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Our brains and our policitical views

This piece of research might be a little self serving for those of us who like to think of ourselves as ‘liberal.’ But it is also kinda interesting.

‘Liberals have more grey matter in a part of the brain associated with understanding complexity, while the conservative brain is bigger in the section related to processing fear, according to a study in Current Biology.’


‘People with a large amygdala are “more sensitive to disgust” and tend to “respond to threatening situations with more aggression than do liberals and are more sensitive to threatening facial expressions,” the researchers write.

Liberals are linked to larger anterior cingulate cortexes, a region that “monitor(s) uncertainty and conflicts.”

“Thus, it is conceivable that individuals with a larger ACC have a higher capacity to tolerate uncertainty and conflicts, allowing them to accept more liberal views.”

It remains unclear whether the structural differences cause the divergence in political views, or are the effect of them.’

And I am always keen to ask myself what this might mean when it comes to working with young people who are stuck in destructive ways of being, both for themselves and for those they encounter. They do indeed seem fearful of stepping out and trying something new, something that might make their lives better. They do indeed often seem fearful. And this understanding by us might be useful for us in our work with those who are ‘on the outside.’

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