liberal brains “are more responsive to informational complexity.”

UPDATE: An excellent tear-down in Slate: Rigging a study to make conservatives look stupid.. This is why I don’t blog much… because to say anything I can stick to takes more attention and mental energy than I have to spare for a blog. Sometimes that censor takes a break though.

Human Nature is a great column in Slate Magazine. The following is from the most recent: (see the original for better formating)

A study says liberal brains “are more responsive to informational complexity.” Test: You sit in front of a computer screen and wait for a letter to appear on it. You’re supposed to tap your keyboard if it’s an M, but not if it’s a W. The experimenters mix it up but give you more M’s than W’s to see whether you get lulled into tapping when you shouldn’t. Results: 1) On M’s, liberals and conservatives responded equally well. 2) On W’s, liberals were twice as likely to be among the more accurate responders. 3) On electrical measurements of the brain area that monitors conflict “between a habitual tendency … and a more appropriate response,” liberals were five times more likely to show brain activity. Unofficial scientist/media spin: Liberals are smarter. Official scientist/media spin: Liberals are smarter, except when circumstances call for a knee-jerk ideologue. Knee-jerk liberal spin: We’re smarter because we have more agile brains. Thoughtful liberal spin: Then again, maybe we have more agile brains because we’re smarter. (Human Nature’s view: Liberals are smart, except when their knees jerk.) To tap a reply on your own keyboard, enter the Fray.

I cringe to think how this is going to play out on talk radio. I hope Liberals don’t reinforce their stereotype as supercilious and arrogant by touting this and denigrating Conservatives. It should be dealt with soberly and not as a partisan matter. (Like so many things that aren’t.)

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