Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Political Preference - Brain Differences? Astrology in there anywhere?

Humans seem to be naturally polarized politically, most remain entrenched in their views for a lifetime. Some research has been carried out.

Liberal? Conservative? Your brains are different, study finds , an article by by Andrew Duffy, at Vancouver Sun begins:

Liberals and Conservatives may have differences that go well beyond their opinions about what constitutes contempt of Parliament.

A British study suggests there are anatomical differences between the brains of opponents on the left and right of the political spectrum.

The study, published in the online edition of Current Biology, found people who identified themselves as liberal tended to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, a region of the brain that monitors uncertainty and conflict. Those who identified themselves as conservative had larger amygdalas, a region that processes emotions related to fear.

Researchers say the physical differences reflect the nature of voters: Liberals tend to be more comfortable with uncertainty, conservatives are more sensitive to fear.

"Previously, some psychological traits were known to be predictive of an individual's political orientation," said Dr. Ryota Kanai of University College London. "Our study now links such personality traits with specific brain structure."
I began to wonder how this might pan out astrologically. Further light research brought me to a pdf file from Dept of Political science, University of Iowa Fear Dispositions and their Relationship to Political Preferences

Clip from pdf (click on it to see a bigger version)

So, where might we find correlation in astrology to this idea that fear drives conservatism?

Saturn and how it is positioned in one's natal chart, appears to be significant in the potential for conservatism. Coincidentally Saturn connects to fear as well.

For instance - just one example:

A person with Sun conjunct Saturn - part of the interpretation at Cafe Astrology says:

..... Generally, they come across as somewhat skeptical and pessimistic, cautious, and slightly reserved. There is a distinct streak of the conservative in these people. Some are rigid and strict, expecting others to live up to their high standards. However, most people with this aspect are simply very aware that life has its limitations.

More about the connection of Saturn with fear is set out in a piece by Beth Turnage, Saturn and Fear at Astrology Explored.

A little mythological background on Saturn
Saturn was the God Kronos, father of Zeus, who was known for devouring his offspring soon after being born. He did this because he feared that they would surpass him. But Zeus, who was protected by his mother, returned to face his father, and Kronos’ fears were realized through death. Similarly, if we clamp down on what we fear the most, eventually it destroy us. Saturn has been depicted as the punishing father, but also as the Grim Reaper, who cuts life short. Mortality is the ultimate restriction, and as Father Time, he is the wise one that inspires urgency in our quest to fulfill our life mission.

In light of all of the above I'm wondering whether at some future date an enlightened statistician might include some astrological data in their researches on such topics as this. Assistance from a professional astrologer would be essential of course. When pigs fly......


Gian Paul said...

Today's Wall Street Journal reports that 50 % of rich Chinese citizens contemplate to emigrate.

Knowing that to become rich in China, one has to be a Communist (or related to one of them), it's to be pondered whether the "valet filling up and moving to the right breast pocket" may not have an impact on blod-circulation/brain orientation etc.

And this might then become a hereditary trait.

I doubt that astrology can be helpfull in determining conservatism or left leanings, other that Saturn and it's predominance (or absence of influence) in a natal horoscope.

What matters more is receptivity to perceived life-comforts or risk. Some prefer to live in comfort, others need more stimulus than that to feel being alive (and of any use).

Personally I do hope that no scientist will ever find out some astrological way to "manipulate political leanings". It's such a poor environment, generally, that the stars be better not draged that low.

Twilight said...

Gian Paul (by the way your last comment on yesterday's post hasn't published there (yet) nor did RJ Adams' comment. I'll copy yours and post it.

Re political orientation and astrology/biology:

I suppose the Chinese are born (as we in the west are) some with one brain part bigger than another, so maybe those with ambitions to emigrate have similar brain pattern to western conservatives. ???

I probably haven't made my main purpose in this topic very clear.
I don't wish for any manipulation -far from it - we have enough of that already. It's just that whenever scientists come up with such findings as described here, I always wonder whether there would be astrological/planetary correlation . If so it would go a long way to explaining what kind of "force" there is behind astrology......We who regularly watch know that "something is happening here" but we don't know what it is. I have always had the urge to try to find out. It seems that I'm pretty much on my own in this though. nobody else seems interested - even the pros.


Gian Paul said...

I totally share your "lonelyness" in wondering how and why astrology functions the way it does.

If the pros seem not to care too much it's probably that they (the serious ones at least) concluded that it's too coplex to ascertain or prefer to live with some mystery. Which is not stupid, after all. How many of us travel in an aeroplane without having a clue why it's not falling off the sky (?) but enjoy the ride...

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~~ Hmmm - well yes, but SOMEBODY does know how the aeroplane works! :-)

Pros are probably quite happy making a living from the mystery - but maybe I'm being cruelly cynical there. That's what having computer virus attacks does to a person.