Your Brain is Built for Politics

Dr Darren Schreiber presents at the London Judgment and Decision-Making Seminar Series on 29th November

Darren will argue that "Your Brain is Built for Politics", drawing from an extensive body of research in biology and politics. Negotiating increasingly complex and shifting coalitions drove the human brain to evolve a set of mechanisms that modern humans now engage when they participate in national politics.  The paper synthesizes results from six brain imaging experiments, a large-n response latency study, and a computational model of the visual cortex to explore how these brain mechanisms underpin phenomena such as political sophistication, political attitudes, racial attitudes, and moral reasoning.  Predictions of party affiliation with 82% accuracy, election results with 65-75% accuracy, and both egalitarian attitudes and behaviors are achieved with surprisingly simple models accounting for brain function.  The product is a new view of human nature.  Biology is shown to be subservient to the demands of human politics.  Rather than a reductionist or deterministic argument, I contend the shifting coalitions of human society require that we are hardwired to not be hardwired.

More details of the seminar series can be found here:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/pals/news-and-seminars/ljdm-seminar-series

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