Really enjoyed your chat with your Dad. This may interest you from salon.com.
“Political polarization in America is growing, and it’s not just due to the presidential election. But according to psychiatrist Gail Saltz, if we only knew how the other side’s brains work, we’d be able to communicate better.
“What’s really fascinating is that there have been a number of recent studies looking at brain structural differences between liberals and conservatives,” said Saltz. “And what’s been found in several studies is that liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate gyrus. That is an area that is responsible for taking in new information and that impact of the new information on decision making or choices. Conservatives tended on the whole to have a larger right amygdala. Amygdala being a deeper brain structure that processes more emotional information — specifically fear-based information,” Saltz explained.
While understanding brain structure could be helpful when engaging in any bipartisan negotiation that reaches across the aisle, of course, as Saltz explains, “it’s not black-and-white” for every individual. But it does give a pretty good guess at which kind of appeal could resonate more successfully with the political other, depending on how they respond to fear-based decision-making and how open they are to new information.
“Basically the study showed that if you just based it on brain structural size difference, you could predict who would be a conservative and who would be a liberal with a frequency of 71.6 percent; 71.6 percent is a pretty high ability to predict who is a conservative and who is a liberal just from brain structure,” Saltz said.”
Interesting I think, now the question becomes nature vs. nurture — what came first brain differentiation (nature) or was it caused by environment (nurture)!