Liberals and conservatives exhibit different cognitive styles and converging lines of evidence suggest that biology influences differences in their political attitudes and beliefs. In particular, a recent study of young adults suggests that liberals and conservatives have significantly different brain structure, with liberals showing increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, and conservatives showing increased gray matter volume in the in the amygdala. Here, we explore differences in brain function in liberals and conservatives by matching publicly-available voter records to 82 subjects who performed a risk-taking task during functional imaging. Although the risk-taking behavior of Democrats (liberals) and Republicans (conservatives) did not differ, their brain activity did. Democrats showed significantly greater activity in the left insula, while Republicans showed significantly greater activity in the right amygdala. In fact, a two parameter model of partisanship based on amygdala and insula activations yields a better fitting model of partisanship than a well-established model based on parental socialization of party identification long thought to be one of the core findings of political science. These results suggest that liberals and conservatives engage different cognitive processes when they think about risk, and they support recent evidence that conservatives show greater sensitivity to threatening stimuli.
Previous research has shown that political leanings correlate with various psychological factors. While surveys and experiments provide a rich source of information for political psychology, data from social networks can offer more naturalistic and robust material for analysis. This research investigates psychological differences between individuals of different political orientations on a social networking platform, Twitter. Based on previous findings, we hypothesized that the language used by liberals emphasizes their perception of uniqueness, contains more swear words, more anxiety-related words and more feeling-related words than conservatives' language. Conversely, we predicted that the language of conservatives emphasizes group membership and contains more references to achievement and religion than liberals' language. We analysed Twitter timelines of 5,373 followers of three Twitter accounts of the American Democratic and 5,386 followers of three accounts of the Republican parties' Congressional Organizations. The results support most of the predictions and previous findings, confirming that Twitter behaviour offers valid insights to offline behaviour.
The cheerleader effect occurs when the same individual appears to be more attractive when seen in a group, compared to alone. As observers over-attend to visual information presented in the left visual field, we investigated whether the spatial arrangement of the faces in a group would influence the magnitude of the cheerleader effect. In Experiment 1, target faces were presented twice in the centre of the display: once alone, and once in a group. Group images featured two distractor faces, which were presented in either the left or the right visual field, or on either side of the target. The location of the distractor faces did not modulate the size of the cheerleader effect, which was observed in each group configuration. In Experiment 2, we manipulated the location of the target faces, which were presented at the far left, far right, or centre of the group. Faces were again significantly more attractive in each group configuration, and the spatial location of the target face did not influence the size of the cheerleader effect. Together, our results show that the cheerleader effect is a robust phenomenon, which is not influenced by the spatial arrangement of the faces in the group.
To analyse how training doctors' demographic and socioeconomic characteristics vary according to the specialty that they are training for.
This study examined patient outcomes after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation across a range of center surgical volumes.
“#discrimination”: The Online Response to a Case of a Breastfeeding Mother Being Ejected from a UK Retail Premises
- Journal of human lactation : official journal of International Lactation Consultant Association
- Published over 5 years ago
Stigma is a significant barrier to breastfeeding. Internationally, mothers have reported stigma surrounding public breastfeeding. In the United Kingdom, the Equality Act 2010 gives women the right to breastfeed in public, including within private businesses. In April 2014, a woman who was breastfeeding in a UK sports shop was asked to leave, resulting in a localized protest by breastfeeding mothers. This resulted in the issue of public breastfeeding being highlighted in local, national, and social media.
To evaluate the outcomes of conservatively managed staghorn calculi, specifically looking at morbidity and mortality, incidence of infections and progressive changes in renal function.
The “rigidity of the right” hypothesis predicts that particularly the political right experiences fear and derogates outgroups. We propose that above and beyond that, the political extremes (at both sides of the spectrum) are more likely to display these responses than political moderates. Results of a large-scale sample reveal the predicted quadratic term on socio-economic fear. Moreover, although the political right is more likely to derogate the specific category of immigrants, we find a quadratic effect on derogation of a broad range of societal categories. Both extremes also experience stronger negative emotions about politics than politically moderate respondents. Finally, the quadratic effects on derogation of societal groups and negative political emotions were mediated by socio-economic fear, particularly among left- and right-wing extremists. It is concluded that negative emotions and outgroup derogation flourish among the extremes.
People’s social and political opinions are grounded in their moral concerns about right and wrong. We examine whether five moral foundations-harm, fairness, ingroup, authority, and purity-can influence political attitudes of liberals and conservatives across a variety of issues. Framing issues using moral foundations may change political attitudes in at least two possible ways: (a) Entrenching: Relevant moral foundations will strengthen existing political attitudes when framing pro-attitudinal issues (e.g., conservatives exposed to a free-market economic stance) and (b) Persuasion: Mere presence of relevant moral foundations may also alter political attitudes in counter-attitudinal directions (e.g., conservatives exposed to an economic regulation stance). Studies 1 and 2 support the entrenching hypothesis. Relevant moral foundation-based frames bolstered political attitudes for conservatives (Study 1) and liberals (Study 2). Only Study 2 partially supports the persuasion hypothesis. Conservative-relevant moral frames of liberal issues increased conservatives' liberal attitudes.
- Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior
- Published about 7 years ago
The functional role of the superior temporal sulcus (STS) has been implicated in a number of studies, including those investigating face perception, voice perception, and face-voice integration. However, the nature of the STS preference for these ‘social stimuli’ remains unclear, as does the location within the STS for specific types of information processing. The aim of this study was to directly examine properties of the STS in terms of selective response to social stimuli. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan participants whilst they were presented with auditory, visual, or audiovisual stimuli of people or objects, with the intention of localising areas preferring both faces and voices (i.e., ‘people-selective’ regions) and audiovisual regions designed to specifically integrate person-related information. Results highlighted a ‘people-selective, heteromodal’ region in the trunk of the right STS which was activated by both faces and voices, and a restricted portion of the right posterior STS (pSTS) with an integrative preference for information from people, as compared to objects. These results point towards the dedicated role of the STS as a ‘social-information processing’ centre.