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Monday, 10 September 2007

'Ems and Dubyas' and knowing the difference between.

I've been intrigued by a 'Scientific Brain study' that appears in the L.A Times, titled 'Study finds left wing brain, right - wing brain'

The blogger Joel Sax from Pax Nortona has 'a liberal' take on his blog. Well I'll let you read the article...

Ems and Dubyas
A new brain study suggests that liberals have a better grasp on the truth than conservatives:

Each participant was wired to an electroencephalograph that recorded activity in their anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that detects conflicts between a habitual tendency (pressing a key) and a more appropriate response (not pressing the key). Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives when they saw a W, researchers said. Liberals and conservatives were equally accurate in recognizing M.

Researchers got the same results when they repeated the experiment in reverse, asking another set of participants to tap when they saw W.
Could it be that in the first case, the conservatives linked M to Money and were after it so intently that they hit the keyboard in kneejerk fashion? And in the second case, they saw the W as Bush?

Now for the conclusion:
Frank J. Sulloway, a researcher at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Personality and Social Research who was not connected to the study, said results “provided an elegant demonstration that individual differences on a conservative-liberal dimension are strongly related to brain activity.”

Analyzing the data, Sulloway said liberals were 4.9 times more likely than conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits that deal with conflicts and were 2.2 times more likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy.

Sulloway said the results could explain why President Bush demonstrates a single-minded commitment to the Iraq war and Sen. John F. Kerry, the liberal Massachusetts Democrat who opposed Bush in the 2004 presidential race, was accused of being a flip-flopper for changing his mind about the conflict.

Based on the results, he said, liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.
So we can expect that conservatives will have a hard time seeing that they are WRONG. No matter what, they blithely go forth, wreaking destruction.

Perhaps, as a service to humanity, conservatives could train themselves to distinguish the dubyas from the ems? We’ll all be thankful.

Mr Bagel Responds:

Actually Joel the survey was a little less conclusive than that.

There were a few statistical anomalies that with introduced into the experiment.

The premise of the experiment was the measurable 'tension' [activity] which was recorded in the activity in participants anterior cingulate cortex was indicative of their predisposition to accepting "new experiences".

This presupposes that there would be tension/activity in this cortex and this would signify a change of recognition from W to M and vice versa.

With the Liberal participants the increase of tension was more to do with the fact that a M looks the same as a W when you have both Palms on the ground and your getting directed by CAIR from behind.

This is why the Liberal participants recorded more brain activity, it was the autonomous response from from what's happening behind, more than their ability to recognize the difference of M versus W.