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Hard-wired: The brain's circuitry for political belief

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posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:00 PM
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This is a research finding from December 2016, but in light of the recent uptick in political polarization here on ATS, I think this is relevant to post here. I recommend everyone read this article, and then internalize what it means.
Hard-wired: The brain's circuitry for political belief


"Political beliefs are like religious beliefs in the respect that both are part of who you are and important for the social circle to which you belong," said lead author Jonas Kaplan, an assistant research professor of psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "To consider an alternative view, you would have to consider an alternative version of yourself."



The study found that people who were most resistant to changing their beliefs had more activity in the amygdalae (a pair of almond-shaped areas near the center of the brain) and the insular cortex, compared with people who were more willing to change their minds.

"The activity in these areas, which are important for emotion and decision-making, may relate to how we feel when we encounter evidence against our beliefs," said Kaplan, a co-director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center at USC.

"The amygdala in particular is known to be especially involved in perceiving threat and anxiety," Kaplan added. "The insular cortex processes feelings from the body, and it is important for detecting the emotional salience of stimuli. That is consistent with the idea that when we feel threatened, anxious or emotional, then we are less likely to change our minds."


Now that you've read it, think about your reactions to contrary political opinions when reading or posting to ATS on a political thread.

Ask yourself:
Q: Am I responding out of emotion or logic?

Q: Did I listen to the contrary message, really listen and compare against my understanding of the topic?

Q: Is my response merely an attempt to protect my "herd" from contrary ideas?

Q: What are the relevant logical counterpoints I can make regarding the topic to convey my thoughts and understandings?

Q: Do I really understand the topic to the depth required to intelligently respond?


I think we all can benefit from understanding that it is easy to allow the emotional responses to go forth from our keyboards, and much harder to suppress the emotion we may be feeling and converse intelligently.

It is difficult, by we all must try. After all, we too, all ATS members of our own herd. We should be protecting our own, shouldn't we?





posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:16 PM
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That explains quite a bit actually - the amount of vitriol, the resistance to rational debate and even resorting to violence at times. Given the left's political and social agendas are driven by the MSM, Hollywood and much of academia, it's success in penetrating the young people has been fear based. Not wanting to be out of step with popular culture, your peers or your professors, many have caved to the pressure of Political correctness.

Here's a great example - SJW youtuber subjected to intense BRAINWASHING online wakes up
www.abovetopsecret.com...

A very young woman with her own channel explains how she began to self-censor in order to "not offend" anyone (fear). She then began to fall in line with their beliefs as they repeated ad nauseum. Logic and her sense of self began to kick in and she started questioning what she had come to believe.

Few want to be considered "outsiders" and when PC affects those around you will also begin to absorb those same ideas. Colleges are ideal breeding grounds because it is such a closed society within itself.

Those who don't give in to the fear of being outcast remain unaffected and are able to find both positive and negative sides to any argument whereas the left allows for no deviation from their cannon of beliefs. Young people are especially vulnerable as they are at a point in their lives where are questioning their parents and society's values. Most are sympathetic and compassionate toward others which is the very hook used to lure them in to the doctrine of political correctness.
edit on 2-7-2017 by Asktheanimals because: added content



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:18 PM
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govern from the latin gubenaire to direct,rule,guide or govern
ment from the latin word 'ment meaning mind.



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:19 PM
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It is difficult, by we all must try. After all, we too, all ATS members of our own herd. We should be protecting our own, shouldn't we?


Absolutely! Most everyone here (not including the "fly bys") are on this site because we are all people who question everything, think outside the box, and are curious about things most people just shrug off. We truly a herd, or clique, or family in a way.

Thanks for the research. The name calling and disparaging remarks don't help a discussion. Any attack like that will just make people more inclined to dig in their heels. There are better ways to change another person's viewpoint, imo.



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:25 PM
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originally posted by: Asktheanimals
That explains quite a bit actually - the amount of vitriol and the resistance to rational debate. Given the left's political and social agendas are both driven by the MSM, Hollywood and much of academia, it's success in penetrating the young people has been fear based. Not wanting to be out of step with popular culture, your peers or your professors, many have caved to the pressure of Political correctness.

Here's a great example - SJW youtuber subjected to intense BRAINWASHING online wakes up
www.abovetopsecret.com...

