Skip to comments.Red Brain, Blue Brain: Republicans and Democrats Process Risk Differently, Research Finds
Posted on 02/13/2013 5:27:09 PM PST by neverdem
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.
Dr. Darren Schreiber, a researcher in neuropolitics at the University of Exeter, has been working in collaboration with colleagues at the University of California, San Diego on research that explores the differences in the way the brain functions in American liberals and conservatives. The findings are published Feb. 13 in the journal PLOS ONE.
In a prior experiment, participants had their brain activity measured as they played a simple gambling game. Dr. Schreiber and his UC San Diego collaborators were able to look up the political party registration of the participants in public records. Using this new analysis of 82 people who performed the gambling task, the academics showed that Republicans and Democrats do not differ in the risks they take. However, there were striking differences in the participants' brain activity during the risk-taking task.
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.
In fact, brain activity in these two regions alone can be used to predict whether a person is a Democrat or Republican with 82.9% accuracy. By comparison, the longstanding traditional model in political science, which uses the party affiliation of a person's mother and father to predict the child's affiliation, is only...
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
This is what I like about ScienceDaily. About 9 out of 10 times, they link the original citation, IMHO.
Hopefully this can lead to a cure for liberalism!
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I am surprised that they they did not conclude that democrats use “higher” reasoning areas of the brain.
It seems in these studies there is always some slant that attempts to make demonrats look smarter
The red brain says I will take this risk and be responsible for it.
The blue brain picks its nose and eats it.
My experience in life directly contradicts theses findings.
Most liberals I know are illogical and base their decisions largely on emotion — supposedly an attribute of the right side of the brain.
Liberals use the area of the brain used for emotions and feelings .... Conservatives use the part of the brain used in logic,, analysis and objectivity. Yup ... it actually makes sense.
I read the study, and this is the money quote that confirms my observations, liberals are fundamentally insecure.
The insula and amygdala often function together in processing situations of risk and uncertainty . The amygdala plays a critical role in orienting of attention to external cues  and fear conditioning ; however, this structure is also important for other emotional information processing and behavior . Functional neuroimaging studies have shown amygdala activation in reward related processing , encoding of emotionally salient information , risk-taking , processing positively-valenced stimuli , and appetitive/aversive olfactory learning . In comparison, neuroimaging studies of insular cortex have observed critical involvement of this neural structure in pain , interoceptive , emotion-related , cognitive , and social processing . In particular, the insular cortex is important for representation of internal bodily cues crucial for subjective feeling states and interoceptive awareness , . That differences in the processing of risk and uncertainty differentiate liberals and conservatives suggests an alternative way of conceptualizing ideology.
There are two types of liberals, the masters and the slaves. While your statement is true of the rank and file parasite liberal, make no mistake that the leftist elites are extremely calculating. They have to be in order to control there lesseres in the political machine. Think about this, if you wanted to become rich and powerful but didn’t have the drive or ability to produce something that would make you wealthy, what more logical, brilliant, and evil way could you get it than becoming a bigwig in the rat party.
Yeah, the rank and file are quite stupid, but the leaders of their kind are very devious — just think Clinton, Obama, and their Sith overlord George Soros.
“Socialize the risk; privatize the reward.” — every liberal ever.
“To those who take the risk should go the reward.” — conservatives.
That's exactly what I thought when I saw the headline. How are they going to spin this in favor of libs?
Actually, I think that is exactly what the study says; Liberal risk taking is based on “social and self-awareness;” Conservative risk taking is based on “fight or flight.”
I think a somewhat logical interpretation is to say that Democrat risk taking is based on emotion (”How will it make me feel?”) and Republicans are based on cost/benefit analysis (”What is at stake?”).
That's exactly what I thought when I saw the headline. How are they going to spin this in favor of libs?
When Red brains process risk, they are processing risck to their own money. When Blue brains process risk, they are calculating risk on other people’s money.
Speaking as a woman working in the field of math/science... of which most of my peers are men....
They might have something there
Signed a staunch unwavering conservative tea partier
did I mention i love my God my bible and my gun.
uh huh, yeah, that’s the ticket, the liberals are “socially aware” and the conservatives “fight or flight” like a neanderthal beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee essssssssssssssss
This is exactly why they are low information voters and always will be. The only way to get the dems to vote conservative is to use the EMO card. Talking to them logically will not compute.
Also, the liberals are expert social psychologists using EMO to get the sheep to do as they want. Hence, using every catastrophe to play on the emotions of the sheep. Lying is great because the sheep are using emotions and not brains and will not remember what was said by only how they felt about what was said.
I’ve found that liberals take risks with an assumption that mommy and daddy (government) will save them from any mistake.
Assuming most conservatives are like me - I worry about any risk in terms of if there’s an outcome where I end up homeless.
My Dad actually told me that a looooooong time ago. Most people respond emotionally and that most arguments should be couched that way. Logical, fact based argument only work with relatively small parts of the population.
I have never been able to implement it, though, so I work with computers and other geeks.
