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[deleted] t1_j74jtha wrote

The study says that minds of different political leanings process information differently. I think the idea is more that your views influence how you think, than it is that people with certain brains are prone to different politics.


bannedPosts t1_j77ch8z wrote

No child is born a republican, democrat, fascist, capitalist, religious, racist, misogynist, asshole, etc., these are all learned behaviors, i.e. indoctrination.


favouritemistake t1_j75uzus wrote

I would say your views ARE how you think and the product of how you think, and these are reflected in the brain. There is no prepackaged brain set for these or those beliefs; through neuroplasticity our brains are all capable of changing based on our experiences (including our mental experiences/how we process experiences in our brains.) Albeit, there could be genetic, chemical, etc factors which could predispose people to certain ways of processing info (eg. neurodivergencies) too.


Feudamonia t1_j76a81v wrote

>through neuroplasticity our brains are all capable of changing based on our experiences (including our mental experiences/how we process experiences in our brains.)

Neuroplasticity doesn't work like that.

Neuroplasticity is defined as the ability of the nervous system to change its activity in response to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli by reorganizing its structure, functions, or connections after injuries, such as a stroke or traumatic brain injury

It's probably more accurate to say that the combined influence of genetics, hormones, environment and experiences are collectively responsible for our beliefs. People with similar biological influences (genetics & hormones) will likely have a similar mindset which will affect perception and, in turn, their beliefs.


favouritemistake t1_j7954b7 wrote

How is “brains are all capable of changing based on our experiences” different from “ability of the nervous system to change its activity in response to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli”? (Other than the obvious fact that nervous system involves more than just the brain)


VoltaicSketchyTeapot t1_j7986p2 wrote

Because the former is consciousness and the latter is biology.

Yes, you can change your opinions, but that's not neuroplasticity at play. Neuroplasticity is the ability of individual neurons to form new pathways when necessary. Neuroplasticity is your brain reteaching itself to feel pain after a stroke cut off that original pathway.

We don't know enough about consciousness to know exactly which neurons play what role in consciousness (our ability to form opinions). Maybe neuroplasticity plays some role, but consciousness is way more complicated than a few electrical impulses figuring a new route to the same destination.


favouritemistake t1_j79h5jd wrote

Why do you guys think I meant consciousness or the mind when I said brain?

Edit: actual question. What am I missing here, or was I just misunderstood due to something about the word choice?


Feudamonia t1_j79f8ck wrote

It's about understanding the difference between the mind and the brain.

Think of it like a train and its cargo. The tracks, the engine and the boxcars take the cargo from station to station. You can change the train by swapping out the engine, changing the order or location of stations and still deliver the same cargo. Alternatively you can have identical trains travelling the same route yet carry different cargo.


favouritemistake t1_j79gcyq wrote

I don’t totally get your analogy but I’m aware of the difference between mind and brain. I said the brain changes, not the mind. Beyond just the brain, yes, the rest of the nervous system changes too.


Feudamonia t1_j79jg85 wrote

But the brain doesn't change when you change your beliefs, and neither does the nervous system. We can see different neural activity but the mechanism that creates that activity doesn't change.

Imagine the brain is a DJ's beat box. Different thinking would be like a different song being played but the beat box doesn't change.


favouritemistake t1_j79tzdc wrote

It can change on a structural level through learning; why would learning beliefs be any different? (Over time through repetition, not a one-off thought causing permanent changes.)


Feudamonia t1_j79xw9r wrote

Now you're talking about a different kind of neuroplasticity. Structural neuroplasticity encompasses the types of changes we see when new pathways are built like when you learn to ride a bike or learn a new language. The type of bike you learn to ride or the language you choose to learn won't make any physical difference to the brain; it's the learning of a new skill that causes the change, not the topic so to speak. If we don't continue to use the new skill the pathway is pruned.

Beliefs are different. We develop them from experiences and how we feel about them. They are the product of thought, not a physical thing.


Feudamonia t1_j7a6urb wrote

I got a notification for a comment but can't seem to find it. Do you mind if I dm you?


pete_68 t1_j77qkpr wrote

But that's what exactly they say in the last sentence:
"These results suggest that individuals’ political views shape their neural responses at a very basic level."


Zeal514 t1_j7bnnyv wrote

All of our experiences shadow or neural responses in some form or another. Question is what comes first in this feedback cycle.


Aggravating_Moment78 t1_j78lujx wrote

Basically it is saying what we already know: your political views amd general leaning color how you see the world


TheArcticFox444 t1_j78xz01 wrote

>I think the idea is more that your views influence how you think, than it is that people with certain brains are prone to different politics.

How can that even be determined? You'd have to scan a newborn's brain and then scan it later after it's "views" have been formed. Obviously, that wasn't done.

Saying that "certain brains are prone to different politics" puts the cart ahead of the horse. It's the outside influences that determines how an individual's brain gets wired up...not the other way 'round.


Zeal514 t1_j7bngda wrote

Well we already know that if you are high in conscientiousness in the big 5 personality traits, you are likely to be conservative, and Openness predicts for more left leaning views, this is seems to be before political views are established.

I'd say that it's definitely likely we see the world vastly differently, and that changes our political opinions for sure. Idk if it's a actual biological marker, like different part of the brain develops differently, that seems odd.