A very young woman with her own channel explains how she began to self-censor in order to "not offend" anyone (fear). She then began to fall in line with their beliefs as they repeated ad nauseum. Logic and her sense of self began to kick in and she started questioning what she had come to believe.

Few want to be considered "outsiders" and when PC affects those around you will also begin to absorb those same ideas. Colleges are ideal breeding grounds because it is such a closed society within itself.

Those who don't give in to the fear of being outcast remain unaffected and are able to find both positive and negative sides to any argument whereas the left allows for no deviation from their cannon of beliefs.


Ever wonder why Berkley College was considered the bastion of freedom of speech in the 60's and NOW they are the antithesis of what made them famous?

I'll tell ya, they were introducing Cultural Marxism and even way back then they knew how to use the Constitution to their advantage. Today? Not so much.....



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:27 PM
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Now reading this article, about the findings at even "dumb AI" can help a "group" has me thinking that the use of AI in the political arena (be it online posts, poll creating, marketing, etc...) might be used to help manipulate the population to "move the herd" in the direction they wish.
Building a better 'bot': Artificial intelligence helps human groups


"We mixed people and machines into one system, interacting on a level playing field," Shirado explained. "We wanted to ask, 'Can you program the bots in simple ways?' and does that help human performance?"

The answer to both questions is yes, the researchers said. Not only did the inclusion of bots aid the overall performance of human players, it proved particularly beneficial when tasks became more difficult, the study found. The bots accelerated the median time for groups to solve problems by 55.6%.

Furthermore, the researchers said, the experiment showed a cascade effect of improved performance by humans in the study. People whose performance improved when working with the bots subsequently influenced other human players to raise their game.

The findings are likely to have implications for a variety of situations in which people interact with AI technology, according to Christakis and Shirado.


Interesting to think that we all might be influenced and manipulated by AI programs, which are assisting in the polarization of the political spectrum.




edit on 7/2/2017 by Krakatoa because: spelling



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:38 PM
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a reply to: seeker1963

I'm quite in agreement with you, Cultural Marxism has penetrated academia to the point where you don't dare question your professors - quite the change from 30-40 years ago when I was in school. Back then if you did dare to challenge faculty you better have a damn good argument with facts to back it up.

Political correctness falls under other labels like Critical Race Theory, Fabian Socialism etc etc and people tend to think somehow they are different when in practice they're just labels to confuse and obfuscate their true origins and intent which go back to the Frankfurt School which sought to harness socialism to the benefit of the economic elites.
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:44 PM
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It comes down to being able to perceive right from wrong.
Basic truths as opposed to manufactured beliefs.
Opinions are not facts.
Beliefs belong to you.
Your opinion is nothing more than your limited mindset.

Right or Wrong.

You should know it when you see it.



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:45 PM
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This is true because can you imagine anyone
forming any argument that would change your
long held beliefs ?

Could a thread politically move
someone from Conservative
to Liberal, and vice versa ?

I don't think so.
Yes there are exceptions but they are
extremely rare.
Beliefs are tough..



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:47 PM
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originally posted by: Asktheanimals
a reply to: seeker1963

I'm quite in agreement with you, Cultural Marxism has penetrated academia to the point where you don't dare question your professors - quite the change from 30-40 years ago when I was in school. Back then if you did dare to challenge faculty you better have a damn good argument with facts to back it up.

Political correctness falls under other labels like Critical Race Theory, Fabian Socialism etc etc and people tend to think somehow they are different when in practice they're just labels to confuse and obfuscate their true origins and intent which go back to the Frankfurt School which sought to harness socialism to the benefit of the economic elites.
en.wikipedia.org...


Interesting. Considering most of the AI research is being done within that academic mindset. Perhaps the AI being generated has been intentionally programmed with a socialistic perspective, which could explain the increased expansion of these beliefs in the last 10 years?

Very interesting indeed.



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:54 PM
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a reply to: Krakatoa

What is globalism but socialism with economic elites?
Everything to be controlled by the state which in turn is run by the very wealthy for their benefit.
It's not a conspiracy theory, just a conspiracy.



posted on Jul, 2 2017 @ 11:59 PM
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It's probably bollocks.

Political inclinations are a completely voluntary set of beliefs.

I tend to think this report is related to the so called hyper polarisation amongst civilians, which is a specific and contextually relevant phenomenon.