I think the study IS trying to make liberals look superior. Its subtle, but its there. Consider:
“Social and Self-awareness” — These are generally things a civilized person is concerned with.
“Fight or Flight” — Sounds like the reaction of a thug or savage. In short, someone who constantly perceives they are in danger.
HA HA HA
I'd prefer to revert to the old color scheme. The collectivists should be be red. The BS media made the switch in 2000 and thought nobody would notice.
Conservatives, on the other hand, realistically assess risk vs. reward. We remain aware of the danger of bankruptcy and the real pain it will cause to ourselves and everyone around us, and so we act to avoid it, even if the choice is difficult because of our natural human compassion. I don't see conservatives coming out of this study looking bad at all if an interpretation like this is told. Sadly, I don't see this view getting much airtime with the drive-by media.
I've had 3 dogs, but no cats.
Toxoplasmosis is caused by the extremely common Toxoplasma gondii parasite. Between 30 and 50 per cent of the global population is thought to be infected,...
Maybe that explains our rats. You can check blood donors.
realistically assess risk vs. reward
As usual, we are painted in the most negative light.
It could be like the news reports of 4 thugs beating up an old man - and the race of the thugs isn't mentioned. When that happens we know the thugs are black or hispanic... Since dems are not played up as being superior we can assume... (fill in the blank)________________.
#1, Demwits invent risks, and blame those risks on others
#2, Demwits want everyone (else) to bear the burdens and risks of the completely unnecessary measures carried out purportedly to alleviate the imaginary risks
and #3, Demwits do this in pursuit of unfettered power. This is why, ultimately, all Demwits will have to be thrown in prison, or, well, whatever.
It’s true - Democrats use the part of the brain located in their butts.
This is why you can’t use logic, reason and facts with liberals.
They don’t process those things.
Instead, they process feelings. Republicans make them feel bad because Republicans tell the truth and it can be harsh sometimes. Like owning guns. Liberals don’t want to be confronted with the harsh reality that something bad might happen to them in a situation where they will have a need for a gun to defend themselves and their loved ones.
OTOH, if some smooth-talking BS artist comes on TV and tells them a bunch of fairy tales that makes them feel warm and fuzzy, they will swoon with joy no matter how preposterous the fairy tales are.
Reagan succeeded in reaching many on the left because he made them feel good about America, but at the same time he logically spelled out his conservative agenda and policies which appealed to conservatives resulting in two landslide wins.
Look at the irrational hatred they had for Sarah Palin - how do you explain it?
You can’t. The hatred of Palin was never about her accomplishments or policies, it was personal.
It was illogical. The spewing of hatred was the left revealing an ugly emotion.
Ask them why they hate Palin and they will either recite a litany of falsehoods, or they will say “I just do. Something about her just burns me up!”
Ask a conservative why he disagrees with Obama. You won’t hear them recite a litany of falsehoods. Instead, they will tell you why his policies are bad for this country.
At this point, facts and logic will overload the liberal brain and they will blame Obama’s predecessor, call you a racist and other hateful things since they can’t defend the indefensible, but Obama is like a drug to them and like a drug addict, they will be in denial.
In order for a Republican to win the WH, he or she will have to appeal to both logic and emotion in order to get enough of Dems to feel good about voting for them because a Dem will punch a ballot based on who makes them feel warm and fuzzy.
Either that, or Dems are just flat-out stupid.
Another way to look at it is sociopaths and enablers.
It's a little more complicated than that. I'd break down the left's hierarchy as follows:
1. The leadership -- Their objective is power, they recognize the ideology is absurd -- but it is a useful means to their end.
2. The true believers -- they really believe in socialism and are intellectually incapable of realizing their error. They make for good lieutenants to the leadership.
3. The useful idiots -- the blind followers, the foot soldiers of socialism. They don't believe in the ideology necessarily, but they believe in its slogans and sound bites. Also referred to as "the low information voter".
4. The slaves -- to whom the ideology means nothing, but the goodies achieved thru accession and dependency mean everything.
1. The leadership — Their objective is power, they recognize the ideology is absurd — but it is a useful means to their end.
That would be Obama, Emanuel and the like.
2. The true believers — they really believe in socialism and are intellectually incapable of realizing their error. They make for good lieutenants to the leadership.
Here we have Pelosi, Boxer, etc...
3. The useful idiots — the blind followers, the foot soldiers of socialism. They don’t believe in the ideology necessarily, but they believe in its slogans and sound bites. Also referred to as “the low information voter”.
A large percentage of Obama voters that believed in empty slogans like “Hope and Change”
4. The slaves — to whom the ideology means nothing, but the goodies achieved thru accession and dependency mean everything.
Those dependent on Government for Food Stamps and Obama phones.
I am sure that is how liberals will interpret it.
I see it as someone completely disconnected from the consequences trying to make decisions for other...
Like my sis, the social worker.
Liberals think, “How will this make me appear to the others?”
Conservatives think, “Should I fear this or not?”
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