By John R. Hibbing, Kevin B. Smith, John R. Alford

Book cover of Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences

Book description

Buried in many people and operating largely outside the realm of conscious thought are forces inclining us toward liberal or conservative political convictions. Our biology predisposes us to see and understand the world in different ways, not always reason and the careful consideration of facts. These predispositions are in turn…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Predisposed as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

One could almost have predicted that the concept of brain laterality would provide material for explaining the division between the political left and right.

Do political conservatives and liberals have brain differences that may, in part, determine their politics? This volume is valuable as a rare source of material for addressing this question. Political conservatives apparently have larger amygdalas (which register reactions to threat), while liberals may have a reverse valuation. These two brain features may contribute to determining hemispheric preferences.

A well-researched and decidedly non-partisan book in analysis. Groucho Marx famously remarked that “all people are born alike—except Republicans and Democrats.” Differing personality traits, values, and emotional displays are all covered in this book. It even finds study results to suggest that political differences aren’t easily resolved in part because they go all the way down to our DNA!

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