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originally posted by: Boadicea
Excellent OP -- thank you for sharing the link!
Your point is well taken and it seems to go hand-in-hand with another tactic I learned of while researching NLP, in which one conditions others to identify with their "leader" to the extent that any attack on the "leader" is a personal attack on themselves... and Bush played that to the hilt. "If you're not with us, you're against us." If I dared criticize Bush taking military action in Afghanistan or Iraq, then I wasn't just criticizing one decision of Bush... I was criticizing -- hating! -- Bush personally, as well as anyone and everyone that agreed with Bush, and therefore I must hate "real" Americans. It couldn't possibly be that I thought there were better options for the USA to take... nope, I was just an American hater.
I'm sure you can explain what I'm trying to say much better than I just did, but I hope I explained it well enough that it made sense!
During the run-up to the 2004 presidential election, while undergoing an fMRI bran scan, 30 men--half self-described as "strong" Republicans and half as "strong" Democrats--were tasked with assessing statements by both George W. Bush and John Kerry in which the candidates clearly contradicted themselves. Not surprisingly, in their assessments Republican subjects were as critical of Kerry as Democratic subjects were of Bush, yet both let their own candidate off the hook.
The neuroimaging results, however, revealed that the part of the brain most associated with reasoning--the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex--was quiescent. Most active were the orbital frontal cortex, which is involved in the processing of emotions; the anterior cingulate, which is associated with conflict resolution; the posterior cingulate, which is concerned with making judgments about moral accountability; and--once subjects had arrived at a conclusion that made them emotionally comfortable--the ventral striatum, which is related to reward and pleasure.