The evidence is mounting: The brains of liberals and conservatives differ
We’ve written before about brain differences between liberals and conservatives. And we’ve cautioned against using assessments of liberal or conservative orientation in isolation as a selection/deselection tool for your case. But the evidence is growing that there may be some ‘hard-wiring’ differences at play in your brain based on whether you identify as liberal or conservative.
The ProCon website just added two studies to their webpage on differences between liberal and conservative brains so that now 12 different, peer-reviewed studies are highlighted. ProCon.org lists their mission statement as follows:
“Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format.”
They describe themselves as non-partisan and as listing issues for the electorate to consider in the election season. They describe the page this way:
“In the 12 peer-reviewed scientific studies summarized below, researchers found that liberals and conservatives have different brain structures, different physiological responses to stimuli, and activate different neural mechanisms when confronted with similar situations. Each entry below references the source document and a PDF of each study has been included.”
As we look at the journals in which the studies are published–we see a variety of disciplines represented and well-regarded professional publications. Many of the researchers names have become familiar to us. Individually, the studies are intriguing. Collectively? Frankly, we aren’t sure what it means. Maybe it’s “more intriguing”.
From a litigation advocacy perspective, it’s an interesting page to peruse and ponder. We tend to find, however, that blanket statements like “liberals are like this” or “conservatives are like this” often are wrong.
It does say something about why it’s so hard for us to talk to each other and why it’s critically important you not inadvertently press either a liberal or conservative hot button issue as you present yourself or your case. That’s one reason we really push the idea of universal values that transcend political orientation and liberal versus conservative belief systems.
But this level of repeated differences in the brains of liberals and conservatives has us thinking and we like to think. It’s part of why we like to blog. So we’ll think on this one and if we come up with a way to use this, we may blog about it.