Monday, September 10, 2007

Polticial preference in the DNA?

Which direction? I found this article fascinating... Apparently ethics and principle don't play any role in adopting a political preference. It's merely about how well one's brain adapts to breaking a routine!

Dozens of previous studies have established a strong link between political persuasion and certain personality traits.

Conservatives tend to crave order and structure in their lives, and are more consistent in the way they make decisions.

Liberals, by contrast, show a higher tolerance for ambiguity and complexity, and adapt more easily to unexpected circumstances.

The affinity between political views and "cognitive style" has also been shown to be heritable, handed down from parents to children, the study published in the British journal Nature Neuroscience says.


Using electroencephalographs, which measure neuronal impulses, the researchers examined activity in a part of the brain - the anterior cingulate cortex - that is strongly linked with the self-regulatory process of conflict monitoring.

The match-up was unmistakable: respondents who had described themselves as liberals showed "significantly greater conflict-related neural activity" when the hypothetical situation called for an unscheduled break in routine.

However, conservatives were less flexible, refusing to deviate from old habits "despite signals that this ... should be changed".

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