Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Liberals More Likely Than Conservatives To Break From Habitual Responses, Study Finds

Date:
September 11, 2007
Source:
New York University
Summary:
Liberals are more likely than are conservatives to respond to cues signaling the need to change habitual responses, according to a new study by researchers at New York University and UCLA. The findings, which show that self-rated liberalism is associated with the type of brain activity involved in regulating conflict between a habitual tendency and an alternative response, appear in the online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Liberals are more likely than are conservatives to respond to cues signaling the need to change habitual responses, according to a new study by researchers at New York University and UCLA.

The findings, which show that self-rated liberalism is associated with the type of brain activity involved in regulating conflict between a habitual tendency and an alternative response, appear in the online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Previous studies have found that conservatives tend to be more persistent in their judgments and decision-making, while liberals are more likely to be open to new experiences. These differences are related to a process known as conflict monitoring-a mechanism for detecting when a habitual response is not appropriate for a new situation.

NYU's David Amodio, a professor of psychology and the study's lead author, and his colleagues recorded electrical activity from the brain using electroencephalograms (EEGs) in people who rated themselves as either conservative or liberal. During these recordings, subjects had to press a button when they saw a cue, which was presented often enough that the button-press became habitual.

However, subjects occasionally saw another, infrequent cue signaling them to withhold their habitual button press. When such response inhibition was required, liberals had significantly greater neural activity originating in the anterior cingulate cortex, a portion of the brain known to be involved in conflict monitoring. Liberals were also more likely to withhold their habitual response when they saw the infrequent cue.

The findings support previous suggestions that political orientation may in part reflect differences in cognitive mechanisms.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

New York University. "Liberals More Likely Than Conservatives To Break From Habitual Responses, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911111852.htm>.
New York University. (2007, September 11). Liberals More Likely Than Conservatives To Break From Habitual Responses, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911111852.htm
New York University. "Liberals More Likely Than Conservatives To Break From Habitual Responses, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911111852.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins