Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

How will his presidency and the Republican Party change the economic inequality landscape?

This is a general discussion of any aspect of Donald Trump's presidency and the Republican Party's impact upon economic inequality. Keep the discussion civil and dignified while always being mindful of our principles of conduct (aka SITE RULES).

Posted on: » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:21 pm #1

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Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Doctor A » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:21 pm

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED THIS LAST ELECTION

To those of you who support and elected Donald Trump I say, "Come with me if you want to live."

From the New York Times, November 09, 2016 By Richard Fausett
A headline from the front page:

For Trump Voters, the Elation Is Mixed

Many supporters said they hoped for great things under a Trump presidency — though many also said they had no idea what they were in for.


So, just for starters, let me explain what you are in for.

You want change; who of us doesn't? Ronald Regan attached his presidency to the elite 1% and with the power of their wealth and K street lobbyist was able to change the laws on their behalf. The power of the corporate machine to avoid taxes and to bring their newfound wealth to global heights was staggering. Supply side economics was preached from every perch and it was the new gospel and salvation from the worldly human condition. You too had the opportunity to be someone, not just a commoner at the bottom of the social dung heap. No, you could be one step from heaven.

But it was not true then and still is not true today. It was the wealthy elite who lied to you back then when they asked you to drink the poisoned Kool Aid. While their corporate wealth increased dramatically over the decades, yours has remained stagnant at best. To say it was a failed experiment is an overstatement. Yet even in the face of over whelming disastrous results, you drank the poison once again.

Put aside the fact that James Comey, a Republican and director of the FBI, had his thumb on the scale of justice when he reopened his inquiry into Hillary Clinton's emails to swayed the election results. Although Lady Liberty who holds the scale is blindfolded to be impartial to the results, she still knows when she is being groped. Yet there is something much more base and depraved going on than this moral turpitude.

We know the brain structure of Republicans is different than that of Democrats. Functional MRI's indicate your amygdala, that structure of the limbic system which deals with emotional reactions, is enhanced. That is to say, anxiety and fear play a larger size role in how you process information. To put it bluntly, it short circuits your ability to reason and process facts in an attempt to ameliorate the fear. But take it from those of us who do not have our circuitry wired as such, if you touch the hot stove, it will burn you again. And touch it you did.

At least you have not lost your ability to feel the pain. You know when times are bad and see those around you succumbing to drug addiction, suicide, prostitution, depression, prison, and a bucketful of similar maladies as one tries to wrest the pain from the body. Yes the stove is hot; it is hotter than even before when you first blindly grabbed onto it in you amygdala induced rage. But remember, who was it who burned you the first time. It was the wealthy elite. They were the ones who sent your jobs overseas to fill their corporate vaults with cash. It was not the common man of the 99%. The wealthy elite were the ones who squeezed the turnip making you work more hours for less pay. It was their policy and procedures that excluded you from their plans, muffling your voice as they crammed their rules and regulations down your throat. And as you screamed for a better life, they reminded you of the Golden Rule. Remember, "Those With The Gold, Make The Rules" and that they did while adding insult to injury by saying it was on your behalf, for your own good.

We know; you felt unheard and disenfranchised by the mainstream. Yet in your amygdala induced outrage, a situation you created for yourselves by believing the lies of the 1% elite before, you once again grabbed onto the hot stove in the form of Donald Trump. He is arguably an incarnation of what is the very worst of the wealthy elite have to offer. This is further supported by his soon to be cabinet of deplorables, his minions of self absorbed neurotics bent on feathering their own nests. Will your reaction be any different this time when your short circuited brain perceives the eventual pain; I think not.

How nice it is of Mr. Trump to momentarily take you out of your pain, an amnesia of sorts, by offering you the same deal again. Hope springs eternal. This is the true art of the deal, to offer you salvation from your past mistake of buying into economic inequality by offering you even greater deal this time to further increase your economic inequality. Make no mistake, he is no friend of the common man. He does not understand your needs and suffering. Rather, he will use your misfortune to advance his fortune. Like the rich man he is, he will offer you the illusion that you too can be like him, sitting in the hot tub, traveling on the private jet, and telling those who are not as good as he is that they are fired. So go ahead, have another glass of the Kool Aid as a salute to your good fortune.

From the afore mentioned headline, "many also said they had no idea what they were in for" , I will help you fill in the blanks.

On the front page headline of the New York Times, November 10th,2016
The Transition
90-Minute Meeting Was a ‘Great Honor,’ Says President-Elect
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis

President Obama and Donald J. Trump made a public show of putting their bitter differences aside after meeting on the transition.


I have experienced it so many time in my corporate career when one company takes over another. The process always starts the same, "do not disturb the chickens in the coop." They make their assurances that everything will be fine, people should not expect to lose their jobs, "truly folks, there is nothing to look at here, work will go on as normal."

They always come in nicey, nicey and then, like a drunk who has had too much whiskey, they will flip into an anger mode. At first you do not notice as everyone goes about their daily business. But then people begin to ask, "whatever happened to Bill who used to sit in the back row and why haven't I seen the pleasant woman who used to come in from the other office. Slowly but surely, under stealth and the power of corporate secrecy, they begin to move people out. Those who have the potential to create problems, the individuals who just "do not fit," and those no longer needed due to a merger's duplicity of needs are eliminated. Eventually their true corporate nature comes out as edict after edict come down as to how the new owners want everyone to act. They forcefully push the square pegs into the all the round holes in the name of corporate efficiency.
Then the specifics begin, just like this one example:

From: Medscape Medical News
Trump Wins Presidency and Chance to Dump ACA
Robert Lowes
November 09, 2016
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/871 ... 0967&faf=1

"the RAND Corporation determined that if Trump's key healthcare proposals were enacted, an estimated 25 million people would lose coverage."


This will be one of the immediate actions of a Trump presidency. Many of these additional 25 million people to lose their coverage will be those Rust Belt individuals who voted for Trump in the first place. Unfortunately many will not even have the medical coverage to treat their now burned hands by touching the hot stove again. Such are the laws of Karma let alone misguided thoughts.

The listing of the all the specifics would be too tedious to recite let alone emotionally draining. But like a rotting head cheese, this mixed jumble of meaty specifics when added up and left undone will cause one terrific stench over time.

Finally, there is the promise of an economy jacked up on steroids, burning brightly as if fueled by hope and lighter fluid. It is exhibited in another of today's headline:

From the Washington Post

Dow jumps to record high as hope grows that Trump would lift economy

By Ylan Q. Mui November 10rh, 2016
https://www.washingtonpost.com/.../10/m ... onald-trum...


Even if this fantasy scenario was to end up being accurate, isn't this what they already promised you so many years ago? Isn't this what got you into your horrific economic debacle in the first place? From my previous post on Nov. 2nd, 2016 I write, " Donald Trump is not only the embodiment of the worst type of behavior one can find as a representative of the wealthy but will actively create substantially more economic inequality through his proposed tax policies.

From: http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37468751 BBC US election: Where Clinton and Trump stand on key issues. 27 September 2016.

According to an analysis from the conservative Tax Foundation, Donald Trump's latest plan would cost the US government about $5.9 trillion in revenue over 10 years, about half as much as the proposal he set out last September. Mr Trump's current plan includes reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to three, cutting corporate taxes, eliminating the estate tax and increasing the standard deduction for individual filers. According to the Tax Foundation analysis, the top 1% of earners would see their income increase by double-digits, while the bottom quarter gets a boost of up to 1.9%."


Remember now? Albeit the giant mountain of promised gold is as shiny as Trump's hair, it will not be yours to own. Surely you jest if you think otherwise. Economic inequality will mandate by law that most of the gold will go to the wealthy and not to you. Pity, most likely you share will not even cover the rise of inflation. If only there was a tear for everyone of Trump's broken promises, we could refresh the oceans and start the world over anew. But this wishful thinking is not possible. The elite will yet again squeeze the blood from the turnip and now have even more wealth with its pursuant power with which to separate you from your share. Predictably, the downward spiral to your demise will continue.

You have made a mistake, a very bad mistake. But you are not a mistake. This quality of human beings allows us to redeem ourselves even in the face of misguided judgment. But first you need to stop drinking the poison. Can you do that? I suspect it will only happen when the pain of your mistake becomes overwhelmingly unbearable. The alternative is death.

Hence I say again, "Come with me if you want to live." Join me and help with our quest to stop economic inequality. Your very life depends upon it. Not doing so now would be a far greater mistake than those you made in the past. Redemption, at least in the sense of those of us who can still remember our mother's redeeming Green Stamps at the grocery store for prizes, can still be yours.

What is this grand prize you ask? Simply put, humanity and its accompanying civilization will not be flushed down the drain.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BRAIN STRUCTURE OF DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS

Liberals have more tolerance to uncertainty (bigger anterior cingulate cortex), and conservatives have more sensitivity to fear (bigger right amygdala).

Source From: ProCon.org
Last updated on: 2/3/2015

(see the number *4 section below)

For a more complete view of brain structure differences see below or proceed to the next post:

Differences in Conservative and Liberal Brains
16 peer-reviewed studies show liberals and conservatives physiologically different

In the 16 peer-reviewed scientific studies summarized below, researchers found that liberals and conservatives have different brain structures, different physiological responses to stimuli, and activate different neural mechanisms when confronted with similar situations. Each entry below cites the source document. The studies are arranged from most recent to oldest. We included all the peer-reviewed studies on this subject that we could find. If you know about others, please contact us with details.

1. People right-of-center politically spend more time looking at unpleasant images, and people left-of-center politically spend more time looking at pleasant images.
"We report evidence that individual-level variation in people's physiological and attentional responses to aversive and appetitive stimuli are correlated with broad political orientations. Specifically, we find that greater orientation to aversive stimuli tends to be associated with right-of-centre and greater orientation to appetitive (pleasing) stimuli with left-of-centre political inclinations."
Michael D. Dodd, PhD, Amanda Balzer, PhD, Carly Jacobs, MA, Michael Gruszczynski, MA, Kevin B. Smith, PhD, and John R. Hibbing, PhD, "The Left Rolls with the Good; The Right Confronts the Bad. Physiology and Cognition in Politics," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Mar. 5, 2012


2. Reliance on quick, efficient, and "low effort" thought processes yields conservative ideologies, while effortful and deliberate reasoning yields liberal ideologies.
"...[P]olitical conservatism is promoted when people rely on low-effort thinking. When effortful, deliberate responding is disrupted or disengaged, thought processes become quick and efficient; these conditions promote conservative ideology… low-effort thought might promote political conservatism because its concepts are easier to process, and processing fluency increases attitude endorsement.

