Brain size and political orientation

Simon Jackman points me to this article by Ryota Kanai, Tom Feilden, Colin Firth, and Geraint Rees, who write:

In a large sample of young adults, we related self-reported political attitudes to gray matter volume using structural MRI. 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. These results were replicated in an independent sample of additional participants. Our findings extend previous observations that political attitudes reflect differences in self-regulatory conflict monitoring . . .

Here’s my take on this. Conservatives are jerks, liberals are wimps. It’s that simple. So these researchers can test their hypotheses by more directly correlating the brain functions with the asshole/pussy dimension, no?

6 Responses to Brain size and political orientation

  1. Clay April 28, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    I like the contrast between the strangely academic and reductive.
    If I’m only conservative part of the time and liberal the rest, does that make me a taint? (sorry)

  2. Joel April 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    do your editors know you hit “publish” on this one?

  3. JB April 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    I’m very disappointed no one took a swing at a Colin Firth joke.

  4. Adam April 29, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    This is why I don’t blog drunk.

  5. m May 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    did you read the paper? Conservatives are more likely to be cowards/pussies as you call it – more likely to jump when they see something scary, so the theory is that they support authoritarian policies to protect themselves from the boogieman.


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