Sunday, September 09, 2007

Political affiliation could be all in the brain?

I covered this on one of my other blogs from the scientific/technology aspect, but I also wanted to share it here because there could be some political ramifications if this research is proven true. It's being claimed that Political Affiliation can be tracked by brain scan. The study which did involve a small number, stated:

Researchers have long known that conservatives and liberals score differently in psychological profiling tests. Now they are beginning to gather evidence about why this might be. David Amodio of New York University, US, and his colleagues recruited 43 subjects for their test.

They asked the participants to rate their political persuasion on a scale of -5 to 5, with the lowest number representing the most liberal extreme and the highest number representing the most conservative score.

Brain recordings taken using electroencephalogram (EEG) technology showed that liberals had twice as much activity in a deep region called the anterior cingulate cortex. This area of the brain is thought to act as a mental brake by helping the mind recognize "no-go" situations where it must refrain from the usual course of action.

I really recommend reading the full article, as they are already discussing how this could be used when it comes to campaigning...


eli said...

"Even with impeccable methodology, bias may creep into the choice of which phenomena to study. 'There is a bias among social scientists,' admits Glaser. 'They look for the variables that are unflattering. There probably are other nice personality traits associated with conservatism, but they haven't shown up in the research because it's not as well studied.' " -

When are they going to study the left's obsessive dependence on junk science to "prove" themselves right? Where is the intellectual honesty?

Lisa Renee said...

Eli, that's a valid question. One of the reasons I posted this article was to create discussion on it and the validity of it.

As the quote you posted demonstrates, there are those that acknowledge there could be a bias. As was also pointed out in the selection I posted, this study was based on only 43 subjects. That also raises the question as to is this a large enough sampling?

Then if you really want to play devil's advocate, what about those who switch party affiliation? Their brain waves can't change...