Study: Conservatives have larger ‘fear center’ in brain

JaguarSocialist 2012/06/29 22:49:56

Political opinions are considered choices, and in Western democracies the right to choose one’s opinions — freedom of conscience — is considered sacrosanct.

But recent studies suggest that our brains and genes may be a major determining factor in the views we hold.

A study at University College London in the UK has found that conservatives’ brains have larger amygdalas than the brains of liberals. Amygdalas are responsible for fear and other “primitive” emotions. At the same time, conservatives’ brains were also found to have a smaller anterior cingulate — the part of the brain responsible for courage and optimism.

If the study is confirmed, it could give us the first medical explanation for why conservatives tend to be more receptive to threats of terrorism, for example, than liberals. And it may help to explain why conservatives like to plan based on the worst-case scenario, while liberals tend towards rosier outlooks.

“It is very significant because it does suggest there is something about political attitudes that are either encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that our brain structure in some way determines or results in our political attitudes,” Geraint Rees, the neurologist who carried out the study, told the media.

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  • American☆Atheist 2012/06/30 05:58:05
  • Ron the Realist 2012/06/29 23:54:07
    Ron the Realist
    Coincidently, liberals tend to self-identify as children by their voting behavior. They tend to be easily swayed by emotional arguments and support ever expanding government control. Much as a young child seeks parental supervision and guidance, so the liberal craves the steadying hand of adult supervision.
  • Waldorf 2012/06/29 23:38:54
    What attributes explain the Left's proclivity for being rude, arrogant, hateful, and disingenuous?
  • bob h. Waldorf 2012/07/13 02:47:14
    bob h.
    We're like that "cause you're so easy. Every day is SNL. Where's your hat.
  • Z 2012/06/29 23:00:52
    This study is based on British political parties, has little relevance to American politics, and have a lot of flaws in it as it is. It is also counter intuitive. People aren't more fearful because of the size of their fear center, no more so than that the size of your head effects your intelligence. It may actually suggest a more developed emotional capacity, meaning they may be less fearful. This study is riddled with holes.
  • Outta' Here. 2012/06/29 22:54:47
    Outta' Here.
    Anthropologically speaking, "fear" helps keep us alive.
    I guess not having enough "fear" would explain why you're trying to get us all killed.

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