Four studies support our assertion that low-effort thinking promotes political conservatism... Our findings suggest that conservative ways of thinking are basic, normal, and perhaps natural."
Scott Eidelman, PhD, Christian S. Crandall, PhD, Jeffrey A. Goodman, PhD, and John C. Blanchar, "Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism," Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2012


3. People who react strongly to disgusting images, such as a picture of someone eating worms, are more likely to self-identify as conservative.
"People who believe they would be bothered by a range of hypothetical disgusting situations display an increased likelihood of displaying right-of-center rather than left-of-center political orientations… In this article, we demonstrate that individuals with marked involuntary physiological responses to disgusting images [measured by change in mean skin conductance], such as of a man eating a large mouthful of writhing worms, are more likely to self-identify as conservative and, especially, to oppose gay marriage than are individuals with more muted physiological responses to the same images."
Kevin B. Smith, PhD, Douglas Oxley, PhD, Matthew V. Hibbing, PhD, John R. Alford, PhD, and John R. Hibbing, PhD, "Disgust Sensitivity and the Neurophysiology of Left-Right Political Orientations," PLOS ONE, Oct. 19, 2011



*4. Liberals have more tolerance to uncertainty (bigger anterior cingulate cortex), and conservatives have more sensitivity to fear (bigger right amygdala).
"In a large sample of young adults, we related self-reported political attitudes to gray matter volume using structural MRI [magnetic resonance imaging]. We found that greater liberalism was associated with increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas greater conservatism was associated with increased volume of the right amygdala...
...[O]ur findings are consistent with the proposal that political orientation is associated with psychological processes for managing fear and uncertainty. The amygdala has many functions, including fear processing. Individuals with a larger amygdala are more sensitive to fear, which, taken together with our findings, might suggest the testable hypothesis that individuals with larger amagdala are more inclined to integrate conservative views into their belief systems... our finding of an association between anterior cingulate cortex [ACC] may be linked with tolerance to uncertainty. One of the functions of the anterior cingulate cortex is to monitor uncertainty and conflicts. Thus it is conceivable that individuals with a larger ACC have a higher capacity to tolerate uncertainty and conflicts, allowing them to accept more liberal views."
Ryota Kanai, PhD, Tom Feilden, Colin Firth, and Geraint Rees, PhD, "Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults," Current Biology, Apr. 7, 2011



5. Conservatives have stronger motivations than liberals to preserve purity and cleanliness.
"...[R]eminders of physical purity influence specific moral judgments regarding behaviors in the sexual domain as well as broad political attitudes...

...[E]nvironmental reminders of physical cleanliness shifted participants’ attitudes toward the conservative end of the political spectrum and altered their specific attitudes toward various moral acts...

Conservatives show a stronger tendency than liberals to feel disgust and find specific violations of sexual purity more offensive... When taken together, these two sets of results point to the possibility that political orientation may be, in some measure, shaped by the strength of an individual’s motivation to avoid physical contamination and that resulting vigilance for threats to purity may serve to reinforce a politically conservative stance toward the world."
Erik G. Helzer and David A. Pizarro, PhD, "Dirty Liberals! Reminders of Physical Cleanliness Influence Moral and Political Attitudes," Psychological Science, Mar. 18, 2011


6. Liberals are more likely than conservatives to shift their attention in the direction of another person's gaze.
"In the present study, we examine whether gaze cue effects [shifting ones attention in the direction of another's gaze] are moderated by political temperament, given that those on the political right tend to be more supportive of individualism—and less likely to be influenced by others—than those on the left. We find standard gaze cuing effects across all subjects, but systematic differences in these effects by political temperament. Liberals exhibit a very large gaze cuing effect while conservatives show no such effect at various SOAs [stimulus onset asynchrony]...
Perhaps conservatives are less likely to trust others meaning that they are also less likely to trust a gaze cue..."
Michael D. Dodd, PhD, John R. Hibbing, PhD, and Kevin B. Smith, PhD, "The Politics of Attention: Gaze Cuing Effects Are Moderated by Political Temperament," Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, Jan. 2011


7. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to interpret faces as threatening and expressing dominant emotions, while Democrats show greater emotional distress and lower life satisfaction.
"Independent sample t-tests revealed group differences in the averaged threat interpretation scores of the 10 facial stimuli. Republican sympathizers were more likely to interpret the faces as signaling a threatening expression as compared to Democrat sympathizers. Group differences were also found for dominance perceptions, whereby Republican sympathizers were more likely to perceive the faces as expressing dominant emotions than were Democrat sympathizers...

Collectively, when compared to Republican sympathizers, Democrat sympathizers showed greater psychological distress, more frequent histories of adverse life events such as interpersonal victimization experiences, fewer and less satisfying relationships, and lower perceptions of the trustworthiness of peers and intimate affiliates."
Jacob M. Vigil, PhD, "Political Leanings Vary with Facial Expression Processing and Psychosocial Functioning," Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 2010


8. Conservatives and liberals react similarly to positive incentives, but conservatives have greater sensitivity to negative stimuli.
"Our findings suggest that conservatives are sensitive to avoidance motivation [motivation through negative stimuli], which produces 'inhibition' responses manifested in greater rigidity... Based on the studies' findings, we would not expect differences between liberals and conservatives in responding to positive stimuli or incentives (i.e., approach cues), but we would expect greater inhibitory reactions by conservatives in response to negative, avoidant cues. Self-regulation appears to provide a useful perspective for understanding how one's political views may affect categorization processes and, more broadly, the association between political conservatism and rigidity."
Mindi S. Rock, PhD, and Ronnie Janoff-Bulman, PhD, "Where Do We Draw Our Lines? Politics, Rigidity, and the Role of Self-Regulation," Social Psychological and Personality Science, Jan. 2010


9. Conservatives have more activity in their dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, the part of the brain that activates for complex social evaluations.
"The conservatism dimension, which corresponds to the liberal-to-conservative criterion, was associated with activity in the right DLPFC [dorsolateral prefrontal cortex]...

In this study, we speculate that activity in the DLPFC may reflect a role of this region in deliberative decision-making in complex social evaluations... The observation that this region was increasingly activated by conservative beliefs could be explained by claiming that conservative statements require more complex social judgments marked by greater cognitive dissonance between self-interest and sense of fairness...

[W]e showed that the representation of complex political beliefs relies on three fundamental dimensions, each reflected in distinctive patterns of neural activation: The degree of individualism of political beliefs was linearly associated with activation in the medial PFC [prefrontal cortex] and TPJ [temporoparietal junction], the degree of conservatism with activation in the DLPFC, and the degree of radicalism with activation in the ventral striatum and PC/P [posterior cingulate/precuneus]. Our findings support the interpretation that the political belief system depends on a set of social cognitive processes including those that enable a person to judge themselves and other people, make decisions in ambivalent social situations, and comprehend motivational and emotional states."
Giovanna Zamboni, MD, Marta Gozzi, PhD, Frank Krueger, PhD, Jean-René Duhamel, PhD, Angela Sirigu, PhD, and Jordan Grafman, PhD, "Individualism, Conservatism, and Radicalism As Criteria for Processing Political Beliefs: A Parametric fMRI Study," Social Neuroscience, Sep. 2009


10. Conservatism is focused on preventing negative outcomes, while liberalism is focused on advancing positive outcomes.
"Political liberalism and conservatism differ in provide versus protect orientations, specifically providing for group members' welfare (political Left) and protecting the group from harm (political Right). These reflect the fundamental psychological distinction between approach and avoidance motivation. Conservatism is avoidance based; it is focused on preventing negative outcomes (e.g., societal losses) and seeks to regulate society via inhibition (restraints) in the interests of social order. Liberalism is approach based; it is focused on advancing positive outcomes (e.g., societal gains) and seeks to regulate society via activation (interventions) in the interests of social justice."
Ronnie Janoff-Bulman, PhD, "To Provide or Protect: Motivational Bases of Political Liberalism and Conservatism," Psychological Inquiry: An International Journal for the Advancement of Psychological Theory, Aug. 2009



11. Genetics influence political attitudes during early adulthood and beyond.
"The present research attempts to characterize how the transmission of political orientations develops over the life course... [G]enetic influences on political attitudes are absent prior to young adulthood. During childhood and adolescence, individual differences in political attitudes are accounted for by a variety of environmental influences... However, at the point of early adulthood (in the early 20s), for those who left their parental home, there is evidence of a sizeable genetic influence on political attitudes which remains stable throughout adult life."
Peter K. Hatemi, PhD, Carolyn L. Funk, PhD, Sarah E. Medland, PhD, Hermine M. Maes, PhD, Judy L. Silberg, PhD, Nicholas G. Martin, PhD, and Lindon J. Eaves, PhD, DSc, "Genetic and Environmental Transmission of Political Attitudes Over a Life Time," The Journal of Politics, July 21, 2009


12. Conservatives learn better from negative stimuli than from positive stimuli and are more risk avoidant than liberals.
"In this study, the relations among political ideology, exploratory behavior, and the formation of attitudes toward novel stimuli were explored. Participants played a computer game that required learning whether these stimuli produced positive or negative outcomes. Learning was dependent on participants’ decisions to sample novel stimuli... Political ideology correlated with exploration during the game, with conservatives sampling fewer targets than liberals. Moreover, more conservative individuals exhibited a stronger learning asymmetry, such that they learned negative stimuli better than positive... Relative to liberals, politically conservative individuals pursued a more avoidant strategy to the game…

The reluctance to explore that characterizes more politically conservative individuals may protect them from experiencing negative situations, for they are likely to restrict approach to known positives."
Natalie J. Shook, PhD, and Russell H. Fazio, PhD, "Political Ideology, Exploration of Novel Stimuli, and Attitude Formation," Experimental Social Psychology, Apr. 3, 2009


13. Individual political attitudes correlate with physiological traits, such as sensitivity to sudden noises and threatening visual images.
"We present evidence that variations in political attitudes correlate with physiological traits...

In a group of 46 adult participants with strong political beliefs, individuals with measurably lower physical sensitivities to sudden noises and threatening visual images were more likely to support foreign aid, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and gun control, whereas individuals displaying measurably higher physiological reactions to those same stimuli were more likely to favor defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism, and the Iraq War. Thus, the degree to which individuals are physiologically responsive to threat appears to indicate the degree to which they advocate policies that protect the existing social structure from both external (outgroup) and internal (norm-violator) threats...

