Even in humdrum nonpolitical decisions, liberals and conservatives literally think differently, researchers show.
Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work.Well, it's almost like . . . duh! You don't need to tell me my brain works differently from a guy's like John McCain or George Bush or my late father's or most of siblings or most of the denizens of the state of Oklahoma. I always thought the essence of liberal thinking was an openness to change, and that at its roots, conservatism was resistant to it. Now we find out that, by golly, liberals can deal with ambiguity and "conflict"--which I take to mean along the whole intellectual spectrum--much easier than their conservative counterparts.
In a simple experiment reported today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at New York University and UCLA show that political orientation is related to differences in how the brain processes information.
Although the experiment strikes me as almost primitive in its simplicity, the results, I have to confess, please me.