow?



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: BlackboxInquiry

Yes, I think medication would make a person more liberal if it causes relief and more conservative if it tends toward a nice mania.

Because the liberals are about the safety net, and currently, the conservatives are about killing bad guys.



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: Semicollegiate


The world and our bodies are too complex for the brain to do that without some organizing principle.

The brain and body do have the ability to change their structure over time, but there is an original, default, structure made from biochemistry that is the starting point.

Yes, that "default structure" is the learning machine. Just like all computers mostly have the same parts, yet they're all capable of very different things. If I build a self learning algorithm, for example an algorithm which is designed to convert speech into text, it will start out doing a very poor job, but it will get better over time as it is trained. Once I'm sure that I have a good working algorithm which is capable of learning by its self if given some training data, then I can share my code with other people and they can also run the program. It will be the same program with the same source code, but other people may choose to feed it different training data compared to what I fed it, and it will learn to solve the problem of converting speech into text in a different way compared to the way my software learned to solve the problem.
edit on 24/5/2014 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: SLAYER69

Yeah I believe that---
I used to be a liberal right up until a Mooj helped me earn a second purple heart.
Now I'm like all ultra conservative!

Never trust anyone who's a REMF!

Sorry, one to many hits to the head ya know...


edit on 24-5-2014 by HardCorps because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:31 PM
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I severely resent the results of this reseach being levied against the people.....



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Motivation has a lot to do with learning, and a computer is never motivated.

Computers also have no emotion. Maybe some people have emotions that most other people are incapable of.

Some thoughts might be beyond some people,

or maybe, all thoughts are in every one

but the definitions and constructions and subcategories are not common ones.

Maybe human thoughts are not fungible, but adaptable.


edit on 24-5-2014 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:47 PM
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originally posted by: HardCorps
a reply to: SLAYER69

Yeah I believe that---
I used to be a liberal right up until a Mooj helped me earn a second purple heart.
Now I'm like all ultra conservative!

Never trust anyone who's a REMF!

Sorry, one to many hits to the head ya know...



I had to look up REMF
Rear Echelon Mother 4444er

I think an intuitive definition of conservative is, "I learned the rules, I lived by them, don't change them."

All Human Action is making plans and acting on them. That is the only thing that humans do. When you grab a drink, you are planning that it will not move before your hand gets there. Keeping the rules the same makes planning easier.



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: Semicollegiate


Motivation has a lot to do with learning, and a computer is never motivated.

Well that is the main difference between the human mind and a less sophisticated self learning algorithm, the computer algorithm doesn't get to choose the problems it wants to solve, it has no free will to pursue the subjects which motivate and interest it. I find interest in philosophical subjects like this, I'm motivated to think about abstract concepts like this for no apparent reason. Even though there is essentially no advantage to me having this knowledge, there is no biological advantage or reason why I would choose to focus on things which have no obvious impact on my welfare, the human mind still inexplicably finds motivation in the most illogical of places.
edit on 24/5/2014 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: Semicollegiate

I think of my own life experiences in the same terms one would use to train a puppy.
One learns rather quickly who offers kindness, food, threats or just a pat on the head.

then one learns to ignore those who'll do nothing for you.

And you learn how to respond to those who'll kick ya while your down.

Wanting to be kind of others like they teach us in church came naturally to me...ie liberal .

the school of hard knocks taught me liberals are those who still believe in Santa and tooth fairy.

So do I brain structure determine your political views?
yeah I do... but the brain changes as we get older... and take a few to many hits to the head




edit on 24-5-2014 by HardCorps because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 24 2014 @ 01:13 PM
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Certain aspects of the brain are certainly hardwired, there is a biological necessity for survival, but one shouldn't mistake complexity for predeterminism. The brain adapts to it's environment, that is the only certainty. To imply cognition and reason are formed as a biological mechanism and not learned/conditioned behaviour is a bit dangerous. It wouldn't be much of a leap to see this research twisted to define political ideologies as a psychological condition/disease. It's already been used in this thread to detail how one group is better than the other because of their ideologies; fodder for fanaticism and dangerous without a broader perspective.

The mind is a reaction to an individual's environment, so of course two people with differing ideologies will have entirely different thought processes, they've lived in entirely different environments. Our bodies are our mind's environment, the external world is the body's environment. We are not hard wired to ideologies. The only hard wired function with consequence to politics is our capacity for understanding (and perhaps empathy/compassion, two concepts very close to our body's environment as well as our mind's) and that's about the only thing with consequence to politics. Our body's environment takes care of the rest.

Just my two cents, I forever reserve the right to change my mind at anytime. The brain is far too complex (in nature and diversity) and mysterious for anyone to draw broad conclusive judgements on. Brain science is mostly theory, it's a group of smart egos studying a biological function so complex and ever changing that at best they can understand it's base biological functions, and only slightly understand the ramifications of artificially influencing those functions. To purport truth from a mostly faith science with a cloak of "research suggests" is suspect.



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