Always the optimist I sometimes I fantasize about people being rational in a political environment. I know, rationally, that is it is irrational to expect people to be rational. But I sometimes think that if only I can come up with the right set of facts and logic I could convince almost anyone of the truth of some things–such as gun control is wrong. Here’s evidence that it’s hopeless:
Political bias affects brain activity, study finds
Democrats and Republicans both adept at ignoring facts, brain scans showUpdated: 6:46 p.m. ET Jan. 24, 2006
Democrats and Republicans alike are adept at making decisions without letting the facts get in the way, a new study shows.
And they get quite a rush from ignoring information that’s contrary to their point of view.
Researchers asked staunch party members from both sides to evaluate information that threatened their preferred candidate prior to the 2004 Presidential election. The subjects’ brains were monitored while they pondered.
The results were announced today.
“We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning,” said Drew Westen, director of clinical psychology at Emory University. “What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up, including circuits hypothesized to be involved in regulating emotion, and circuits known to be involved in resolving conflicts.”
And people think I’m the one with the problem because they give the way my mind works a name–they call it Asperger Syndrome (thanks Mike, that was a big help–seriously). I’m with the Aspies that call them Neurotypical.
Dude! You don’t have Asperger Syndrome — you’re just an Engineer. It amounts to pretty much the same thing.
I’m not so sure about that. Barb has been reading a book on it. I match up with a lot of the characteristics including lax liagments, and passion about social injustice.
Okay, I just sent joe email about this and realized I was kinda cheating by not commenting on the blog… First off wikipedia tells me that Asperger syndrome is marked by poor social skills so that kinda knocks Joe out of the running (sorry man ; )
Secondly the brain testing focused on -partisan- politicos. So, lest Joe go all Wendell on me and decide that all folks doing politics are always irrational. I’d point out that lots of activists eschew parties nowadays for principles. The only parties I attend involve beer. -Boyd