Are political views 'hard-wired' into your brain?

When hearing “it’s in their DNA”, most people would assume it was a joke referring to conservatives. It seems for the last 50 years or so, research was quietly being done, comparing the brains of conservatives with those of liberal thinking people. After hearing a comment by John Dean (Richard Nixon’s advisor) about the research he did for his book "Conservative Without Conscience", I had to rethink that DNA phrase. John Dean believes the study helped explain why the Republican Party has been driven further right. He said, “While not all conservatives are authoritarians, all highly authoritarian personalities are political conservatives and took control of the conservative movement in the 1980s, and then the Republican Party in the 1990s.” “Now, a few authoritarian leaders decide how and what the followers should believe.”

The Telegraph
Tuesday 04 January 2011

“A study at University College London in the UK has found that conservatives' brains have larger amygdalas than the brains of liberals. Amygdalas are responsible for fear and other "primitive" emotions. At the same time, conservatives' brains were also found to have a smaller anterior cingulated the part of the brain responsible for courage and optimism.” “If the study is confirmed, it could give us the first medical explanation for why conservatives tend to be more receptive to threats of terrorism, for example, than liberals. And it may help to explain why conservatives like to plan based on the worst-case scenario, while liberals tend towards rosier outlooks.”

After reading this article I did further research and discovered that since WWII, social psychologists have been researching why so many people would follow an authoritarian leader like Adolf Hitler. Those studies by the University at Berkley of California, disclosed the presence of an “authoritarian personality” by most conservatively biased people.

A social psychologist from the University of Manitoba, Bob Altemeyer, followed up and published several books on right-wing authoritarians. His research expanded the view of conservatives exposing “frequently enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, anti-equality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian, and amoral” personality traits.

The question needs to be asked, is there a direct correlation between conservatism and Fascism?

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