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Neuroscience Reveals Brain Differences Between Republicans and Democrats

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posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 06:55 PM
I wasn't 100% sure where to put this thread. I started to go for one one Science forums but decided to stick it here. So, mods feel free to move as you deem fit. This thread is about a recent scientific study on political ideology.

Be ye of the left or right you have probably ran across someone (or several someones) on the opposite side of the fence who seems just as unshakable in their support of the other party as you are of your party. Ever wonder why they are that way? Ever wonder that maybe some people may be hard-wired to lean either Democrat or Republican?

That is what a new study is suggesting.
This Is Your Brain On Politics: Neuroscience Reveals Brain Differences Between Republicans and Democrats

With the U.S. presidential election just days away, new research from the University of South Carolina provides fresh evidence that choosing a candidate may depend more on our biological make-up than a careful analysis of issues.

That's because the brains of self-identified Democrats and Republicans are hard-wired differently and may be naturally inclined to hold varying, if not opposing, perceptions and values. The USC study, which analyzed MRI scans of 24 USC students, builds on existing research in the emerging field of political neuroscience.

"The differences are significant and real," said lead researcher Roger Newman-Norlund, an assistant professor of exercise science in the Arnold School of Public Health and the director of USC's new Brain Stimulation Laboratory.

Ok, but why? Why is are those darn [insert opposite political party of your own here] they way they are? Are they just dumb and evil?? No, but they do see thing differently when it comes to social connections..

The results found more neural activity in areas believed to be linked with broad social connectedness in Democrats (friends, the world at-large) and more activity in areas linked with tight social connectedness in the Republicans (family, country). In some ways the study confirms a stereotype about members of the two parties -- Democrats tend to be more global and Republicans more America-centric -- but it actually runs counter to other recent research indicating Democrats enjoyed a virtual biological lock on caring for others.

"The results were a little surprising," Newman-Norlund said. "This shows the picture is more complicated. One possible explanation for our results is that Democrats and Republicans process social connectedness in a fundamentally different way."

So maybe that is why it is soooooo hard to get someone else to see the validity of an opposing political view. For some people, they may be hardwired to lean Republican or Democrat.

More at...
USC neuro-science reveals brain differences between Republicans and Democrats

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 07:03 PM
Wow. A sample of 24... students? Twenty-four?!

THAT is a study to be paying attention to.


posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 07:24 PM
Wouldn't be surprised if the study also suggested one party affiliates were more adept at playing banjos while the other are more emotional

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 07:27 PM
Wow..... I don't know what to say. Science is reduced to this? This? ..junk science?

I hasten to explain, this is total JUNK for two scientific reasons. Fist...24 people, a study does not make. It makes a viability check to see if a study might be worth doing....but 2 dozen people is no study.

Worse though... Much worse than that... I see NO mention of a control group or blind aspects of any form, whatsoever.

What I do see, based on the MRI of just 24 a declaration that physical brain differences exist between a Conservative and Liberal?? Really? I'd ask if they were serious, but the article is very clear about the fact they are. It references other work in the field, but so vaguely as to basically encompass ANYTHING in that field one might find to pick in support. Convenient.

If I were a student or Alum of USC (South Carolina not California) I'd be demanding some answers. So now..we're hard coded to a political party?! Really??

Thanks OP, for bringing this. I mean that sincerely. I have an instructor who'd expressed some interest if I'd seen something like this come across, out of Academia. This fits everything being asked for. S/F

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