We do not label these collections of policy positions as either 'liberal' or 'conservative' because we measure only one aspect of ideologies and exclude other aspects such as positions on economic issues. We take no stance on whether these positions actually promote the stability and cohesion of the social unit; we only assert that, given the common frames of the modern American policy, those most concerned about social protection will tend to be attracted to the particular policy positions listed."
Douglas R. Oxley, PhD, Kevin B. Smith, PhD, John R. Alford, PhD, Matthew V. Hibbing, PhD, Jennifer L. Miller, Mario Scalora, PhD, Peter K. Hatemi, PhD, and John R. Hibbing, PhD, "Political Attitudes Vary with Physiological Traits," Science, Sep. 19, 2008


14. Liberals are more open-minded and creative whereas conservatives are more orderly and better organized.
"We obtained consistent and converging evidence that personality differences between liberals and conservatives are robust, replicable, and behaviorally significant, especially with respect to social (vs. economic) dimensions of ideology. In general, liberals are more open-minded, creative, curious, and novelty seeking, whereas conservatives are more orderly, conventional, and better organized... A special advantage of our final two studies is that they show personality differences between liberals and conservatives not only on self-report trait measures but also on unobtrusive, nonverbal measures of interaction style and behavioral residue.”
Dana R. Carney, PhD, John T. Jost, PhD, Samuel D. Gosling, PhD, and Jeff Potter, "The Secret Lives of Liberals and Conservatives: Personality Profiles, Interaction Styles, and the Things They Leave Behind," International Society of Political Psychology, Oct. 23, 2008


15. When faced with a conflict, liberals are more likely than conservatives to alter their habitual response when cues indicate it is necessary.
"[We] found that greater liberalism was associated with stronger conflict-related anterior cingulate activity, suggesting greater neurocognitive sensitivity to cues for altering a habitual response pattern...

Our results are consistent with the view that political orientation, in part, reflects individual differences in the functioning of a general mechanism related to cognitive control and self-regulation. Stronger conservatism (versus liberalism) was associated with less neurocognitive sensitivity to response conflicts. At the behavioral level, conservatives were also more likely to make errors of commission. Although a liberal orientation was associated with better performance on the response-inhibition task examined here, conservatives would presumably perform better on tasks in which a more fixed response style is optimal."
David M. Amodio, PhD, John T. Jost, PhD, Sarah L. Master, PhD, and Cindy M. Yee, PhD, "Neurocognitive Correlates of Liberalism and Conservatism," Nature Neuroscience, Sep. 9, 2007


16. Conservatives sleep more soundly and have more mundane dreams, while liberals sleep more restlessly and have a more bizarre, active dream life.
"Conservatives slept somewhat more soundly, with fewer remembered dreams. Liberals were more restless in their sleep and had a more active and varied dream life. In contrast to a previous study, liberals reported a somewhat greater proportion of bad dreams and nightmares. Consistent with earlier research, the dreams of conservatives were more mundane, whereas the dreams of liberals were more bizarre...

Conservative men sleep a bit longer, with better quality sleep; they recall the fewest dreams, but have the most lucid awareness. Liberal women have the worst quality sleep, recall the greatest number and variety of dreams, and have the most dream references to homosexuality."
Kelly Bulkeley, PhD, "Sleep and Dream patterns of Political Liberals and Conservatives," Dreaming, Sep. 2006


Gary Leisman, et al., 'Intentionality and 'Free-Will' from a Neurodevelopmental Perspective,' http://www.frontiersin.org, June 27, 2012"In a large sample of young adults, we related self-reported political attitudes to gray matter volume using structural MRI [magnetic resonance imaging]. We found that greater liberalism was associated with increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas greater conservatism was associated with increased volume of the right amygdala...

...[O]ur findings are consistent with the proposal that political orientation is associated with psychological processes for managing fear and uncertainty. The amygdala has many functions, including fear processing. Individuals with a larger amygdala are more sensitive to fear, which, taken together with our findings, might suggest the testable hypothesis that individuals with larger amagdala are more inclined to integrate conservative views into their belief systems... our finding of an association between anterior cingulate cortex [ACC] may be linked with tolerance to uncertainty. One of the functions of the anterior cingulate cortex is to monitor uncertainty and conflicts. Thus it is conceivable that individuals with a larger ACC have a higher capacity to tolerate uncertainty and conflicts, allowing them to accept more liberal views."

Ryota Kanai, PhD, Tom Feilden, Colin Firth, and Geraint Rees, PhD, "Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults," Current Biology, Apr. 7, 2011
Last edited by Doctor A on Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Posted on: » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:39 pm #2

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by marshajmac » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:39 pm

Of the Brain Structure topic, the scientific studies on brain structure--hence function--and conservative versus liberal leanings is palpable. As Spock would have said, "Fascinating."

The one sentence in the Brain Structure journal-article excerpts that particularly stood out to me as seeming to fit Trump to a T is this:
"Conservatism is focused on preventing negative outcomes, while liberalism is focused on advancing positive outcomes."

Objective, peer-reviewed science represents truth.

I have seen this truth: those more emotionally wired leaning conservative/republican and expressing their concerns emotionally while those of more analytical, intellectual leanings leaning more liberal and democratic and being more analytical, open-minded, measured in their responses of opposition.

Of course nothing is every 100%, and there are exceptions even to this. Biology can strongly influence, but it does not absolutely rule in this case. Still, the science here is clear.
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Posted on: » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:02 pm #3

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Doctor A » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:02 pm

No Wonder Why I Do Not Understand Conservatives When I Speak With Them.

Previously from Marsha,
"The one sentence in the Brain Structure journal-article excerpts that particularly stood out to me
as seeming to fit Trump to a T is this:"

"Conservatism is focused on preventing negative outcomes, while liberalism is focused on advancing positive outcomes."


From my (Doctor A's) previous post:

"We know the brain structure of Republicans is different than that of Democrats. Functional MRI's indicate your amygdala, that structure of the limbic system which deals with emotional reactions, is enhanced. That is to say, anxiety and fear play a larger size role in how you process information. To put it bluntly, it short circuits your ability to reason and process facts in an attempt to ameliorate the fear."


Every time I have a face to face conversation with these conservative individuals it is a frustrating experience for me. Afterwards I am sure they did not understand a word I said either. It is as if two different computers that are hot-wired differently are trying to communicate. This reminds me of when Apple and IBM computers were vying for market share in their early days before there was software to help as an intermediary between them.

Maybe it is more like when the Neanderthal vied for territory with us Homo Sapiens before they themselves went extinct. I sure hope these conservative brains extinct themselves soon. Reminds me of the Darwin Awards where people delete themselves from the gene pool with stupid acts. The problem is they may take the rest of us out of the gene pool along with them. Science has recently shown we all have a small percentage of Neanderthal within each of us from breeding with them. Unfortunately, if these conservatives continue to drag their knuckles on the ground as obvious remnants from a bygone glacial period tryst, they will surely get us into a war. Death will come to us all before they can self extinct. What a pity.
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Posted on: » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:16 pm #4

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:16 pm

Doctor A, I think you are being way too kind and tolerant to these conservatives. As you said in your first post to this topic titled, "WHAT REALLY HAPPENED THIS LAST ELECTION" -with your outstretched hand proclaiming- "To those of you who support and elected Donald Trump I say, "Come with me if you want to live." Really? How generous of you to keep the albatross of doom around our collective necks.

Karma, or its similar Christian variant regarding, "reaping what you sow," has a way of coming back to bite its owner. Now, only a couple months into the Trump presidency, we see his policies being formulated many of which will be disadvantageous to the supporters who elected him. Be it the loss of their healthcare, pollution in their towns, severe reductions to block grants to the States regarding social services or educational opportunities, these are but a few examples of how the Trump monster they created will turn ever more upon them. Ouch! That is Karma biting their collective butts. No wonder the words of Collin Powel, the four star general who went on to become George W. Bush's Secretary Of State come to mind when he said, "you break it, you buy it" This is an adaptation of the Pottery Barn rule, an American expression alluding to a policy, by which a retail store holds a customer responsible for damage done to merchandise on display. It suggests if an individual inadvertently creates a problem, they are obliged to provide the payment to correct it. And pay they will.

Frankly, the problems these people created for themselves vis-a-vis a Trump presidency wasn't even well thought out as you pointed out by posting, "Yes the stove is hot; it is hotter than even before when you first blindly grabbed onto it in your amygdala induced rage. But remember, who was it who burned you the first time. It was the wealthy elite. They were the ones who sent your jobs overseas to fill their corporate vaults with cash. It was not the common man of the 99%." And again you state in your post, "How nice it is of Mr. Trump to momentarily take you out of your pain, an amnesia of sorts, by offering you the same deal again. Hope springs eternal. This is the true art of the deal, to offer you salvation from your past mistake of buying into economic inequality by offering you even greater deal this time to further increase your economic inequality. Make no mistake, he is no friend of the common man."

Obviously these people are being "hoist with one's own petard", that is to say, blown up by their own bombs. When one is in an “induced rage” or has “an amnesia of sorts,” can they still be responsible for their own actions? The answer is a resounding yes for Karma has no idea of man’s judicial laws, it merely responds to actions outside the realm of what man can possibly thinks. Clearly Karma holds them responsible by the fact they are blown up by their own doings.

I have moved well past the stage of, "a frustrating conversation when one talks face to face with these conservatives," as you say. Rather it has moved me closer to a state of controlled anger; I am appalled at their savage indifference even if that indifference is to themselves. I do however make exceptions for family members and old friends as a matter of social grace. Other than that, I cut them no quarter if a conversation does ensue.

So I ask you, what is the price they will pay for their stupidity, for breaking much worse than mere clay pottery but rather the very dignity and life of others? And this is the second such occurrence since the time of Ronald Regan, only worse. For sure, Karma will extract a payment.

I hope some are capable of heeding your call to change by following a different path if they want to live. Yet I am not hopeful as most of them have their minds hardwired to think the boogieman is up in every darkened tree at night and under every bed when they go to sleep. Let them cannibalize their own. But when they come near me I now let them know their company is not wanted. I have distance myself from many of them now knowing too much is at stake even for niceties to be exchanged

Making the same mistake over and over again is beyond the pale and just plain insane. When done on a large scale, it is reprehensible. So, although I am referring to Trump's ardent supporters in this matter, I also need to look at myself. Will I make the same mistake over and over again? Will I argue with individual trying to persuade them to change their minds through logic, facts, and perspective knowing full well they cannot really understand what I am saying due to their brain structure?

In truth I have now replaced much of the frustration and anger of repeatedly trying to change people to my way of thinking by taking a different tact; my path is now to take action, but not just any action. Rather than trying to change people I have come to understand I need to change the system, and not just any system. Rather than just trying to change the political system I have come to understand I need to change the origin of control of the political machine, namely by changing my perspective from that of a traditional Democrat to one who rails against economic inequality. Verily, this is the pressure point. It is the standard by which all of my further actions must be judged for it truly is the key to change. No other form of action offers me and my fellow liberals so much opportunity for change. The reason I am so much more against the Republicans than the Democrats is their egregious and callous creation of economic inequality. It is because the Democrats cause so much less, although not without their own share of culpability in this arena, that I call myself a Democrat.

