The Association for Psychological Science is holding a conference this year in Chicago, “Politics, Civility, and Ideology – Insights from Psychological Science” (May 24-27) on the theme,
We are political animals and it all starts in our brains. Psychological science gives us unique insights into an election year’s intensity and questions of political incivility, political ideology, political attitudes and brain structure, our genes and our political orientation, and emotional influences on decision making will be explored by leaders in the field at the Association for Psychological Science annual convention.
Some advertised conference papers give us some idea why their flagship journal Psychological Science is one target of a bunk watch:
- More than ideology divides liberals and conservatives. In fact, substantial differences exist quite literally in the way that they think and the way that their brains are structured. Geraint Rees will discuss the findings from his MRI studies of liberal and conservative brains. Geraint Rees, Deputy Head of the University College London Faculty of Brain Sciences — firstname.lastname@example.org
- What alchemy of influences is at play in determining whether someone’s political orientation veers to the left or to the right? Opinions and beliefs are one thing, but as it turns out, genetics and environmental forces can play an even more significant role in shaping those opinions and beliefs. Christian Kandler will present the findings of his research on the genetic material of mothers and fathers and how their personality traits affect their children’s political leanings. Christian Kandler, Research Associate, Bielefeld University, Germany — Christian.email@example.com [ … ]
- In some ways, given all the scientific evidence supporting the phenomenon, it is surprising that there is a debate at all about whether or not global warming is occurring. But as we have seen, many conservatives dismiss climate change as a mere liberal fantasy. Why has this debate become so polarized? Using insights from sociological and political science scholarship Oklahoma State University professor Riley Dunlap, will examine the political ideology and global warming and the dismissal of climate change by conservative Americans. Riley E Dunlap, Regents Professor of Sociology, Oklahoma State University — firstname.lastname@example.org
So, if voters are losing their jobs because of government decisions, the best way to understand their response is to theorize about neuroscience findings? Hither, bunkwatch!