• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Neurologically Evidence of Bias

Joined
Sep 10, 2005
Messages
845
Reaction score
305
Location
Ohio
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Was wandering around online and found an interesting opinion article about biases.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/11/20/opinion/meyer/main584753.shtml
This commentary was written by CBSNews.com's Dick Meyer. said:
...
At Emory University, psychologist Drew Westen and his team conducted what they believe is the first study of "the neural basis of any form of political decision making." They did this by using brain imaging to study people as they processed political information during the 2004 campaign.

To rape and pillage fine science with rough paraphrasing, this is what they discovered: When 30 self-described partisans were presented with contradictory quotes about the candidates (President Bush supporting, then denouncing Ken Lay; Sen. John Kerry supporting, then denouncing a Social Security overhaul), it was the portions of the brain that process emotion, not rational thinking, that became active. "The thinking caps went off and the feeling caps went on," is how Westen put it to me.

Normally, Westen says, a brain faced with contradictory information will fire up the zones where reason or rational thought happens. The 30 partisans in this study were presented with contradictory quotes from Bush and Kerry, but also from Hank Aaron, Tom Hanks and the writer William Styron. They processed the information about the non-politicians with the reasoning centers of the brain. It was politics that short-circuited them. ("This is your brain; this is your brain on politics.")

It would be reasonable to ask whether all brains — not just partisan ones — respond to political information emotionally. Westen says the answer is clearly no, that research does demonstrate that centrists or independents are more able to process rational and non-emotional political information.

But Westen's MRIs show that is clearly not the case with political contradictions processed by a partisan brain. That process is almost entirely emotional, heating up regions of the brain that govern things like forgiveness, relief and pleasure. The reasoning zones stayed ice cold.
...
Don't really have anything poignant to say about it, just thought it aptly described what people can be like when they're talking about politics. I guess I know what my brain is doing whenever I decide to skim past one of ptsdkid's posts.
 
F

FallingPianos

pretty interesting. science has verified what we all already knew (about our political enemies).
 
T

The Real McCoy

I saw an article on a similar study a few months ago.. might have been the same one... probably was. Very interesting. Explains a lot.

In Jon Stewart's book "America" there's hilarious diagrams of a pundit's brain, the partisan brain (left) and the partisan brain (right.)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 10, 2005
Messages
845
Reaction score
305
Location
Ohio
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
This article came to mind when I was reading some of the 'debates' going on in the polls section. Maybe someday, someone will invent a device that inhibits those sections of the brain. It would be quite amusing to watch a debate stripped of everything but logic and reasoning, although I think such a device just might prove fatal to some of the posters around here.
 
Top Bottom