Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Don't be afraid!

As sheeple I can tell you that according to research it is very likely that we have larger amygdalas than your average Canadian. That is right, Conservatives are thought to have bigger amygdalas! What is an amygdala you ask? Well it is a part of your brain that deals with anxiety and emotions and is linked to the management of fear. Scientific work seems to indicate that if you have a larger amygdala then your political views will tend to be more conservative. 

On the other hand if you have a larger than average anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and a smaller amygdala then it is likely that you will have more liberal views. This is said to be the part of the brain that is linked to an interest in understanding new and/or complex things, something of course that we as sheeple have no interest in.

So what, you ask? Well ... the upshot seems to be that those of us with larger amygdalas are more likely to be comfortable with traditional values and more willing to support outdated positive ideas like more defense spending, capital punishment, and patriotism. This also explains why many of us feel uncomfortable with liberal views on issues like gun control, immigration, or foreign aid.

Although it all sounds wonderful, having a large amygdala can cause one small problem and it is important that you are aware of it during the election campaign. It turns out that those with larger amygdalas are also more susceptible to appeals that involve fear. So if you hear the opposition parties trying to scare you, for example trying to get you to be scared of a PM Harper majority, you now know why. They are trying to access your bigger amygdala.

Now rest assured that the Conservative Party would never resort to these kinds of tactics to get your vote (after all you have a larger amygdala and therefore are more likely to vote Tory anyway). When PM Harper talks about coalitions with the Bloc or Liberal fiscal mismanagement, budget deficits, or high spending, or the scary union influenced NDP, or losing health care or patronage or... he is not trying to scare you, just the opposite. He is just trying to relate to your super sized amygdala. That's why you should ignore the kind of comments like in today's Globe and Mail.

To be sure, the meat of the Conservative message is rooted in attack: warning of an “unnecessary election” that could result in a “fragile coalition,” of also-ran parties that, to add the latest trope, would threaten national unity by leaving the government in thrall to the separatists.

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