Many people consider that liberals tend to be warm-and-fuzzy emotional types, while conservatives are just-the-facts thinkers.
Well, a scientific study found the reverse to be true. The amygdala, which processes fear, was bigger in conservatives, while liberals have a bigger cortex, which processes complexity.
Everyone knows that liberals and conservatives butt heads when it comes to world views, but scientists have now shown that their brains are actually built differently.
Liberals have more gray matter in a part of the brain associated with understanding complexity, while the conservative brain is bigger in the section related to processing fear, said the study on Thursday in Current Biology.
"We found that greater liberalism was associated with increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas greater conservatism was associated with increased volume of the right amygdala," the study said.
Conservatives tend to have a decidedly black-and-white view of the world. And they favor emotional arguments over reasoned analyses of a problem.
Consider the negotiations over raising the federal debt limit. Democrats favor a balanced approach to reducing future deficits: reduce expenditures while also raising revenue.
This approach was favored by members of the bipartisan deficit commission. But the current Republican position is exceedingly rigid and dogmatic. No new taxes, no increased revenues.
Doesn't make sense. But emotions don't have to.