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Liberal Brains Bigger in Areas of Complexity; Conservative Brains Bigger in Areas of Fear

Surprise! A new study says there are brain differences between conservatives and liberals.


This is going to sound sort of obvious, but here we go: A study from University College London published this week in Current Biology has discovered that there are actually differences in the brains of liberals and conservatives. Specifically, liberals' brains tend to be bigger in the area that deals with processing complex ideas and situations, while conservatives' brains are bigger in the area that processes fear.

According to the report: "We found that greater liberalism was associated with increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas greater conservatism was associated with increased volume of the right amygdala."

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Conservative Darling Ayn Rand Died Loving Government Handouts

A new book reveals that Ayn Rand, the late conservative author and opponent of the welfare state, actually relied quite heavily on welfare programs.


Of the welfare state, the conservative philosopher and author Ayn Rand once wrote, "Morally and economically, the welfare state creates an ever accelerating downward pull." As it turns out, however, toward the end of her life, Rand ended up relying quite heavily on its help.

According to the new book An Oral History of Ayn Rand, faced with lung cancer after a life spent smoking, and without the wealth needed to combat that cancer, Rand adopted an assumed name to seek government funds for her treatment.

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Why Do Old People Get Conservative? A Self-Esteem Boost

The conventional wisdom is that old people get conservative. Here's another clue why: It might soothe existential anxiety.


Miller McCune reports on new research that provides one fascinating reason people may get more conservative as they age: It makes them feel better about themselves.

The researchers found growing older was associated with lower levels of self-esteem among those on the liberal side of the scale. But conservatives were spared that decline, leading them to conclude that “conservatism buffers the negative effect of age on self-esteem.”

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