Apr 082011

This is just too good not to share. ‘Liberals’ – or what we in Oz know as Social Democrats, Greens and non-conservative thinkers – are more intelligent than Conservatives.

Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults – the results of a study currently published in the science journal, Current Biology. Buy it if you’re nerdy enough, but the crux of the story is all over the web. The human brain is an amazing portion of our biology which we barely begin to understand, but with steady advances in technology, scientific knowledge is also growing, slowly.

But I’m more interested in the study’s outcomes. Progressive thinkers, Social Democrats in Australian parlance have been proven to have “increased grey matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex” while Conservatives would appear to display “increased volume of the right amygdala”. Big words. The anterior cingulate cortex is apparently also the area which lights up in adolescents who over-indulge and seem prone to alcoholism. There’s indications of depression and anxiety issues springing from the ACC, and also of our decision making and cognitive processes. Clearly, the ACC is the thought processing centre of thinking people.

The Amygdala, both right and left halves, is a very ancient part of the human brain said to be associated with emotion. The right Amygdala being related to assessment of fear, aggression, fight or flight. The left Amygdala with pleasure, which is something of a paradox. Increased size of the right Amygdala has been associated with schizophrenia. None of which really surprises me given the Conservatives I’ve come across clearly have split personalities, are overtly aggressive, express themselves in terms of fear & loathing of that which they don’t agree with and generally get more emotional, more quickly than their opposites. meanwhile, we progressive, larger-than-normal ACC owners, who think more deeply, consider events & issues longer, are much less emotional than our Conservative opposites, and enjoy a quiet drink while doing so. 

We progressives carry a responsibility to promote the superior philosophy, while fending off the rabid barking, expressions of dire disaster and overt, unhelpful aggression of the Conservative. Why? Because the scientific study says so…..of course. But you knew that, just like I did.

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