Remember a few years ago when everyone was talking about the differences between people who were "right-brain" (analytical/objective) and "left-brain" (artistic/subjective) in their worldview? Well, it turns out that it's not that simple. We're actually "whole-brain" people with characteristics from both "sides" of our brain. But a new study at NYU and UCLA has found something really interesting about the differences between "left-wing brains" and "right-wing brains." Yup, it looks like people with different political beliefs might actually be wired differently.
Apparently, people with "left-wing brains" tend to more readily accept new information and change their mind based on that new information. They also navigate nuance, ambiguity, and conflict more easily. These are the folks you want around when you're brainstorming new ideas or looking for donations for groundbreaking scientific research. There are gifts to having a left-wing brain.
Conversely, people with "right-wing brains" are more likely to persist in their beliefs despite new information. They also tend to be more focused on one particular issue or idea. These are the folks you want around when you need to make a decision and stick with it or if you want a more consistent conversation partner. There are gifts to having a right-wing brain, too.
Obviously, real life is too complex for these two simplistic options. Most people fall somewhere along the spectrum between these two poles. But it's still interesting to look at the trends. If we're all just wired differently, then it seems like we all need to be more understanding of people who are different than us. It doesn't always have to be a good-vs.-bad type of thing. Right-wing brains just operate different than left-wing brains. Perhaps, we need each other in order to be more effective employees, voters, family members, etc. We can help balance each other out. And perhaps all this "can't we all just get along" stuff is part of having a "left-wing brain"!
What do you think about this study? Do the results seem accurate to you? How do you think the results can help us to work together better?