Monday, October 06, 2008

Hardwired Political Disposition?

A lot has been going on this past year, but I'm still alive and kicking. Can't believe it has been it has been nearly a year since I last wrote.

These days it's politics, politics everywhere you go. It's good to see that nothing has changed! With that in mind: I read an interesting article the other day that suggests that our political orientation (i.e., Republican, Democrat, or Independent) may have to do more with our biology than our brainpower or personal beliefs.

"The very different way conservatives and liberals view the world isn't just the product of experience or thought -- it's also the product of biology."

This assertion is based upon a study done by researchers at the University of Nebraska. In this study researchers asked participants a set of initial questions to ascertain their political affiliations. Then they exposed the subjects to a series of "startling sounds and threatening images."

Subjects whose views fell on the right side (conservative) of the spectrum had much stronger physiological responses (e.g., sweating and eye-blinking). Subjects whose views fell on the left side (liberal) of the spectrum had significantly more muted reactions: "They simply didn't perceive the same level of threat."

"The results suggest that people's political orientation is at least to some extent hard-wired, which is why conservatives and liberals often find each other mystifying. Neither side is necessarily correct in it interpretation of possible threats. "People are simply experiencing the world differently." "

The Washington Post article, interview with Researcher John Hibbing.

Interesting theory? Wonder how evolution and survival of the fittest would come into play here? Just joking! Bottom line, looks as if given this perspective of "hardwired" political disposition that neither "side" is likely to persuade the other to see their point of view. It's biologically impossible?

Any thoughts?



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