As for the Neanderthals-although there are many theories as why and how they vanished-no one really knows for sure. Part of what is known is we had hostile and injurious interactions with them which at times led to their death. No doubt, one can speculate that some of the maliciousness between us and them was from the nascent forming amygdala structure of our present day conservative brethren’s brain. The oversized fear of the Neanderthals undoubtedly played some role in the Neanderthal’s demise regardless of how many times we had sex with them.

Let us hope us liberals fare better today against the amygdales carried about by the conservatives among us. But be clear, the fear induced hostility and maliciousness once taken against the ancient Neanderthals is still en-grained in the conservative thought process of today; it is an economic and political thought process still capable of injuring and killing us. Most importantly, we progressives need to take action towards the root cause of the injustice which is the conservative’s elevation of economic inequality as a means to reduce their own oversized fears. Hoping it goes away is not sufficient. Regardless of how intertwined we liberals may be with today’s conservatives, be they coworkers, friends, or spouses, action must be taken to stop their economic inequality policies or like those Neanderthals of days gone by, we too will perish.

~SV~
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Posted on: » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:01 pm #5

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by funsd » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:01 pm

So, did it really take people this long that he doesn't have a brain! Even the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz has a higher IQ than this guy. And surely all those people that voted for him are brainless also.

Obviously, this guy graduated in the upper half of the lowest 1%. If it wasn't for the fact that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth he wold be homeless (I take that back, that's an insult to homeless people).
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Posted on: » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:29 pm #6

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Doctor A » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:29 pm

DONALD TRUMP AND THE DUCK TEST FOR NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER OR: A ZANY NEW AGE RECIPE FOR DUCK SOUP

But first, an appetizer: MRI brain scans of individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) indicate they have less brain tissue in areas associated with emotional empathy causing them to feel less empathy and compassion for other people.

That being said, I will state my reasoning early on, "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

Given the amount of quacking going on in Washington DC and across the country regarding the question, "Does Donald Trump have NPD?", I ask you to consider the likelihood of an affirmative diagnosis. This foreshadows an even greater attack upon the already widening economic inequality in our country.

A ZANY SIX PART RECIPE FOR A NEW AGE DUCK SOUP:

PART 1: The Main Ingredients To A New Age Duck Soup.

PART 2: Throw In A Bone Of Dissent To Pick On. It Mollifies The Bitter Taste

PART 3: What Is The Secret To That Delectable Narcissistic Flavor?

PART 4: Savor Its Grandiose Nutty Flavor

PART 5: A Recipe For Disaster Allows The Narcissists Rise To The Top

PART 6: The Author Of This Recipe Invites Your Culinary Review


PART 1: The Main Ingredients To A New Age Duck Soup.

Here are but a few of the many articles illuminating this tasty debate.

Does Trump Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
From: The Blog 08/11/2016 by Nigel Barber , Biopsychologist; blogger, Psychology Today’s ‘The Human Beast’

Whether narcissism is a real disorder - as opposed to a dimension of personality on which we all vary - is controversial. Does Donald Trump conform to the clinical pattern?

Professional psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, are loath to go on record saying that Trump has a psychiatric disorder on the premise that one cannot do a diagnosis without an office visit and most narcissists are quite unlikely to recognize that they have a problem and to schedule an appointment.
Fortunately, the DSM is written so clearly, and so simply, that anyone can make a diagnosis. Here are the symptoms. Make up your own mind.
Does Trump have Narcissistic Personality Disorder? You Decide

According to DSM-5, individuals with NPD have most (at least five) or all of the symptoms listed below (generally without commensurate qualities or accomplishments).

1 Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment by others.
2 Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
3 Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions.
4 Needing constant admiration from others.
5 Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others.
6 Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain.
7 Unwilling to empathize with others’ feelings, wishes, or needs.
8 Intensely jealous of others and the belief that others are equally jealous of them.
9 Pompous and arrogant demeanor.

Among other criteria, the symptoms must be severe enough to impair the individual’s ability to develop meaningful relationships with others and reduce an individuals ability to function at work. As far as the first of these is concerned, Trump evidently has no close personal friends.

Work function is also an issue. The ghost author of Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, found it impossible to interview Trump who quickly became bored. He gleaned most of the necessary information by being a fly on the wall in Trump’s office
.
Some of the DSM criteria are less relevant to Trump given his birth to money and life as a plutocrat that guarantee contact with high-status persons and being fawned over as a VIP. For those that are clearly relevant, he checks out on all symptoms, it seems. According to DSM criteria, Donald Trump suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.

Can a Narcissist Function as a US President?

It is, perhaps, no surprise that widely held impressions about Trump’s narcissism are corroborated by the DSM criteria. The key question to ask is whether, having come so far despite his psychiatric disorder, Trump, or any other narcissistic personality can communicate well enough to be an effective leader of the free world.

There have been many narcissistic heads of state before but the clearest examples, such as Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, and Hugo Chavez, have been dictators.

Narcissists are difficult to deal with, whether as friends, or as politicians. They do not feel the need to build consensus, which is why most are screened out by democratic systems of government.


For those of you who enjoy a more robust and full flavored serving I invite you to consider the following:

Less Than Artful Choices: Narcissistic Personality Disorder According to Donald Trump
by Maria Konnikova
From: ThinkBig over a year ago


Donald Trump was born in 1946. 34 years later, in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the American Psychiatric Association’s hefty volume of mental disorder classifications, the term “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” (NPD) first appeared as a diagnosable disease – Trump would doubtless say it was created in his honor (characteristic #1 of NPD: An exaggerated sense of self-importance). After all, the newly-minted personality disorder made its debut only nine years after he took the helm of his father’s company… and renamed it from Elizabeth Trump & Son to The Trump Organization.

The most recent DSM, DSM-IV, is currently under extensive revision, with DSM-V scheduled for publication sometime in 2013, and both its listed diseases and their definitions are undergoing extensive scrutiny and contentious debate. On the chopping block are five of the ten or so so-called personality disorders, including NPD. Among the reasons for the cut are the frequent overlap between disorders, the general lack of stability of symptoms, and the range of those symptoms in reality, as compared to the either/or approach of the manual (either you have a disorder or you don’t). So, before NPD becomes a thing of the past, at least in its current form, I thought we’d take a moment to reflect on some less than artful choices – or the things that make Trump look like he just stepped out of the fourth edition, symptom by symptom.

A caveat: I am obviously exaggerating, both Trump and narcissism. But debate on personality disorders, classifications, diagnoses, and treatments is well worthwhile, and a colorful spokesperson never hurts.

So, without further ado, Trump’s quotable illustration of the hallmarks of NPD, defined according to DSM-IV as, “A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy.” The disorder is indicated by at least five of the following:

1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

A sense of one’s own importance, a grandiose feeling that one is alone responsible for any achievement is a hallmark of the narcissist. Grandiosity is one of the central tenets of a narcissistic personality. Narcissists tend to take credit for everything, as if no one else contributed to the end product. Witness Trump’s declaration that, “When people see the beautiful marble in Trump Tower, they usually have no idea what I went through personally to achieve the end result. No one cares about the blood, sweat, and tears that art or beauty require.” What do you know: not only is Trump a developer and an artistic visionary, but he seems to be a stellar architect and construction worker as well.
And history will agree (naturally). “Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken,” says Trump. Sadly, indeed.

2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love

How many presidential runs does it take for the process to be defined as a preoccupation rather than an occupation?
I’d leave it at that, except for the existence of this little gem: “My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.” Not only all-powerful, but all-beautiful, too. The man has it all.

3. Believes he is “special” and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

To narcissists, the “little people” or anyone beneath them (which is mostly everyone) don’t matter. Trump’s lambasting of Rosie O’Donnell is a good case in point: “Rosie O’Donnell called me a snake oil salesman. And, you know, coming from Rosie, that’s pretty low because when you look at her and when you see the mind, the mind is weak. I don’t see it. I don’t get it. I never understood – how does she even get on television?”

Clearly, Rosie lacks the power to understand the dazzling intellect that is Donald Trump. Trump needs someone of equal status to appreciate his immensity. But it can’t be Larry King, because as he told King, “Do you mind if I sit back a little? Because your breath is very bad. It really is. Has this been told to you before?”

4. Requires excessive admiration

No matter the sincerity, as long as the praise comes frequently and at a high enough volume. Says Trump, “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” Clearly. Admired, wherever he may go, even when he’s talking about himself in the third person, as in, “Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money.”

As he puts it, “Nobody but a total masochist wants to be criticized.”

5. Has a sense of entitlement

The world owes the narcissist everything; he, in turn, owes it nothing.
I think Trump’s attitude can be summed up with this approach to marriage: “I wish I’d had a great marriage. See, my father was always very proud of me, but the one thing he got right was that he had a great marriage. He was married for 64 years. One of my ex-wives once said to me, ‘You have to work at a marriage.’ And I said, ‘That’s the most ridiculous thing.’”

6. Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends

I don’t have a quote for this one, but perhaps we can talk to one of his ex-wives.

7. Lacks empathy

Narcissists don’t sympathize with the feelings of others. Who are these “others,” anyway? No one matters except for me.
I won’t recreate the Rosie rampage in full, but sentiments like, “I’ll sue her because it would be fun. I’d like to take some money out of her fat XXX pockets,” capture the spirit.

8. Is often envious of others or believes others to be envious of him

Here, it seems like Trump is dominated by the second sentiment, the expectation that everyone is envious of his success. Everyone wants to be Trump. As he puts it, “The old rich may look down their noses at me, but I think they kiss my XXX.”

9. Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes

Again, other people don’t matter. They can be treated like nothing, because who are we kidding – nothing is the closest description of what they are.
Clients don’t matter. As Trump puts it, “When I build something for somebody, I always add $50 million or $60 million onto the price. My guys come in, they say it's going to cost $75 million. I say it's going to cost $125 million, and I build it for $100 million. Basically, I did a lousy job. But they think I did a great job.” Take them for the suckers they are; that’s the ticket.

The media doesn’t matter. According to Trump, “You know, it really doesn’t matter what (the media) write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of XXX.” The piece of XXX doesn’t matter, either; any will do.
Other businesses don’t matter. As Trump says, “If you want to buy something, it’s obviously in your best interest to convince the seller that what he’s got isn’t worth very much.”

