Why Conservatives Are Afraid
From Joshua Holland at Salon:
Research suggests that conservatives are, on average, more susceptible to fear than those who identify themselves as liberals. Looking at MRIs of a large sample of young adults last year, researchers at University College London discovered that “greater conservatism was associated with increased volume of the right amygdala” ($$). The amygdala is an ancient brain structure that’s activated during states of fear and anxiety. (The researchers also found that “greater liberalism was associated with increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex” – a region in the brain that is believed to help people manage complexity.)…
But those cognitive biases are only part of the story of how a political movement in the wealthiest, most secure nation in the world have come to view their surroundings with such dread. The other half of the equation is a conservative media establishment that feeds members of the movement an almost endless stream of truly terrifying scenarios.
Consider, then, what it must be like to be a true-blue Rush Limbaugh fan, or someone who thinks Michele Bachmann is a serious lawmaker with a grasp of the issues – put yourself into that person’s shoes for a moment, and consider what a nightmarish landscape the world around them must represent.
So, when I find it hard to comprehend how the social retards view current events and come to conclusions diametrically opposed to mine, it helps to recognize they filter data differently. Of course, we already knew the second part about the echo chamber of horrors which is the right wing media. The article failed to address the biblical worldview aspect which projects paranoid delusions of persecution and focus on magic and tradition, rather than science and intelligence. Top it off with a preoccupation with death and you’ve got a potent recipe for violence.
Personally, I think it’s a good thing to understand conservatives are hard-wired to be afraid. However, as a pragmatist, I have little sympathy for their arrogance, ignorance, hatred and intolerance. They can learn to deal with their neuroses or continue to be marginalized, socially and politically.