“Proof” that Liberals are Smart, Conservatives are Dumb

Liberals are generally convinced that they are smarter than conservatives.  Indeed, conservatives treat the term “intellectual” with contempt.  But, is there any basis to believe that Liberals are right?

A study published in Nature Neuroscience measured brain activity on Liberals and Conservatives and “found” that “the anterior cingulate cortex (AAC) was twice as active in liberals than in conservatives.”  AKA, Liberals were more mentally pliable than Conservatives.

I’d be wary of extrapolating this out too far.  But, it certainly raises interesting questions about how brains develop, and what effects certain kinds of stimuli (of a Liberal bent?) have on ones cognitive abilities.

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11 responses to ““Proof” that Liberals are Smart, Conservatives are Dumb

  1. Isn’t the anterior cingulate cortex the one that controls the sphincter?

    Just kidding. I’m a conservative; read anything on my blog — you may find much you disagree with, but I doubt you’d call it unintelligent. Are Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Thomas unintelligent? I also view myself as a “mentally pliable” person in the sense that I enjoy questioning and reevaluating what I believe.

    Your post title is a good example of extrapolating too far. A deeper treatment would look into what anterior cingulate cortex activity can be used to measure (from Wikipedia: “appears to play a role in a wide variety of autonomic functions, such as regulating blood pressure and heart rate, as well as rational cognitive functions, such as reward anticipation, decision-making, empathy and emotion”), and to what degree activity in this region corresponds with independent intelligence measurements.

    Maybe liberals simply have highly regulated blood pressure?

  2. Liberals and conservatives are all stupid for calling themselves liberals and conservatives instead of uniting for the common cause of saving our country instead of blaming each other and each other’s genes and brains. Maybe if people would quit arguing about their differences and their swollen egos, Mr. Wikipedia, things might not be so bad in this world.

  3. What do you mean by smarter? More educated? More book-smart or street-smart or sociallly-smart?

  4. Congratulations, Dianarn! You get the award for taking all of this too seriously.

  5. This post was meant to be tongue in cheek. I don’t think there are that many people out there that seriously believe there is an intelligence difference between conservatives and liberals other than the extremes at both ends.

    For my part, I’m more of a Libertarian than a liberal … if i had to pin myself down. Freedom in every area. But, like everyone else, I can contradict myself more than I’d like to.

    And you’re right, Forester, the title was WAY too far … but that was part of the fun. 🙂

  6. I humbly accept the award. 🙂 I plead PMS as an excuse. I, too am more of a Libertarian, especially after living under a communist regime then moving to the American dream, which only made me realize if nothing gets done, I’ll end up in the same place I started.

  7. haha! No worries, Dianarn. I’m curious, what communist regime was it?

    My step father is from Bulgaria … and he doesn’t exactly have a lot of love for communism (can’t blame him).

  8. … and since we’re all getting along so well, I’ll admit that the older I get, the more liberal I become (which seems to be the reverse of many folks). If conservatives say we need protection from big government, and liberals say we need protection from big business — I’ll jump right out there and affirm them both.

  9. I was born in Romania and I witnessed the revolution of ’89 when I was pretty young. There are a lot of things that make me completely hate communism, but the one that tops my list is fear propaganda. My teacher would tell us in kindergarten class that if we said bad things about “comrade” Ceausescu, the Security people would take our parents to jail. It scared me enough that I would apologize in my thoughts after calling him stupid (also in my thoughts) because he would broadcast his speech on TV instead of my nightly 30 min cartoon. And now all I hear is “OMG the terrorists from 5,000 miles away hate you and want to blow you up!!!” Same thing… except I’m older now and I can say swear words out loud. Maybe we can bring some of them over here so they can protect us from the gov’t and the businesses. 🙂

  10. Very interesting Dianarn. I think the lesson there is never mess with a kids Cartoons! 🙂 The world would indeed be better if we all just enjoyed more cartoon watching.

    Forester, That does seem backwards. But, not impossible. I suppose it’s probably more about seeing world in a broader and more realistic way. The far left and right are on the fringes for a reason. They think they are right about everything and can’t imagine a world where the other side has a good point to make.

    Most of us live in the middle. Despite what TV tells us. I find in conversations with many of the ultra liberals I live around that they are quite conservative on a number of points, but just don’t realize it. WE all attach to ideologies, often for emotional reasons, and disregard the discrepancies in our thought patterns.

    Very interesting indeed.

  11. Pingback: “Proof” that Liberals are Smart, Conservatives are Dumb « The Proletarian

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