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Psychology: Political Views and Brain Formation Research Paper

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Premise/hypothesis of the study

The main premise of the researchers in this study lies in their correlation of a causal role in the formation of political attitudes with the genetically inclined brain structure of a person. In other words, the researchers are correlating being a liberal or a conservative with how a person’s brain is formed and the subsequent psychological mechanisms that interplay as a direct result of inherent differences in the makeup of individual brains.

Research design and sample

The research design was quite straight forward, the researchers utilized a sample of 90 healthy volunteers from University College London and had them fill out a survey indicating their political orientation. After which an MRI scan was utilized to examine the differences in the brains of those who were implied that they were liberals as well as those who indicated that they were conservatives. The researchers assumed that due to certain population sets having an inherently liberal or conservative orientation, there must be some genetically based factors behind such divisions.

Key study findings

The results of the study found that people with a predilection towards liberalism had higher volumes of gray matter within their anterior cingulate cortex, while on the other hand, those who were more inclined towards conservatism had more gray matter volume in their right amygdala. Such differences are associated by the researchers are causing distinct psychological changes in the individuals examined and as such creates a direct causal link between genetic predilections towards being either a conservative or a liberal.

Discussion of findings

The significance of the study findings shows that certain population sets are inherently predisposition towards developing specific political cultures. As such, this study could greatly influence how political campaigns could be run in the future based on the genetic predilection of people within a certain area towards a particular way of political thought and discourse.

Study strengths

The main strength of the study was that it was able to utilize undeniable evidence via direct examination of the brains of the subjects involved to create an effective correlation between particular sizes of areas of the brain and a predilection to be either a liberal or a conservative.

Study limitations

The inherent limitations of the study lies in the fact that it was not able to utilize a more diverse base of research subjects to further reinforce the study’s findings.

Need for further research?

There is a definite need for further research in the form of examining populations with historic predilections towards particular methods of political thought and discourse to examine the accuracy of this study’s results.

Why this study is a critical research

This study is critical research since it shows how people are genetically inclined towards particular political ideologies.

Discussion Questions

Do you honestly believe that political orientations are genetically inheritable?

Reference

Kanai, R., Feilden, T., Firth, C., & Rees, G. (2011). Political orientations are correlated with brain structure in young adults. Current Biology Vol. 21(8), pp. 677-680.

The Left Rolls with the Good; The Right Confronts the Bad Physiology and Cognition in Politics Michael D. Dodd, Amanda Balzer, Carly Jacobs, Michael Grusczynszyki, Kevin B. Smith and John R. Hibbing.

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Premise/hypothesis of the study

The main premise of this particular study lies in its assumption that attitudinal responsiveness to various forms of stimuli is inherently connected to the political inclination of certain individuals.

Research design and sample

The research process consisted of 200 participants being brought to a computer lab to measure their psychological inclinations and determine their political inclinations. This was done through a series of questionnaires and a psychological evaluation consisting of a slideshow presentation. Afterward, the research results were examined to compare psychological profiles, methods of thinking, and political orientations.

Key study findings

The key findings of the study revealed that people with a predisposition towards aversive stimuli are more inclined towards right-of-center political orientations while those possessing an orientation to appetitive (pleasing) stimuli have a predisposition towards left-of-center political orientations. This indicates that certain inherent attitudes and behaviors of people can be directly associated with the political ideology that they would espouse.

Discussion of findings

The significance of the findings can be directly related to determining how particular political orientations within individuals manifest themselves and how certain psychological predispositions inherently influence how an individual views the various types of political ideologies that are present.

Study strengths

The strength of the study lies in its use of a broad subject base to effectively analyze the connection between distinct psychological underpinnings and political orientations.

Study limitations

The inherent limitations of the study though fail to create an in-depth examination of how such psychological orientations of particular populations led to the creation of certain political ideologies.

Why this study is a critical research

This study can be considered critical research since it shows the connection between a person’s psychological profile and how they position themselves along particular paths of political ideology.

Need for further research?

Further research will necessary in examining the impact psychological orientations have on political orientation and whether the results presented in this study are accurate.

Discussion Questions

Do you believe that an individual’s inherent psychological profile creates a predilection towards a certain method of political discourse?

Reference

Dodd, M., Balzer, A., Jacobs, C., Grusczynszyki, M., Smith, K., & Hibbing, J. (N.I.). The left rolls with the good; the right confronts the bad physiology and cognition in politics. Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska, 1-42.

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IvyPanda. (2021, January 18). Psychology: Political Views and Brain Formation. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychology-political-views-and-brain-formation/

Work Cited

"Psychology: Political Views and Brain Formation." IvyPanda, 18 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/psychology-political-views-and-brain-formation/.

1. IvyPanda. "Psychology: Political Views and Brain Formation." January 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychology-political-views-and-brain-formation/.


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IvyPanda. "Psychology: Political Views and Brain Formation." January 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychology-political-views-and-brain-formation/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "Psychology: Political Views and Brain Formation." January 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/psychology-political-views-and-brain-formation/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Psychology: Political Views and Brain Formation'. 18 January.

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