Fear and Loathing: Political Neuro-Biology and the 2016 Elections


Thu., Oct. 20, 5 p.m. 2016

Location Info:

Southern Methodist University- McCord Auditorium
3225 University Dr.
Dallas, TX  75205
What can burrowing mice and African bonobos tell us about Donald, Ted, Hilary, and Bernie? Aristotle famously observed that "man is by nature a political animal" and that "a social instinct is implanted in all men by nature". Few students of government or politics have taken this assertation seriously; however, a recent study concluded that roughly half of the variance in political ideology is attributable to genetic influences. Apparently, Aristotle was correct. Follow-up studies have identified two particularly salient neurological variations that show a clear connection to political beliefs and behaviors - disgust and threat response. Both are ancient brain systems, but both have very modern implications. Join Professor John Alford as he delves into the deep ideological divisions that are shaping the 2016 elections.


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