But it’s ok. Trump doesn’t have to be nice. After all, it’s not like he wants to run for office or anything: “I'm not running for office. I don't have to be politically correct. I don't have to be a nice person. Like I watch some of these weak-kneed politicians, it's disgusting. I don't have to be that way.”

Too bad. We need a good candidate. Because according to Trump, “One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.”


PART 2: Throw In A Bone Of Dissent To Pick On. It Mollifies The Bitter Taste

From: Medical Examiner
Health and medicine explained.
Oct. 12 2016 7:20 PM
By Sally Satel, Dr. Sally Satel is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

It’s OK to Speculate About Trump’s Mental Health
But even if he were officially diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, that shouldn’t disqualify him from the presidency.

Before Donald J. Trump came on the electoral scene, not a lot of people had heard of the Goldwater Rule. By now many surely have. The eponymous rule was established by the American Psychiatric Association, my own guild organization. It stipulated that no psychiatrist should make a diagnosis of a person he or she has not examined face-to-face and who has not given consent to discuss his mental health publicly.

While do-it-yourself diagnosing of a certain presidential candidate has become a cottage industry in this election—the consensus about Donald Trump is that he might have a severe case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder—psychiatrists have been understandably reluctant to weigh in, even as people have clamored to say that they deserve to know everything possible about a potential president’s mental fitness.

How did the rule come to be? In the lead up to the 1964 election, Fact magazine surveyed over 12,000 psychiatrists about the personality traits of Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee. Only a modest percentage of the psychiatrists responded but of those that did, almost half felt the candidate was psychologically unfit to be president.

They savaged Goldwater, judging him “warped,” “narcissistic,” “impulsive” and a “paranoid schizophrenic” who harbored unconscious hatred of his Jewish father and was scarred by his rigid toilet training. One respondent saw him as “a frightened person who sees himself as weak and threatened by strong virile power around him—and that his call for aggressiveness and the need for individual strength and prerogatives is an attempt to defend himself against and to deny his feelings of weakness and danger.” Even his supporters came in for unfavorable psychoanalysis.

In the aftermath, two things happened. First, Goldwater, who lost the presidency in a landslide, sued Fact for libel and was awarded $75,000 in punitive damages. He deserved to win the suit. The psychiatrists’ intra-psychic assessments were deeply intrusive, disrespectful, and basically meaningless. Warmed-over Freudianism is no way to foretell one’s actions in office. Second, the APA issued the Goldwater Rule, which meant to prohibit such distant assessment.

The American Psychiatric Association still stands by the Goldwater Rule and no psychiatrist can go wrong by following it. Of course, many can easily skirt around it—it’s thanks to the rule that modern-day assessments of celebrities’ mental health are couched with the “I have not personally examined this person, but … ”
It goes without saying that any clinical encounter with a nonpsychotic or imminently dangerous person is strictly confidential unless the subject gives permission to reveal the findings to anyone else. But I think there are conditions under which psychiatrists should have more latitude in making determinations from a distance.

To me, the reason why it can be responsible to profile a patient without examining him or her (in other words, to circumvent the Goldwater Rule), has to do with the way diagnoses are made today compared to the way they were made then. I’m referring to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition, which many consider the gold standard for evaluating mental disorders.

The diagnostic entities contained in the current DSM are based on signs (what clinicians observe) and symptoms (what patients report). But in Goldwater’s time, Freudian theory dominated American psychiatry and pathology: Even severe depression and schizophrenia were tied to psychoanalytic formulations. Symptoms such as mood or hallucinations or obsessions were almost irrelevant—instead, diagnosis relied almost entirely on what internal conflicts or stalled developmental stages a patient had experienced in his or her lifetime. This required a deep understanding of the patient’s life. None of the psychiatrists quoted by Fact had access to that full picture of information. Thus, not only were their opinions ill-informed, they were based on certain theories of mental health that are now considered highly questionable by many in the field.

But the assessment of mental disorders changed to a more objective system of taxonomy in 1980 with the publication of the DSM-III. A number of diagnoses are now made largely on a person’s observable behavior or what can reasonably be inferred from it.

So it is now possible to make a psychological assessment from afar. The question remains of whether it is appropriate. One of the biggest concerns about armchair diagnosing is that it’s a drive-by affair: Quick pronouncements are made based on a single transgression or a glimpse of erratic behavior. But even when a clinician conducts a formal interview it may not pick up a lot. In an hourlong interview, a savvy politician could easily present as better adjusted than he or she actually is—in some cases, such impression management might go undetected, even by experienced examiners.

In a long interview, a savvy politician could easily present as better adjusted than he or she actually is. What’s more, as we have seen, some politicians, like Trump in particular, can run circles around most interviewers, and it’s doubtful that even trained psychiatrists could get much more information from them in a direct examination. Thus, a formal clinical interview with him might not shed much light.
In contrast, a political campaign for president offers an abundance of unfiltered observable behavior. Indeed, voters have been inundated—they have watched the candidates on a near daily basis for many months. And for these two candidates in particular, the volumes of documentation go back decades: we have books, articles, and interviews with people who have known them. In this case, the public actually has more “data” than many psychiatric evaluators have to go on when they see certain patients in certain settings.

Research supports the importance of extensive exposure to a subject’s behavior. According to psychologist Scott Lilienfeld, a personality researcher and professor at Emory University, research has demonstrated that informal, unstructured interviews of the kinds typically conducted in direct examinations of psychiatric patients are often not especially reliable–that is, consistent across different mental health professionals. “What’s more,” Lilienfeld says, “informant reports from those who know the person well are often more predictive of people’s behavior than are self-reports, which are much of what one obtains from a direct interview.”* More broadly, he says, assessments of personality are most likely to be valid when multiple sources of information are integrated.

There is still one huge technical catch to diagnosing at arms’ length. The DSM requires that a diagnosis must include the presence of "significant impairments in self (identity or self-direction) and interpersonal (empathy or intimacy) functioning." The first part of that diagnosis is hard, if not impossible, to make without a private interview, especially in someone who has succeeded at a high level based in part on these traits. So, while I believe it is occasionally appropriate to speculate, any assessment should be considered just that—an assessment, not a diagnosis.

This brings us to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is most often invoked by his detractors to describe Donald Trump.

Here are the nine diagnostic criteria for NPD in DSM-V. (These criteria go far beyond what we usually mean when we casually refer to someone as a narcissist.) Five are needed to be eligible for the diagnosis:

A grandiose logic of self-importance

A fixation with fantasies of infinite success, control, brilliance, beauty, or idyllic love

A credence that he or she is extraordinary and exceptional and can only be understood by, or should connect with, other extraordinary or important people or institutions

A desire for unwarranted admiration

A sense of entitlement

Interpersonally oppressive behavior

No form of empathy

Resentment of others or a conviction that others are resentful of him or her

A display of egotistical and conceited behaviors or attitudes

Sure, it seems obvious that Trump could qualify—perhaps he is even a severe case. But keep in mind that some would easily attribute these traits to Hillary Clinton, too. And herein lies the real virtue of the Goldwater Rule: Allowing psychiatrists to diagnose or assess at a distance would open a floodgate of efforts, many of which will be inaccurate, slanted, or politically motivated. The Goldwater Rule attempts to keep these gates closed. The DSM cannot become a political instrument.
Of course, people don’t like this answer. As voters, we feel entitled to absolute transparency about our candidates, even about their health.

But we shouldn’t. So what if a candidate appears to meet criteria for NPD? It is no secret that many of the DSM criteria listed above are manifest in Trump. But even a clinically authentic diagnosis (which has not been made, or at least surfaced publicly) would not mean, prima facie, that he should not run for president, or that he would necessarily be a bad one if elected. Surely, there have been people with NPD who have held positions of power and achieved good and great things. There are also plenty of people who don’t have the disorder who have held positions of power and failed.

We are too caught up in diagnosis. Even if Trump were to be officially diagnosed with this disorder, it would do little to sway voters from either supporting or reviling him.

After all, the enduring traits that many find so problematic in Mr. Trump–and that his supporters fail to see, dismiss, or downplay because other aspects of his candidacy appeal so strongly to them—are not ones that necessarily indicate a formal mental condition. I’m referring, of course, to various dispositions, such as a lack of interest in learning about the governing process or world affairs, a tendency to ignore advisers, impulsive and crude modes of retaliation, a reflexive instinct to scapegoat others, and so on. One does not need to be a specialist of the mind to understand why many would not want to vote for such a person, or why others might fear being governed by such a man.

So, I am a minority view within my profession because I do not believe it is necessarily an ethical lapse for a psychiatrist to venture an assessment of a public figure—especially because the “evidence” in this election has been so widely accessible and formal assessment is often made on the basis of that very evidence.
But in this case, I don’t think a diagnosis would actually provide any new insight into the choice we have to make about who we should elect president. It does not matter whether Trump might have NPD.

That’s because diagnoses do not allow us to predict future actions with great certainty. Past behavior and enduring character traits, on the other hand, do—and we have seen more than enough to understand what Trump’s (and Clinton’s) are.



PART 3: What Is The Secret To That Delectable Narcissistic Flavor?

From: Seeing Narcissism in the Brain
By Dr. Syras Derksen
Winnipeg Psychologist 9/9/2013
Reference:
Schulze, L., Dziobek, I., Vater, A., Heekeren, H. R., Bajbouj, M., Renneberg, B., Heuser, I., & Roepke, S. (2013). Gray matter abnormalities in patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47, 1363-1369. (http://www.journalofpsychiatricresearch ... X/abstract)

We can now see narcissism in the brain. Brain scans of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) showed they have less brain matter in areas associated with emotional empathy. This is the first time anyone has seen the evidence of narcissism in brain structures.

The inability to feel empathy is one of the hallmarks of NPD. Researchers have found that people with this disorder can take the perspective of another person in a purely intellectual way. However, when it comes to actually feeling what another person is going through, narcissists have difficulty.

A group of German researchers recently studied the source of this lack of emotional empathy in people with NPD. In their research, they collected MRI brain scans of 17 people with NPD along with 17 people from the community for comparison. The researchers first looked at brain volume overall and found that the people with NPD were similar to the healthy individuals. That is, both groups’ brains’ were similar overall.

The researchers then examined the areas of the brain that are now considered areas associated with empathy (i.e., bilateral anterior insula, anterior and median parts of the cingulate cortex, and the supplementary motor area). They found that the patients with NPD had less brain matter in areas that overlapped with the areas associated with empathy (i.e., left anterior insula, rostral and median cingulate cortex as well as dorsolateral and medial parts of the prefrontal cortex).

Put simply, the empathic areas of the brain were less developed in people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects about 1% of the general population and it has been shown to impair interpersonal functioning. This groundbreaking research will likely help legitimize the disorder and, ironically, help people to empathize with people who are suffering with this illness.


