We’ve long suspected that there’s something fundamentally different about the makeup of Republicans. Their denial of facts and the choice to outright ignore new information is hard to comprehend for most. How could teabaggers and others in the GOP deny the effects of climate change or evolution in spite of the overwhelming evidence supporting it?
Another study came out recently that indicates what we’ve suspected: the brains of conservatives don’t function the same way liberal minds do. The report indicates that when discussing politics and bringing up new ideas, Republican minds reacted more in the areas of the brain associated with fear while Democrats reacted with the portion of their brain associated with processing emotions. This is another example of how hard it can be to convince a Republican of new information because even if the evidence is overwhelming, their minds aren’t designed to process it.
The study goes on to suggest that Republicans respond best when motivated by feelings of fear and risk. Immigration, border control, and gay marriage are all issues that can elicit fear in Republicans, as the issues represent new and changing standards.
So the next time you’re at the watercooler or arguing with a member of the GOP and find yourself getting frustrated, don’t give up. Be patient, and remember that they’re built that way.
Joshua Schwitzerlett is a writer and researcher for Ring of Fire.