Brain function of conservatives, liberals differs.
When you read this article, the reporter quotes scenarios from a study that positions liberals as more likely to adapt and come up with new solutions, yet conservatives will stick in a set pattern And yet there is hope, the brain can change.
But when I read the entire article, some things seem to be missing. Age, experience, and other demographic factors. The results as reported are simplified and don't take into consideration that long term learning - or better put - wisdom, takes place at a later age. Especially with regard to creative problem solving.
I think it would have been interesting to use a comparison on problem solving within parameters. Most situations that liberals and conservatives differ upon are things that will not and cannot change - and those are the laws of life, motivation, and self-achievement. You can't legislate or change the simple laws of life, you can only manage against them.
As the article is written it favors liberal thought and approach. But the way it's written would also mean that liberals aren't "learners". Case in point is the section about how liberals and conservatives deal with traffic construction:
People often drive home from work on the same route, day after day, such that it becomes habitual and doesn't involve much thinking," Amodio explained by way of comparison in an e-mail.
"But occasionally there is road work, or perhaps an animal crosses the road, and you need to break out of your habitual response in order to deal with this new information."
Using electroencephalographs, which measure neuronal impulses, the researchers examined activity in a part of the brain -- the anterior cingulate cortex -- that is strongly linked with the self-regulatory process of conflict monitoring.
The match-up was unmistakable: respondents who had described themselves as liberals showed "significantly greater conflict-related neural activity" when the hypothetical situation called for an unscheduled break in routine.
Conservatives, however, were less flexible, refusing to deviate from old habits "despite signals that this ... should be changed."
If you want to get political about this, I have a comparison for you. The increasing amount of laws and regulations and redistribution of wealth have nothing to do with "dealing with ambiguity" as liberals are touted in this study as being more able to do. Instead, it means that liberals cannot stand deviation from the set plan and furthermore, will not tolerate it. Who are the ones that want to break out of that pattern????
There is another larger point that the article makes that I don't have enough time to explore right now (because I have a job and want to be on time so I can support the economy), which is the premise that conservatives can't pick upon cues that things should change. I don't know about you, but there are a few observations I have about that:
- Change for the sake of change is fine for a hairdo, but when corn lobbies and the economy are involved, change for the sake of change is just stupid. That's "picking up on cues" that aren't really there.
- Most conservatives want to remove the barriers to people's lives that keep things stuck and inflexible.
Most conservatives want to remove the binds of a government that wants
to eliminate our ability to make choices. A government that wants to make choices FOR us.
And finally I don't know about you, but the messages coming from conservatives for the past 40 years have focused on change. And change within the parameters of what we are able to change and control within our lives. That's where true creative problem solving takes place and makes the most difference.