PART 4: Savor Its Grandiose Nutty Flavor

From: Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 18 Nov 2016
The World for People who Think
Science & Technology
Our narcissistic politicians - should MRI brain scans be required of all candidates?
Hank Pellissier
Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Sat, 24 Oct 2015 23:46 UTC

We want our government officials to be brain-healthy, right? With sanity, integrity, and high moral values?

Sadly, the inverse seems true. Psychologists claim many of our politicians have Narcissist Personality Disorder.

What is a narcissist? What's the precise definition of this personality malfunction that afflicts 1 - 3% of the population? With huge percentiles on Wall Street and in Washington DC?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines narcissism with the characteristics below. I have added a few that Leon F. Seltzer Ph.D. has additionally noted.

Grandiose Sense of Self Importance
Fantasies of Unlimited Success
Believes He or She is Special
Needs Admiration and Flattery
Sense of Entitlement
Interpersonally Exploitative
Lack of Empathy
Contempt for Others
Envious of Others
Believes Others are Envious of Him or Her
Arrogant, Haughty
Highly Reactive to Criticism
Low Self-Esteem
Self-Righteous and Defensive
Reacts to Contract Viewpoints with Rage

Perhaps you're wondering if you, yourself, are a narcissist? There are numerous websites where you can test yourself, like this one HERE with 40 questions.

The population in general scores around 14. Celebrities average about 18. If you score over 20, you're a narcissist.

A quick glance at psychological assertions online reveals many politicians as suspected narcissists, in both major parties.

Bill Clinton is viewed by Jeffrey Kluger, author of The Narcissist Next Door, as a "self-destructive narcissist."

Ronald Reagan is defined (by Kluger) as "the most highly functioning narcissist who's ever been in our political system."

The USA's "most narcissistic president" - according to Kluger - was Chester A. Arthur, in the 1880s. This vain man owned 80 pairs of pants, and redecorated the White House with Tiffany decor.

Kruger also names FDR and LBJ as top-tier narcissists.

A Top Ten list can be viewed HERE. The same list also presents the 10 least narcissistic Presidents.

Kluger believes Calvin Coolidge was the least narcissistic of all American presidents. "Silent Cal" didn't seek attention for its own sake, and he claimed his goal was to merely "walk humbly and discharge my obligations."
This IEET essay will not comment on present-day candidates for the USA Presidency. It is against non-profit policy to engage in any political discussion that appears to be either an endorsement or non-endorsement of political candidates.
You might be wondering: "is narcissism a valuable, or necessary quality in a successful politician?

My strong opinion is that they are not. I believe narcissists are unfit representatives in a democracy, for the following reasons:

1) A narcissist's deep desire for personal attention is a distraction from serving the public, and ruins his or her ability to work collaboratively and semi-anonymously in a team.

2) The narcissist's inherent elitism, their contempt for others, results in an absence of empathy for the public they are supposed to be representing.

3) A narcissist's defensiveness, self-righteousness, and inability to accept criticism can lead them to curtail freedom of speech and freedom of the press to silence their opposition. Their "reaction to contrary viewpoints with anger" can lead to dictatorial demands that those who disagree with them should be silenced.

Hot-headed partisan politics in Washington DC - with Democrats and Republicans stalemating each other, and constant "witch hunts" aiming to destroy opposing party members - suggest that Congress is a dysfunctional playground for narcissists.

The USA's relentless instigation of international wars and conflicts also hints at narcissism, via the bullying self-righteousness of the executive branch. Wall Street's reckless behavior, crippling the economy and requesting a bailout, indicates the "Too Big To Fail" self-entitlement of narcissism.

Minor political players are also guilty of narcissism. An abundance of hopeless candidates are presenting crowding the US Presidential race. They don't stand a chance but narcissistically, like moths, they're attracted to the limelight of attention heaped on anyone with a POTUS ambition.

How can we prevent narcissists from governing us? How can we stop them from even being considered as candidates?

I have two suggestions:

1) Publish Brain Scan of All Candidates

MRI scans are increasingly able to identify narcissism. Studies since 2013 indicate that brain regions associated with narcissism can be measured.

For example, "NPD patients had smaller GM [gray matter] volume in the left anterior insula" and "smaller GM volume in fronto-paralimbic brain regions comprising the rostral and median cingulate cortex as well as dorsolateral and medial parts of the prefrontal cortex." Thinness of brain tissue in these regions indicates a weakened ability in "processing and generating compassion", i.e., a lack of empathy, an absence of caring for others.

If this is combined with excessive activity in brain regions related to self-absorbed thinking - narcissism is flourishing.

Politician's financial records are already scrutinized, plus reports of their medical health. Their monetary and physiological data is deemed crucial enough for the public to examine.

Mental health transparency is, IMO, even more imperative to publicly view. We want trustworthy public servants to represent us, not callous, paranoid, power-hungry narcissists.

Do you regard MRI scans as an "invasion of privacy"? Please consider the risks involved. The horror of Adolf Hitler would have been prevented, for example, if 1930's technology included MRI scanning that revealed, via transparency politics, his messy brain to the public. Psycho-Historical analysis have categorized the Nazi terror as schizophrenic, paranoid, anti-social, narcissistic, and sadistic.

2) Reform Politics So It Doesn't Attract Narcissists

USA politicians today are celebrities, especially the POTUS with grandiose titles like Commander-in-Chief of the World's Largest Army. Fatuous attention lavished on politicians, especially candidates for President, attracts narcissists like wet manure draws flies.

USA political discussion is superficial, of course. Attention is given disproportionately to a candidate's personality and appearance, instead of their ideological positions and vision. Media is largely to blame for this.

The real problem isn't the media, though. What the USA needs is a huge shift towards people-powered politics, like the referendums of Switzerland noted in a recent IEET article. Direct democracy, promoted in this interview of IEET Advisory Board member Nicole Sallak Anderson, would empower the electorate and weaken the influence of individual politicians.

In an ideal future, politicians would only be efficient transmitters of the people's desire; they would be out-of-the-limelight paper-snuffing clerks, assisting the enactment of referendums. Attention would NOT be bestowed upon them, and their ranks would be liberated from the dangerous, embarrassing, and pathetic behavior of narcissists.


PART 5: A Recipe For Disaster Allows The Narcissists To Rise To The Top

Are the Wealthy More Narcissistic?
March 31, 2015 by Alan Cowen

Psychologist Paul Piff studies the link between wealth and social behavior, and shows how economic inequality shapes—and is shaped by—the mind.

In a study published in the January 2014 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, psychologist Paul K. Piff, who earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley and now is an Assistant Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior at UC Irvine, demonstrates that upper class individuals tend to be more narcissistic and feel more entitled than their lower class peers. The study is significant in establishing a direct link between social class and deep-seated aspects of personality, and suggests that the study of the mind has an underappreciated role to play in examinations of the growing disparity between the rich and poor.

Piff’s findings build on years of research that he and his colleagues conducted on the effects of wealth on social behavior. This work has shown, for example, that people of high social class are more likely to behave unethically and less likely to donate to charities. “The more money you have, the higher in status you are, the less threatening the world is to you,” Piff explains. “You can pay rent or own a home, you can be late to work without losing your month’s income, and your neighborhood’s safer.”

Having all of these things means that you can rely far less on other people, which ultimately leads to a reduced feeling that you owe anyone anything. At least, that was the theory. “A missing piece was [direct evidence of] how wealth shaped a person’s sense of deservingness and their basic personality,” he explains.
Piff investigated this link between wealth and self-regard through a series of five experiments testing more than 500 undergraduates and 300 other adults on a variety of measures of socioeconomic class, entitlement, and narcissism. The participants filled out multiple well-established self-reporting measures for each of these three attributes. They also reported their family income and their parents’ levels of educational attainment, answered questions about their perceived financial security and what they could afford growing up, ranked how they see themselves relative to other people, how much they value their appearance, and more. Piff even measured how much time participants spent looking at themselves in the mirror when given the option, a behavioral signal of narcissism.

In almost all respects, social class was linked to both narcissism and entitlement.
The finding that people of high socioeconomic standing are more narcissistic and entitled has profound political implications. It may explain why the wealthy are more economically conservative, favoring lower marginal tax rates and reduced public spending. Do the wealthy favor such policies merely because they appear to be to their economic advantage?

Class differences in narcissism are not fixed but rather sensitive to changes in social values

In fact, Piff says his ongoing research suggests that the economic conservatism of the upper class is actually moderated by how much their perceived wealth causes an increase in their sense of deservingness. The effect is such that “poor people that are made to feel wealthy [relative to others] become more fiscally conservative” in accordance with increases in entitlement. Similarly, wealthy people who are made to feel poor experience less entitlement and less fiscal conservatism.

Perhaps this explains why the past 30 years have seen a dramatic increase both in inequality and in narcissism among college students, who tend to come from wealthier families.

These psychological factors may have the dangerous effect of compounding the growth of economic inequality. The rate at which economic inequality accelerates over time depends deeply on the very institutions and policies over which the upper class has a disproportionate level of control. Thus, if increasing economic inequality gives rise to an upper class with an even greater sense of entitlement, leading them, as Piff’s research would suggest, to support policies that favor the growth of economic inequality, this may exacerbate a vicious cycle of stratification.

As dismal as this may seem, Piff’s research also suggests a solution. In a separate study reported alongside the other narcissism studies, he demonstrated that when people of high social class simply list three benefits of treating others as equals, it temporarily lowers their levels of entitlement to nearly approach those of the lower class. “Importantly, these results also suggest that class differences in narcissism are not fixed but rather sensitive to changes in social values,” he reports.

In other words, building connections among people can help reduce the wealth-narcissism effect. As Piff reasons, “If wealth, both socially and psychologically, creates an island that leaves people removed from others, then contributing inroads to that island—by thinking of others as equals, going to public schools, taking the bus, or living in diverse neighborhoods—will trigger these basic empathic processes that would otherwise not be engaged.”



PART 6: The Author Of This Recipe Invites Your Culinary Review

So go ahead, take a taste of the New Age Duck Soup and let me know what you think. What impact will the alleged Donald Trump's NPD have upon the individual or all of the following aspects of our society?

Climate change
Terrorism
Drugs and alcoholism
Teen age pregnancy
The effects of money in politics
Pollution and green initiatives
Longevity rates in various demographics
Women's rights
Racism
War
Social and work mobility
Prison recidivism rates
Education rates

This chef's review: A Trump presidency, with his severe lack of empathy and compassion for other people, will increase economic inequality dramatically. Except for the very rich, a New Age Duck Soup is bound to leave a foul taste in everyone's mouth.
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Posted on: » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:05 pm #7

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Sterling Volunteer » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:05 pm

That is hilarious!

