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At the recent conference in Chicago of the Association of Politics and Life Sciences, a panel on "Biobehaviorial Approaches to Politics" addressed the important question: What is wrong with people who disagree with the mainstream of American academic social scientists?
According to Professor Altemeyer, right-wing authoritarians are cognitively rigid, aggressive, and intolerant. They are characterized by steadfast conformity to group norms, submission to higher status individuals, and aggression toward out-groups and unconventional group members. On the RWA Scale, subjects are asked to agree or disagree with statements like: "Some of the worst people in our country nowadays are those who do not respect our flag, our leaders and the normal way things are supposed to be done" and "There is absolutely nothing wrong with nudist camps." Guess which one RWAs tend to agree with?
Meyer-Emerick notes that high RWAs perceive the world as a significantly more dangerous place than those who score low. High RWAs are more submissive to government authority and indifferent to human rights. They also tend to be more hostile and more highly punitive toward criminals, and more racially and ethnically prejudiced—and religious!—to boot. In the United States, guess what? Republicans cluster at the high end of the RWA Scale whereas Democrats range across the scale.
In this diary, I argue that conservative thinking is not merely a frustrating difference of opinion, or just a normally "different view," it is a mental disorder. A real dysfunction, even a psychosis, and it is the most serious threat facing humanity. Obviously, I'm going a bit beyond "Rush Limbaugh is a jerk," here. And I'm actually serious. Come on in, and see if I don't convince you...
Republican pols have recently exhibited 10 telltale signs of mental illness
Signs of psychopathology can also be seen among their political bedfellows, conservative politicians, especially when you consider a wide range of illness indicators.
Pope Francis appears to recognize (link is external) that “it is a serious illness, this of ideological [conservative] Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”
“The Republican Party is not a political party – it’s a mental condition. And I mean that seriously because if you are for crushing the poor, unprovoked wars, there is no climate change, immigrants. It’s like ‘who are we’?”
~Actor and comedian Richard Belzer
More at links.
Antisocial Behavior – See Republicans’ hatred of women, gays and minorities.
Avoidance – Here’s a personal favorite: Michele Bachmann fleeing a CNN reporter after being caught in a web of lies.
Confusion – Check out this list of...
A team of political scientists and neuroscientists has shown that liberals and conservatives use different parts of the brain when they make risky decisions, and these regions can be used to predict which political party a person prefers. The new study suggests that while genetics or parental influence may play a significant role, being a Republican or Democrat changes how the brain functions.
Democrats showed significantly greater activity in the left insula, a region associated with social and self-awareness. Meanwhile Republicans showed significantly greater activity in the right amygdala, a region involved in the body's fight-or-flight system. These results suggest that liberals and conservatives engage different cognitive processes when they think about risk.
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we're left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most.
originally posted by: ketsuko
Ask the professors in academia what their political inclinations are and you might begin to see why they might think so.