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January 18, 2005

Your brain is the real battleground

Apparently, different sections of our brain react to each other in the creation and retention of our opinions. And recent work done by Dr. Joshua Freedman and his team at UCLA shows this is true regardless of whether you're a Republican or a Democrat (from his 1/18/05 NYT editorial):

While viewing their own candidate, both Democrats and Republicans showed activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, an area associated with strong instinctive feelings of emotional connection. Viewing the opposing candidate, however, activated the anterior cingulate cortex, which indicates cognitive and emotional conflict. It also lighted up the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area that acts to suppress or shape emotional reactions.

These patterns of brain activity, made visible on the f.M.R.I.'s, suggest that both Bush and Kerry voters were mentally battling their attraction to the other side. Bush voters wanted to follow Mr. Kerry; Kerry voters found appeal in Mr. Bush. Both groups fought this instinct by arguing to themselves that their impulses were wrong. By recalling flaws associated with the opposition, the voters displaced attraction with dislike. Because the process happened nearly instantaneously, only the final sense of dismay reached full awareness.

So we now have scientific proof for the efficacy of the tactics employed by Rove & Co. If you flood the airwaves with enough negative propaganda about the opposition you will enable the victory of your candidate in the battleground of the voters' brains.

Lesson to the Dems: Go Negative - Early and Often!

Posted by terry at January 18, 2005 01:38 PM | TrackBack
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