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Left, right: The brain science of politics

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Left - right brain scienceSick of partisanship in Washington? Blame science.

A growing body of experimental research is finding evidence suggesting that, to some degree, political inclinations and ideological leanings may be tied to innate factors like a person’s biology, physiology and genetics. In fact, Al Gore recently raised the thorny issue when he spoke about political differences in “human nature.”

“I think, first of all, scientists now know that there is, in human nature, a divide between what we sometimes call ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives,’” the former vice president said on MSNBC earlier this year. “And it gives an advantage, you can speculate, to the human species to have some people who are temperamentally inclined to try to change the future, experiment with new things, and others who are temperamentally inclined to say, ‘Wait a minute, not too fast, let’s make sure we don’t do anything rash here.’”

The area of research is relatively new, but researchers say they have already made some startling findings, leaving them with no doubt that they are on the right track. But the nascent field is still struggling to win acceptance in many corners of academia, said Prof. George Marcus of Williams College, an expert in political psychology and the author of the 2012 book “Political Psychology: Neuroscience, Genetics, and Politics.”

TVNL Comment:  Just so long as it's not contagious....

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