[A new study] from the University of Exeter and the University of California, San Diego, evaluated the brain activity of 82 subjects engaged in gambling games. Then, researchers compared participants’ cerebral activity to their declared political parties. While Republicans and Democrats took similar risks during the games, the brain activity that prompted those risks was extremely different.
Among participants who voted Democrat, gray matter showed more activation in the left posterior insula, the region linked with empathy and emotion. The other side of the brain was Republican territory: conservatives flexed their right amygdala more often when making decisions. That brain region is associated with fear, reward, and a fight-or-flight response.
Incredibly, these differences were so pronounced that brain activity alone allowed researchers to anticipate, with 83 percent accuracy, which party a study participant belonged to. By comparison, knowing the party affiliation of an individual’s parents allows for 69 percent accuracy when making the same prediction, researchers noted in their study.
Actually, study after study has shown this link of conservatism to fear, but rightwingers always freak out over these findings and throw a flurry of victim cards. This report may come from Prevention magazine, but it’s posted as a wire story at the Fox News website. Maybe appearing under the Fox logo will finally get them to accept reality. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though.
Of course, you don’t really need a scientific study to conclude that Republicans are terrified of pretty much everything. Just listen to them talk about guns and you’ll hear nothing but blind animal panic. It’s why Wayne LaPierre argues in such apocalyptic terms — he knows his target audience.
It’s also why Republicans are so anti-science; not only does science tell us frightening things we’d rather not hear (i.e., climate change), but studies like this tell Republicans less than complimentary things about themselves.