Mike Curtiss (31 Dec 2010)
"If you're a conservative, it might be your brain's fault."


Study links conservative views to brain geometry

If you're a conservative, it might be your brain's fault.

So says British scientists who scanned the brains of two members of the British Parliament and about 90 students.

Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent for the UK Telegraph, reported Wednesday that those with conservative views have larger amygdalas, the area of the brain associated with anxiety and fear.  They also have a smaller anterior cingulate, an area at the front of the brain associated with courage and optimism.

Prof Geraint Rees, of the University College London and head researcher for the study, told the Telegraph:

"We were very surprised to find that there was an area of the brain that we could predict political attitude.

"It is very surprising because it does suggest there is something about political attitude that is encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that there is something in our brain structure that determines or results in political attitude."

According to the Telegraph, researchers said the size of those two areas of the brain were directly related to the political viewpoints of those studied, but could not say if the volunteer's brains were born that way, or if they had developed over time since all the volunteers were adults.

An article at The Gawker sums it up this way:

So there you have it. I don't think it's wildly extrapolating or jumping to any conclusions to say that this study definitively proves that conservatism is a brain disorder. I think that's been proven by this 90-person study. Conservatives are all stupid brain-damaged idiots who are stupid and brain-damaged. And idiots.

Since liberals like to say conservatives (especially Sarah Palin) are stupid, one wonders how long it will take media liberals to claim Palin is brain-damaged.

At the risk of breaking Godwin's Law, studies like this remind one of early 20th century "studies" done in Germany that said Jews were brain damaged and deformed.  And we all know how that ended.

Nevertheless, the study does not seem to account for those who originally hold one opinion, then change their minds.  Does their brain geometry change when their political views change?

Remember, Ronald Reagan was not always a conservative Republican. 

If nothing else, it will certainly provide fodder for the hardcore left wing fringe as they step up their demonization of anything conservative.