I'm actually deeply interested in what enables us to perceive the world. And it seems like we see patterns, which enables us to see stories & objects, which enables us to assume things as good/bad. These patterns and subsequent stories we see, change what we look at. For instance, we assume ppl in the store won't kill us. Or we see the pattern of faces in abstract designs (like the famous martion face on mars). This deeply influences everything about how we perceive the world, so we might be extremely sympathetic to the poor, or maybe we look at the world more rationally. Experiences, culture and so on all help shape this world view, or what patterns we see as relavent, because ofcourse their are infinite amount of patterns to perceive. So it stands to reason that these will significantly have an effect on our political stances.


ast01004 t1_j740mmh wrote

Honestly as someone raised Mormon and conservative, but then when through a major life change when I found out it wasn’t true. I bet you my brain shows I’m liberal. But I bet it didn’t when I was younger. I think it’s the way the brain responds long term to it environment.


freesabb t1_j78czkv wrote

Ditto, raised conservative Mormon, I no longer think the same ways I did growing up


[deleted] t1_j73ni9s wrote



sunburner t1_j74jp9g wrote

"We found that political content was potent in synchronizing the brain responses of individuals holding similar views. This was far more pronounced in individuals holding right-wing views."

Kind of makes sense given conservatives tend to score lower in 'openness' than liberals on personality tests, but also higher in 'conscientiousness.' They feel comforted by the familiar traditions they're used to and also fall in line and adhere to duties to their work and tribe aka conforming and blending in.


Present-Chemical-909 t1_j778atn wrote

This obviously isn't scientific research, but this is my partial theory for why in states where you can vote by mail up to election day (so long as it's postmarked), the late ballots tend to be better for Democrats. (Not saying this as an insult, I'm a pretty scattershot person with left-of-center views who tends to get my mail-in ballot in on the later end myself.)


FraseraSpeciosa t1_j77dwbh wrote

Say what you want about republicans, but they will happily stand in line for hours in the cold November air to cast a vote. It’s a ritual I think to them. It’s the traditional way of voting and they find comfort in the physical act of standing in line and voting. To the conservative a mail in vote will be seen as alienating, impersonal, and even fraudulent. To a liberal mail in voting is seen as convenient, efficient and saves time to do literally anything else.


Present-Chemical-909 t1_j77eyu5 wrote

It is true that generally, conservatives have tended to support more strict voting laws, but I'm actually not sure if I buy a fundamental psychological explanation for liberals voting more by mail specifically, since most research I can find suggests that states introducing mail-in voting didn't really make a significant difference in election results and turnout before 2020. It seems to me like the divide we see now is because of the specific context of Trump saying mail-in ballots were illegitimate and making it an explicitly partisan issue + liberals broadly taking the pandemic more seriously (making them more likely to pick the option that you can do from home).


StandardReflection12 t1_j75l7pq wrote

Study is from Isreal, and participants watched Isreali political campaigns. This is likely relevant.


Alklazaris t1_j74j5df wrote

That journal was like 3 paragraphs long. Where is the data? Where is the brain activity for liberal/conservative? Is there a connection to who we idealize and the brain connects based on imitation?

All I got from this was people watch political videos and brain goes brrrrrr. Would love to see something deeper on this.


ualbertathrowaway- t1_j74nqa1 wrote

Few questions:

  1. Would left and right wing participants from different countries show similar FMRI patterns? It would be interesting to see what constitutes “left” or “right” wing in Israel.

  2. It would be worth it to further analyze what the differences in brain activity actually mean. Conservatives and Liberals show different scores on a variety of personality metrics (Big 5, empathy, impulsivity etc..). Could we sort people (within each group) based on scores on certain major personality characteristics and see how the patterns differ? From that, would we see how much certain profiles of low and highs in certain key personality match the activity of the average labeled ‘left winger or ‘right winger’? Basically, is there a spectrum here? Could someone considered more or less left or right leaning show a pattern weaker or stronger than the average based off of key traits?

  3. Would it be possible to correlate the activity of specific activated brain regions with the emotions participants report during/after watching the ads?

  4. What exactly about each ad is causing the difference in brain activity? Just the fact that it’s labeled as right or left wing, or that a certain opinion is shared in the video that causes the rift due to ideological differences. Basically, does the details of a right or left wing ad matter?


[deleted] t1_j73t1dy wrote



PassingTumbleweed t1_j75hr9k wrote

I wonder what it means that they could predict political alignment based on the sensorimotor cortex. That's the part responsible for tactile sensing and controlling movement, If I'm understanding correctly. Are there other activities that activate those parts in a similar way?


Jetztinberlin t1_j75kcco wrote

I'm wondering if it's similar to what used to be called "mirror neurons" activity - a form of empathetic engagement.


PassingTumbleweed t1_j77s2wr wrote

What's weird is that they say it applies to right wing people watching right wing content only (not left wing people watching right or left wing content). There's an asymmetry to it


bobbobbobbobbob2020 t1_j759j1n wrote

Or do we hold favor for different policies based on our brain? Somehow I doubt partisanship is the deciding factor here...


WasabiNo4564 t1_j772hyp wrote

This sounds like someone trying to scientifically justify the whole "people who don't agree with me are mentally ill" bs. Or wanted a way to get their kids to stop trying to change their beliefs.

This is basically eugenics.


Benjideaula t1_j781sw9 wrote

Yeah my eugenics-alarm is going off with this one


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Aggravating_Moment78 t1_j78l64j wrote

Dr. Obvious, phd has finally delved into studying conspiracy theories and came to the stunning conclusion that people can delude themselves into ‘seeing’ things differently... truly groundbreaking research


lilmawkie t1_j7bjbq3 wrote

You mean like Jewish space lasers?