Maybe you’ve turned your brain off in order to resolve the logical paradox. The story I just linked to investigates political bias in partisans and offers a clear reason not to be a partisan: They’re not thinking!

Democrats and Republicans alike are adept at making decisions without letting the facts get in the way, a new study shows.


We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning,” said Drew Westen, director of clinical psychology at Emory University. “What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up, including circuits hypothesized to be involved in regulating emotion, and circuits known to be involved in resolving conflicts.”


The study points to a total lack of reason in political decision-making.

“None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly engaged,” Westen said. “Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones.”

Notably absent were any increases in activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain most associated with reasoning.

A “total lack of reason” in politics? No way! 🙂 Okay, so I saw this one coming. But it’s a nice summary of the fact that we do most of our political “thinking” with our emotions and not our logical brains. You’ll see a fair amount of emotion on this site, but I try to wait until after I’ve examined the facts to get emotional about the issues I talk about. It’s hard not to feel something when somebody tells you (and offers statistical proof) that our election might’ve been rigged. But it’s important to try and remain impartial until the dust has settled. I have my suspicions, but I cannot say with 100% certainty that it was stolen. There’s just to many variables for little-ol’-me to decide after a few hours of thought. I encourage you to keep an open mind and withhold judgment until all the facts are in. That includes dismissing these allegations out of hand.

Please: don’t be a partisan hack. Think!


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