I found an article on Slate from August, 2016, by Luke Epplin regarding the original Duck Soup with the Marx Brothers that says,
I’d argue that there’s a better pop cultural point of comparison, one that more aptly captures the idea of Trump as a vain strongman whose bluster has scarily escalating stakes: Duck Soup, the madcap Marx Brothers’ classic from 1933 that poked fun at the erratic dictators who were consolidating power in Europe at the time.


Now doubt Doctor A had this movie in mind for his post.

The article continues with,
But the most obvious overlap between Trump and Firefly comes from their pathological compulsion to belittle any perceived rivals and then refuse to apologize or back down.
Luke Epplin continues to write,
More than 80 years later, Duck Soup retains its transgressive spirit. The film imagines a world where an inexperienced and indecorous leader plunges his country into war partly because of some mild insults he’s unable to move past. It’s reminiscent of a memorable line from Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech at the DNC: “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
My personal review is to strongly suggest never eating where a New Age Duck Soup is being served. Just the smell is odorous enough to turn one's stomach.

Here is a link to the Slate article with a very funny two minute clip from the movie, http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/201 ... trump.html

~SV~
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Posted on: » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:00 pm #8

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Jessica » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:00 pm

Wonderful ! New Age Duck Soup is a zany and madcap review of Donald Trump which really mirrors the original zany and madcap movie starring the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup from the 1930s. This is too much. What a delightful rendition. I loved it. One can almost taste the dis-functionality of Donald Trump, (not that I would ever want to get that close to him).

The tastiest part of the recipe was when one of the authors said about presidential candidates,
1) Publish Brain Scan of All Candidates

MRI scans are increasingly able to identify narcissism. Studies since 2013 indicate that brain regions associated with narcissism can be measured.

For example, "NPD patients had smaller GM [gray matter] volume in the left anterior insula" and "smaller GM volume in fronto-paralimbic brain regions comprising the rostral and median cingulate cortex as well as dorsolateral and medial parts of the prefrontal cortex." Thinness of brain tissue in these regions indicates a weakened ability in "processing and generating compassion", i.e., a lack of empathy, an absence of caring for others.

If this is combined with excessive activity in brain regions related to self-absorbed thinking - narcissism is flourishing.

Politician's financial records are already scrutinized, plus reports of their medical health. Their monetary and physiological data is deemed crucial enough for the public to examine.

Mental health transparency is, IMO, even more imperative to publicly view. We want trustworthy public servants to represent us, not callous, paranoid, power-hungry narcissists.

Do you regard MRI scans as an "invasion of privacy"? Please consider the risks involved. The horror of Adolf Hitler would have been prevented, for example, if 1930's technology included MRI scanning that revealed, via transparency politics, his messy brain to the public. Psycho-Historical analysis have categorized the Nazi terror as schizophrenic, paranoid, anti-social, narcissistic, and sadistic.
What a novel and practical idea.

So...here we have Doctor A's review,
Except for the very rich, a New Age Duck Soup is bound to leave a foul taste in everyone's mouth.
and Sterling's review,
My personal review is to strongly suggest never eating where a New Age Duck Soup is being served. Just the smell is odorous enough to turn one's stomach.
Those who voted for this recipe for a presidency must have prepped themselves with some kind of anti-emetic first before voting although I would think those who are now having second thoughts about their Trump selection are having gut wrenching regurgitation along with a full case of the runs.

As for my review of the recipe...well...I am not sure there is a strong enough word to describe my contempt and disgust for Trump. However, if you took all the words from the following list and put them in a blender, I am sure that is what my review would be (From-29 of the most gross-sounding words in the English language)

Moist
Blog
Lugubrious
Yolk
Gurgle
Phlegm
Fetus
Curd
Smear
Squirt
Chunky
Orifice
Maggots
Viscous
Queasy
Bulbous
Pustule
Fester
Secrete
Munch
Panties
Clogged
Vomit
Jowls
Dripping
Roaches
Mucus
Slacks
Slurp

Yes, I am sure this is it.
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Posted on: » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:25 pm #9

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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Doctor A » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:25 pm

WHY POLITICAL VIEWS ARE SO HARD TO CHANGE AND WHY MY LIBERAL VIEW IS "BETTER" THAN YOUR CONSERVATIVE VIEW

Reported by Mike Flynn Investigation
CBS News February 16, 2017
Brain study looks at why people's political beliefs are so hard to change
A new brain study out of USC looks at why people are so resistant when their political views are challenged by others.
CBS Los Angeles
"LOS ANGELES -- When it comes to politics, it can be difficult to accept the other side. Some friendships have even ended as a result of opposing political views. Last November’s presidential election is a prime example of a politically divided America.
So why do people get emotional and even angry when their political beliefs are challenged? USC professor Jonas Kaplan‘s research suggests that the brain may actually be to blame.

The cognitive neuroscientist started studying how the brain reacts when one’s political beliefs are challenged a few years ago, not realizing how America’s political climate would turn out. “I don’t think we could have predicted how much these issues would be on everybody’s minds when we finished the study several years later.” Kaplan told CBS Los Angeles.

Kaplan and colleagues at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute performed functional MRI scans of the brains of 40 participants with strong liberal political views, watching their brain activity as his team presented counter-arguments and tried to sway their political positions. The MRIs showed that the parts of the brain that were triggered control deep, emotional thoughts about personal identity. “When people activate these emotional structures of the brain more, when they’re being challenged, they’re less likely to change their minds,” the professor explained. Their brains went into defense mode, shutting down any willingness to accept counter arguments, Kaplan added. Max Henning participated in the study. “People don’t often realize how automatic it can be to push back on information that you disagree with, even if you identify as a person that is open to new ideas,” he said.

While this study focused on people with liberal politics, the researchers also plan to scan the brains of conservatives to see if their neurological responses follow the same pattern.

The researchers note it’s well established that people tend to discount evidence that contradicts their firmly held beliefs. But until this experiment, science was less clear on the reason why. “Little is known about the neural mechanisms that govern this behavior,” Kaplan and his team write in their study, published in the journal Nature.

What they found is that “challenges to political beliefs produced increased activity in the default mode network—a set of interconnected structures [in the brain] associated with self-representation and disengagement from the external world.”

But if people are biologically wired to resist opposing political views, is there any prospect for a peaceful future?
Kaplan said a few brains did show slightly more openness to change.

“Maybe that is a sign of hope, a crack in the door there a little bit. But I do think that is very difficult for us to change our minds about these things that are so important to us and that define us,” the neuroscientist explained.

Researchers plan to do a follow-up study on how the body responds physiologically when political beliefs are challenged. Some of the areas they will focus on include heart rate and breathing."
I suspect the future research proposed by Dr. Kaplan will show a similar level of intransience and resistance to change political ideology when he tests the conservative group. If this proves to be the case, then I would still choose my liberal brain structure over that of a conservative's. That being said, an individual may not have a choice in tomorrow's world. So, here is the crux of the matter; who will get to choose the structure of the fetal brain wiring with its genetic engineering for future generations; who will choose our adult brain structures as more and more brain prosthetics become available as we slip into old age?

I suggest the dominant political power, which is currently conservative, Republican, and supported by Plutocrats will have sway over these decisions. You, as a member of the 99%, will have little choice in the matter. Just like tax rates, guns, and reproductive rights, certain future brain structures will be mandated. Let us remember the golden rule? No, not that one, rather the one that states, "those with the gold make the rules." Those of the wealthy elite will use their plutocratic positions steeped in conservative brain structures to make it so legally and otherwise. Given the same choice, wouldn't you too base the future upon an image of humanity in the image of your own brain structured world view?

Taken from a position of reducing economic inequality, a position of doing good in the world, the liberal brain wins hands down.
From: Quora' #1 upvoted answer

"Which political world view is better, liberal or conservative? Why?"

5 Answers
Patricia Collins, Student of national and international politics on all continents
Written Jul 27, 2016
160 Views • View Upvotes • Answer requested by Sheldon Mojelski
(answer redacted for length)

Seems like the two are always butting heads. I am curious to see what people see as the pros and cons of each. Is one or the other better in terms of individual and social outcomes?

“Better” can’t be determined until one clarifies what the starting assumptions are. Many politically passionate people do not like to say they’re making assumptions because they are sure, deep in their hearts, that what they have are beliefs that are wholly justifiable. As we can see right now, many people are quite certain that if you don’t believe what they believe, you have no moral compass. That is, we have diverse cultural value systems at work as well as a continuum of beliefs or “logic” that draw us to take particular positions on various aspects of either liberal or conservative ideologies. In actuality, many of these people are coming from serious convictions about what constitutes a moral compass and try hard to rely on their moral compass.

But I’ll return to your question: Which ideology is better? It depends on your belief system, which is highly likely to have inconsistencies.
A stalemate you say, like an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object; I think not. Certainly not if viewed within the framework of economic inequality. There was a time when we did not know the effects of economic inequality and individuals could make statements such as "a rising tide lifts all boats" with impunity. But first you need a boat and obviously only the wealthy can apply this to themselves. Now, after thirty years of testing supply side economic theory, also known as "trickle-down" theory, the facts are clear; it is the wealthy who benefit. The detrimental impact upon the health and problems of society of a high economic inequality, produced mainly by a governmental tax structure favoring the rich, leaves little doubt; a liberal stance is better.

Of course there are those unfortunate conservatives among individuals who have a brain structure so blinded by their limbic system's fear that they reject the facts. What a pity. Worse yet are those who do clearly understand the facts yet promote a "me first" mentality in an attempt to make "America First." Such immorality, born of selfishness in an attempt to climb the social ladder at the expense of others below, is reprehensible. In any case, either knowingly or seeped in blissful ignorance, those conservatives who stand outside the social contract we in society have with one another regarding what is right and wrong are immoral.

Given that Trump and the Republican party will significantly increase economic inequality, the liberal view is "better." Anyone arguing against this is swimming upstream against the tide of rationality and moral thought. Furthermore, the view of the conservative is nonsense. By this I mean non-sense because their rational thoughts have been stifled and blinded by their amygdales and other related brain structures. And by default, the view cannot "make sense" because the rational and fact centers of the conservative's brain has been functionally thwarted.

At the very bottom of this post, I present FirstRateCrowd's combined view of the research facts from Richard Wilkinson's video, "How economic inequality harms societies" and Donald Trump's view of wanting to double the country's GDP without reducing economic inequality. This is also found under the Admin's posting on the FirstRateCrowd home page, under the major category Economic Inequality, titled "Before you begin, please CLICK HERE to learn about the Counter-Intuitive Affects of Economic Inequality upon the problems of health and society."

