Conservative/Liberal brain activity

Now, I know the most cynical of you out there are saying, "In politics, there is no brain activity." (image credit) And, I bet there are a good percentage of Americans that agree with you. But, I thought that this was an interesting study reported by AFP.

Conservatives tend to crave order and structure in their lives, and are more consistent in the way they make decisions. Liberals, by contrast, show a higher tolerance for ambiguity and complexity, and adapt more easily to unexpected circumstances.

The affinity between political views and "cognitive style" has also been shown to be heritable, handed down from parents to children, said the study, published in the British journal Nature Neuroscience.

In this study, they took 43 right-handed subjects and asked them to perform a series of computer tasks to see how they would do when they had to break from a well-established routine.
The match-up was unmistakable: respondents who had described themselves as liberals showed "significantly greater conflict-related neural activity" when the hypothetical situation called for an unscheduled break in routine.

Conservatives, however, were less flexible, refusing to deviate from old habits "despite signals that this ... should be changed."

Whether that is good or bad, of course, depends on one's perspective: one could interpret the results to mean that liberals are nimble-minded and conservatives rigid and stubborn.

Or one could, with equal justice, conclude that wishy-washy liberals don't stick to their guns, while conservatives and steadfast and loyal.

The late night comedians will have a field day with this. For me, there are just too many jokes around (pointed both at conservatives and liberals) for me to pick from. Maybe I'll come up with something later....