Part of the Bay Area News Group

It’s the brain, stupid

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Wednesday, September 12th, 2007 at 10:03 am in Political studies.

Results of a new study in the Nature Neuroscience journal suggest that the minds of liberals and conservatives work differently. (Click here to read the Los Angeles Times story.)

Gee, I could have told you that.

Just read the “Letters to the Editor” on any given day or the responses in my e-mail account. Normal, rational people hear or read the same set of facts and repeatedly come to entirely opposite conclusions. When confronted with each other’s facts, they will either mutter to themselves or come right out and say it, “How could you be so stupid? The truth is so obvious!”

We probably all belong to or know families where siblings raised in similar environments have very different political perspectives. Among my own children, I have daughter who is conservative and religious and the other is liberal and spiritual. I also have in-laws and siblings who possess viewpoints that constantly astound and annoy each other.

This study confirms what I have long observed as a newspaper reporter: Facts are debatable but the truth is personal.

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