Regarding this research, reason and sense point to self inflicted wounds upon the world's societies with a rising economic inequality. These wounds are born of conservative brain structures, not that of liberals. This is because conservatives are more prone to vote for policies promoting economic inequality. When coupled with the scope and intensity of the suffering this causes, one can only point to non-sense. Obviously the conservative view is not one of reasoned judgment.

We come to the ultimate conclusion; the conservative view is evil. By denying others a right to thrive due to an increased economic inequality, and by focusing on a self centered pattern of selfishness way beyond a person's immediate needs or expectations for multiple to many lifetimes (see the note below), conservatives ruin other people's physical and emotional health for their own greed. Is there any wonder as to why the alt-right is attached to conservative views and not liberal views? Evil knows where it is welcome.

Note : For the reader's perspective...

Just as a ballpark figure, for the four out of nine individuals who actually ventured to give a dollar amount answered between 2014 through 2016 to the Quora question, "How much money does the average person in the US spend over their entire life?", we obtain the following average of $2.9 million
.
From Forbes magazine, by Jennifer Wang, written September 28, 2016, "What Is Donald Trump Really Worth?" they estimate $3.7 billion as of September 2016.

Therefor, $3,700,000,000 / $2,900,000 = 1,276 equivalent average lifetimes

Regardless of the many assumptions made to reach this figure, it is still a lot of equivalent lives and a woeful lot of suffering for one individual to inflict upon others in a vain attempt reach this number. It certainly is a slap in the face to rationality and those of us dedicated to stopping economic inequality.

Let there be no doubt as to how Republicans, with their avowed conservative ideology, vote as a group as expressed in the following article from the Washington'sBlog.com. , "Study Shows Republicans Favor Economic Inequality," Posted on April 5, 2014 by Eric Zuesse.

A study of the voting records of members of Congress, recently published in the prestigious online scientific journal PLOS One, shows that “Republicans tended to support legislation increasing economic inequality regardless of their social status,” whereas the tendency of congressional Democrats was in the opposite direction but weaker, because “High status Democrats tended to exhibit less support for legislation that reduces economic inequality than did their lower status” peers. The study “analyzed 13 pieces of legislation, chosen by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS; http://www.ips-dc.org), that were sponsored by members of Congress between 2010 and 2012.”

As for any great moral imperative the conservative brain may conger up in their own defense, one can point to the immorality of willfully increasing economic inequality within a society; surely this is a moral compass gone awry. Like the German people of World War II, during the period of the Nuremberg trials, they viewed themselves overall as good moral people. They took care of their families and friends, supported the Fatherland, and went to church. And yet we know, sadly, they were not moral.

Now we hear yet again a fresh echo of the German peoples view as Donald Trump embraced Steven Bannon as the CEO of his election campaign and subsequently promotion to a senior adviser position once in office. Bannon's intimate association with Breitbart News and their propagation of Alt Right views is quite a bucketful of conservative brain structure; it is an immoral bucketful of hissing snakes once again poised to strike with its black venom circa world war II.

Undoubtedly, if history is any guide, their intent is to codify their amoral brain structure into the laws and policies of government.

For those who say to me, "give them a chance and let's see what they can do," I shout, "not an inch and not a second."

For those who say to me, "pray for them," I shout, "you might as well walk willingly into the gas chamber right now and close the door behind you."

For those who offer me succor, a helping hand in the form of relativism by lecturing me how they have the right to their own thoughts and opinions, I shout, "a position of inserting one's cranium into one's own anal sphincter is not only undignified but blinding to the truth as well. Such self absorption will not protect you."

We are at war; it is a war between competing brain structures. What we are witnessing is the opening salvo of class warfare on a world wide scale. Few dare to call it what it really is in an attempt keep the cauldron from boiling over. Nevertheless, the carnage is just starting and will continue.

From a forum on this website I previously present what I consider to be the most important contextual view of the future in one simple paragraph:
1-B Economic Inequality: The Outrage! FUTURE CONCERNS: THE SINGULARITY

"Let there be no doubt, the single most important aspect we are really battling for here is to control the future, our future. Will we control it or let the wealthy elite control our destiny? Make no mistake, what happens here will determine the outcome of humanity. Whoever controls the Singularity will control the future; will it be them or us?"

Who will control the future structure of the Singularity's brain? Who's brain structure will be maintained and who's will be annihilated genetically or altered through artificial intelligence? If the structures within our brains of today are so strong as to maintain our world views as being correct, then who's values will win the battle of the brain structure?

Farfetched you say? No, not really. Consider the recent article from the Washington Post, "If we’re going to play God with gene editing, we’ve got to ask some moral questions," By Christine Emba on February 20, 2017
“We are as gods and we might as well get good at it.”

So wrote futurist Stewart Brand in the introduction to the first Whole Earth Catalog in 1968. At the time the statement seemed tongue-in-cheek. Nearly 50 years later it’s much less of a joke
.
The past 30 days have seen several unheralded but consequential strides in the scientific quest for god-like control of our destiny. Last week, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine published a report on human genome editing that allows the manipulation of sperm and egg cells to create changes that could be passed down to offspring. In January, scientists for the first time grew a part-pig, part-human “chimera,” a step toward developing animal embryos with functioning human organs for interspecies transplantation. With Tesla chief executive Elon Musk hinting last month at having made progress on a brain-computer interface, injectable electronics and other forms of human augmentation have clearly entered mainstream discussion as a way for humans to keep up with quickly advancing artificial intelligence.

The potential for control at our fingertips makes the idea of “playing God” more than a cheeky metaphor. Knowing this, we should view our judgment on these questions warily. Rather than relying on our feelings as these technologies inexorably progress, we should engage in vigorous public debate about their potential and regulation. Now is the time to examine the things we value, the ways in which we make decisions and what we see as solutions.


And so we must all determine what we value. Will it be a liberal or a conservative brain structure we want to bring forth into the future? In other words, will it be them or us?
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Economic inequality produces nationally detrimental biopsychosocial effects

Found under the Admin's posting on the FirstRateCrowd home page, under the major category Economic Inequality, titled "Before you begin, please CLICK HERE to learn about the Counter-Intuitive Affects of Economic Inequality upon the problems of health and society."

In developed, affluent nations, it is the relative economic inequality between members of that population that drive consequent, negative biopsychosocial effects upon that population—it is not the overall wealth of the nation. This is the paradox: wealth does not necessarily equate to reducing the problems of health and society, and can serve to exacerbate them. Simply put, a very wealthy nation—such as the USA, with a very high Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—can nonetheless possess an extreme range of economic inequality among its citizens. Such vast economic disparity inherently results in a profoundly negative interplay of biologic, psychological, and social influences within that nation. Conversely, in a more economically modest nation, if there is a narrower range of economic inequality, then there is a lessening of such negative biopsychosocial effects. This is because the wealth is distributed more evenly in the latter case.

The greater the economic inequality that exists within a nation, the greater the gradient between the rich and the poor that exists—and it is this gradient that creates the damage. It is a negative biopsychosocial effect that creates the injurious outcomes—the greater the economic inequality within a nation, the greater the grave health and social problems that society will suffer. An individual's standing in the socioeconomic hierarchy creates the dire ill effects caused by economic inequality. For this reason, merely increasing the wealth of a nation will not reduce many of the social ills which plague its citizens. It is by redistributing the wealth within a nation that decreases economic inequality and, consequently, provides relief to many of the health and social ills.

Moreover, from Richard Wilkinson, the effect of economic inequality can clearly be seen in the summary graph below. (Note: The USA is positioned in the extreme upper right of the graph.)

To learn more about these subjects, CLICK HERE to view Richard Wilkinson's video "How economic inequality harms societies," which is also in the EDUCATIONAL section of the site's navigation bar.

For those who still erroneously believe that just by increasing a country's wealth (GDP), this will somehow automatically decrease the negative aspects of their society's problems, they should consider the following regarding the ill effect of economic inequality upon a nation's GDP itself: it is now known that an elevated economic-inequality rating actually thwarts the growth of that country's GDP. Alternatively, when income and wealth are put into the hands of the many instead of just the few at the top, it produces better economic outcomes for a nation's GDP in addition to reducing that nation's health and social problems.

Two economic-publication excerpts below—one from Forbes and one from The Economist—bear out this relationship between wealth in the hands of the few at the top and consequent overall economic and biopsychosocial decline versus the relationship between an income share that benefits the masses as a whole and consequently prompts growth that benefits all of society.
Income Inequality Hurts Economic Growth
From: Forbes, By Erik Sherman, Dec 9, 2014

"There is and has been a reduction of economic growth because of the growing concentration of income among a smaller portion of the global population." "The new OECD analysis found a ‘negative and statistically significant’ correlation between income inequality and economic growth. Specifically, the 3 Gini point rise in inequality that was the average for OECD states over the last 20 years meant 0.35 percent less economic growth per year for the same time, or a total 8.5 percent GDP loss in that period."

How inequality affects growth
From: The Economist
Jun 15th 2015, 14:23 by R.A.

"And on June 15th economists at the IMF released a study assessing the causes and consequences of rising inequality. The authors reckon that while inequality could cause all sorts of problems, governments should be especially concerned about its effects on growth. They estimate that a one percentage point increase in the income share of the top 20% will drag down growth by 0.08 percentage points over five years, while a rise in the income share of the bottom 20% actually boosts growth."
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Posted on: » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:49 pm #10

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Jessica
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Re: Brain Structure Drives The Consequent Effects Of Economic Inequality

Post by Jessica » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:49 pm

This really helps to explain the newspaper headlines I read yesterday.
Trump’s approval ratings sit at record lows but base stays steady, poll shows.

President Donald Trump nears the 100-day mark of his administration as the least popular chief executive in modern times, a president whose voters remain largely satisfied with his performance, but one whose base of support has not expanded since he took the oath of office, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Washington Post on 2017-04-23
It is now funny to watch the lefty news reporters and others talk about what is happening with Trump's supporters and why they will not change their behavior. Because I read all of the sections on brain structure Doctor A has posted I get it. The rigidity we see is due to his followers brain structure in addition to Trump's own crazy brain structure. But the reporters on TV and in the newspapers do not get it. All they do is spin there wheels with endless possibilities as to why events are occurring the way they are. It is hilarious to watch. If only they knew.

Years ago I learned the adage, "It is either a bottle in front of me or a frontal lobotomy. They both do the same thing." Shy of getting Trump's supporters drunk or performing brain surgery on them, I cannot see them changing their views.

You are wonderful Doctor A. Thank you for this model of the brains interaction with politics. If others knew this, the number of prescriptions for Ativan and Xanax would drop precipitously.
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