Možgani liberalcev in konzervativcev se med seboj razlikujejo in zakaj to ni nujno problem

Politična biologija in nevroznanost sta zanimivi znanstveni disciplini. Poskušata ugotoviti ali so razlike v političnem (ideološkem) dojemanju sveta pogojene z biološkimi razlikami. Da pač naši možgani določene informacije različno sprocesirajo in zaradi tega različno reagiramo na družbene pojave in na določene javne osebnosti. Da na vse pretege poskušamo racionalizirati stališča ali odnos do oseb, za katere nam naši možgani pošiljajo “pozitivne” ali “negativne” signale. Priporočam v branje tale članek Lydie Denworth v Scientific American.

In 1968 a debate was held between conservative thinker William F. Buckley, Jr., and liberal writer Gore Vidal. It was hoped that these two members of opposing intellectual elites would show Americans living through tumultuous times that political disagreements could be civilized. That idea did not last for long. Instead Buckley and Vidal descended rapidly into name-calling. Afterward, they sued each other for defamation.

The story of the 1968 debate opens a well-regarded 2013 book called Predisposed, which introduced the general public to the field of political neuroscience. The authors, a trio of political scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Rice University, argued that if the differences between liberals and conservatives seem profound and even unbridgeable, it is because they are rooted in personality characteristics and biological predispositions.

On the whole, the research shows, conservatives desire security, predictability and authority more than liberals do, and liberals are more comfortable with novelty, nuance and complexity. If you had put Buckley and Vidal in a magnetic resonance imaging machine and presented them with identical images, you would likely have seen differences in their brain, especially in the areas that process social and emotional information. The volume of gray matter, or neural cell bodies, making up the anterior cingulate cortex, an area that helps detect errors and resolve conflicts, tends to be larger in liberals. And the amygdala, which is important for regulating emotions and evaluating threats, is larger in conservatives.

So what can the study of neural activity suggest about political behavior? The still emerging field of political neuroscience has begun to move beyond describing basic structural and functional brain differences between people of different ideological persuasions—gauging who has the biggest amygdala—to more nuanced investigations of how certain cognitive processes underlie our political thinking and decision-making. Partisanship does not just affect our vote; it influences our memory, reasoning and even our perception of truth. Knowing this will not magically bring us all together, but researchers hope that continuing to understand the way partisanship influences our brain might at least allow us to counter its worst effects: the divisiveness that can tear apart the shared values required to retain a sense of national unity.

Motivated reasoning, in which people work hard to justify their opinions or decisions, even in the face of conflicting evidence, has been a popular topic in political neuroscience because there is a lot of it going around. While partisanship plays a role, motivated reasoning goes deeper than that. Just as most of us like to think we are good-hearted human beings, people generally prefer to believe that the society they live in is desirable, fair and legitimate. “Even if society isn’t perfect, and there are things to be criticized about it, there is a preference to think that you live in a good society,” Nam says. When that preference is particularly strong, she adds, “that can lead to things like simply rationalizing or accepting long-standing inequalities or injustices.” Psychologists call the cognitive process that lets us do so “system justification.”

Nam and her colleagues set out to understand which brain areas govern the affective processes that underlie system justification. They found that the volume of gray matter in the amygdala is linked to the tendency to perceive the social system as legitimate and desirable. Their interpretation is that “this preference to system justify is related to these basic neurobiological predispositions to be alert to potential threats in your environment,” Nam says.

Understanding the influence of partisanship on identity, even down to the level of neurons, “helps to explain why people place party loyalty over policy, and even over truth,” argued psychologists Jay Van Bavel and Andrea Pereira, both then at New York University, in Trends in Cognitive Sciences in 2018. In short, we derive our identities from both our individual characteristics, such as being a parent, and our group memberships, such as being a New Yorker or an American. These affiliations serve multiple social goals: they feed our need to belong and desire for closure and predictability, and they endorse our moral values. And our brain represents them much as it does other forms of social identity.

No, zame je nauk teh spoznanj bolj v potrditvi tega, kar intuitivno “vem” že od nekdaj, in sicer da – ker smo si itak različni – se je treba poslušati in pustiti drugemu svoje mnenje. Ne da druge prepričujemo, da nimajo prav, pač pa, da razumemo, zakaj tako razmišljajo. In da lahko s temi razlikami odlično shajamo. No, tudi ta moj pragmatizem je očitno globoko biološko pogojen.

“The biology and neuroscience of politics might be useful in terms of what is effective at getting through to people,” Van Bavel says. “Maybe the way to interact with someone who disagrees with me politically is not to try to persuade them on the deep issue, because I might never get there. It’s more to try to understand where they’re coming from and shatter their stereotypes.”

Vir: Lydie Denworth, Scientific American

5 responses

  1. Le zakaj se tako trudijo,…ne bi kar upoštevali astrologije, tako kot pri Indijcih. Koliko manj truda bi bilo treba,..brain scani itd.

    Bojim se da gre to zelo v nevarno smer. Ko bo šla politična korektnost na področje bioloških razlik. Še bolj kot je že šla. Takrat bomo imeli fašizem na kvadrat.