The truth is that politics is a very nebulous entity which changes with the times.



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 12:01 AM
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originally posted by: Asktheanimals
a reply to: Krakatoa

What is globalism but socialism with economic elites?
Everything to be controlled by the state which in turn is run by the very wealthy for their benefit.
It's not a conspiracy theory, just a conspiracy.


Socialism is the first step to globalism.
The people of the United States of America keep f'n it up for the socialists, and globalists.



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 12:01 AM
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It also feels like a justification for stubborn closed-mindedness.



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 12:09 AM
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originally posted by: Mousygretchen
It also feels like a justification for stubborn closed-mindedness.


What do you think is closed-mindedness?
I hear people call people "closed minded" when they do not agree with what the person is saying.

If you do not agree with me are you "close-minded"?

If I do not agree with you am I "close-minded"?
edit on 2017-07-03T00:09:40-05:002201703America/Chicago7 by c2oden because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 01:40 AM
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It is actually a misleading headline.
"Hardwired for political belief" does not reflect the studies findings.


The key findings were - political belief is an important element of personal identity for many.
and



"The study found that people who were most resistant to changing their beliefs had more activity in the amygdalae (a pair of almond-shaped areas near the center of the brain) and the insular cortex, compared with people who were more willing to change their minds.


So what this really means is totally predictable- that people who felt more frightened and threatened responded more strongly to having their core beliefs challenged. That's not surprising- if you feel that way you will opt for the politicians who offer you the greatest safety.

It does not mean that the beliefs are hard wired.
Thats just a sexy headline- designed to catch the eye, even if that is at the expense of the truth.

edit on 3-7-2017 by Barliman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 01:46 AM
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I love that perspective. It reminds me of my freshman year of college. I was living in the dorms, and a friend that was extreme left (he started an SDS chapter on campus) asked if I was Republican or Democrat. I responded that I believed political parties should reflect the will of the people, and not the other way around. I said it's something that starts at a local level and grows if relevant. He seemed dumbfounded by my response. I'm sure I seemed dumbfounded by his reaction.

My point? ...uh... God bless us, every one!



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 01:50 AM
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originally posted by: UnderKingsPeak
This is true because can you imagine anyone
forming any argument that would change your
long held beliefs ?

Could a thread politically move
someone from Conservative
to Liberal, and vice versa ?

I don't think so.
Yes there are exceptions but they are
extremely rare.
Beliefs are tough..


Maybe not a thread- it would take a more comprehensive discussion over some time to change a deeply held political conviction-- because to change it you would need to drill down to the underlying beliefs and then test to see how those beliefs matched with the political choices.

What is worse with politics now it is largely a matter of "the least worst choice". The only political leader that I can summon any enthusiasm for is Putin. Now hes capitalist and conservative Christian, and that goes to some extent against some of my core beliefs.



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 02:08 AM
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originally posted by: Asktheanimals
That explains quite a bit actually - the amount of vitriol, the resistance to rational debate and even resorting to violence at times. Given the left's political and social agendas are driven by the MSM, Hollywood and much of academia, it's success in penetrating the young people has been fear based. Not wanting to be out of step with popular culture, your peers or your professors, many have caved to the pressure of Political correctness.

Here's a great example - SJW youtuber subjected to intense BRAINWASHING online wakes up
www.abovetopsecret.com...

A very young woman with her own channel explains how she began to self-censor in order to "not offend" anyone (fear). She then began to fall in line with their beliefs as they repeated ad nauseum. Logic and her sense of self began to kick in and she started questioning what she had come to believe.

Few want to be considered "outsiders" and when PC affects those around you will also begin to absorb those same ideas. Colleges are ideal breeding grounds because it is such a closed society within itself.

Those who don't give in to the fear of being outcast remain unaffected and are able to find both positive and negative sides to any argument whereas the left allows for no deviation from their cannon of beliefs. Young people are especially vulnerable as they are at a point in their lives where are questioning their parents and society's values. Most are sympathetic and compassionate toward others which is the very hook used to lure them in to the doctrine of political correctness.


If this is scientific fact, and you're aligning it to support your post, then understand, fellow human... That this goes both ways... "All" ways....
You're adherent to its process AS WELL.

Lets keep that in mind at all times...
edit on 7/3/2017 by prevenge because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 02:11 AM
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We already have that study and it explains the Evangelical Christians.



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