Monday, September 10, 2007

The neuroscience of liberals & conservatives   posted by Razib @ 9/10/2007 06:56:00 PM

Chris reviews a study on the cognitive neuroscience of liberalism & conservatism (The LA Times has an article on the study). He's skeptical of the relevance and coherency of the findings. I would add that the heritability of political orientation is about 0.5, so I don't doubt that there's some innate predispositions which predispose individuals toward particular world views. Rather, I think this is analogous to genome surveys which can detect natural selection, but can't necessarily offer a plausible rationale for why selection occurred on a particular locus. Finally, I would add that my own hunch is that libertarians would probably be with the liberals here; because fundamentally there are some core axioms (individual self-actualization) and ends (a materialistic utilitarianism) which the Left and libertarians share despite the latter's traditional location on the Right.