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Modern Politics Activates the Brain's Ancient Wiring

How does your brain process political ideas?

Publish Date: Topic: Body + BrainBody & BrainNova

Research on the biology of political beliefs provides insight into the effectiveness of canvassing (or really, how to win any argument). Current theories suggest that people’s political beliefs are driven by their identification with a group—similar to sports team loyalties, but more rooted in values, which makes them harder to change. Processing political thoughts may be a simple question of "Us versus Them."

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National corporate funding for NOVA Wonders is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA Wonders is provided by National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and public television viewers, with additional funding for “Are We Alone?” and “What’s the Universe Made Of?” provided by the John Templeton Foundation. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1420749. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.