    Se pa to krasno ujame s politiko identitetnih razlik. Ljudje se ne bomo več identificirali po idejah v katere verjamemo in za katere se prizadevamo, ampak bomo v družbi identificirani popredalčakani po barvi kože, smo straight ali pedri in lezbijke in po novem po tem, koliko sive mase imamo v amygdali.

    Krasni novi svet! Vsi predeterminirani, še preden pridemo na svet. Kakšen razvoj človekove osebnosti neki ali celo duha. Pri tem se spomnim, na misel mi je prišlo iz čiste prirojene (genetično pogojene!!!) žlehtnobe rek nekega angleškega lorda. Takole je rekel:

    “Če v mladosti nisi levičar, nimaš srca, če pa to ostaneš v zrelih letih, pa pameti ne!”

    Če komu ta provokacija ni všeč, nisem kriv, določen del mojega cerebralnega korteksa me nezaustavljivo silii v to.

  2. Zgolj samo malenkosten popravek na komentar Marka Goloba.
    Churchillu (ki ni bil “angleški lord”) se večkrat pripisujejo misli, ki jih ni nikoli izrekel. Tako ni nikoli rekel naslednje misli: “Če nisi liberalec, ko imaš 25 let, nimaš srca. Če pa nisi konservativec, ko imaš 35 let, pa nimaš možganov.”

    V resnici je to misel zapisal Francoz Jules Claretie leta 1875: “Kdor ni republikanec v svojih dvajsetih letih, za tega lahko dvomimo o radodarnosti njegovega srca, kdor pa kot republikanec vztraja po svojem tridesetem letu, vzbuja dvome o modrosti svojega uma.

  3. Jure, zdaj se me pa presenetil. Sem mislil, da si libertarec.

    The Quote Investigator website writes:

    The earliest evidence located by QI appeared in an 1875 French book of contemporary biographical portraits by Jules Claretie. A section about a prominent jurist and academic named Anselme Polycarpe Batbie included the following passage [translated as] …

    “Mr. Batbie, in a much-celebrated letter, once quoted the Burke paradox in order to account for his bizarre political shifts: “He who is not a républicain at twenty compels one to doubt the generosity of his heart; but he who, after thirty, persists, compels one to doubt the soundness of his mind.”

    Je pa res, da je vsaka sekta parafrazirala to stališče po svojem okusu.

  4. Genetiki (kakšne pol leta nazaj sem gledal eno oddajo na enem od dokumentarnih kanalov, medtem ko sem čakal na oddajo o NLPjih ali starodavnih vesoljcih) koncepta rase med ljudmi ne poznajo, premalo je razlik med belci ali črnci, da bi lahko trdili da obstaja koncept rase. Čez 100 let (ki jih jaz ne bom dočakal) mislim, da bomo vsi enake barve. Globalizacija nas bo premešala in zmešala (genetsko). Še med šimpanzom in človekom je samo 1,3% genetske razlike.

    Glede na čivke desnega pola o muslimanih in njihovem IQju, je ravno največja ironija usode to, da sta dva Turka iznašla cepivo, muslimana in migranta. Še sreča, da ima Nemčija pametno migrantsko politiko.

    • Jaz mislim, da biološke razlike niso tako usodne, sami zelo vplivamo na to kako vidimo politiko in družbo. Več kot določena skupina ljudi bere in razmišlja, bolj gleda na politiko empirično in tudi konceptualno. Manj kot bere in manj kot racionalno razmišlja, bolj gleda na politiko skozi prizmo vrednot in zgodb, skozi logiko pripovedi kjer nastopajo liki.

      Vzemimo par primerov. Skupina ljudi, ki gleda na politiko zelo, zelo empirično so poslovni ljudje, oz. poslovni konservativci. To so ljudje, ki berejo denimo Finance, revijo Manager, poslovni tisk nasploh.

      Naslednja skupina so ljudje, ki so nekoliko višje izobraženi in berejo resnejše medije za splošno občinstvo, vsaj pred kratkim je bilo tako. Prav vsaka zahodna družba ima kak velik liberalno nagnjen časopis, bodisi izraelski Haaretz, slovensko Delo, Le Monde, NY Times in podobno. Tudi ta skupina bralcev gleda na politično dogajanje precej empirično, čeprav nekoliko manj kot poslovni konservativci.

      Potem pa pride na vrsto manj empirično gledanje na politično dogajanje. Tukaj pa prednjačijo predvsem konservativno nagnjeni ljudje, ki gledajo na politiko skozi vrednote, skozi logiko zgodb kjer nastopajo “slabi” in “dobri”. Ko gledaš na politiko na tak način si že nehote nagnjen tudi k teorijam zarot, čeprav se tega niti ne zavedaš. Ironija je, da ta skupina ljudi pogostokrat voli iste stranke kot poslovni konservativci s katerimi nima skoraj nič skupnega, njihov konservatizem pa se tudi drastično razlikuje.

Oddajte komentar

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

Komentirate prijavljeni s svojim WordPress.com računom. Odjava /  Spremeni )

Google photo

Komentirate prijavljeni s svojim Google računom. Odjava /  Spremeni )

Twitter picture

Komentirate prijavljeni s svojim Twitter računom. Odjava /  Spremeni )

Facebook photo

Komentirate prijavljeni s svojim Facebook računom. Odjava /  Spremeni )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: