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Erika Schickel Headshot

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

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Once again science has confirmed what we already know: liberals and conservatives think differently. Neuroscientists at NYU and UCLA conducted a simple test on college students all along the political spectrum -- from latte-sucking liberals to tobacco-huffing conservatives.They were seated in front of computers and given the simple task of pressing a key every time the letter "M" flashed on the screen. Here's the hitch: every once in a while the letter "W" would flash and the subjects were told to not push a key when they saw "W."

Both groups recognized the letter "M" accurately. But when that pesky "W" popped up the conservatives just couldn't help themselves and -- DOH! -- they pushed the key! They simply could not recognize any letter not being "M." They continued to dogmatically stab away at the keyboard not seeing the letter so plainly in front of them. Everyone, of course, was hooked up to electroencephalograms, and liberals EEG's lit up like pinball machines while apprehending and considering all the subtle differences between "M" and "W." They made fewer mistakes and demonstrated a greater subtlety of mind. Conservatives, ever the partisans, just declared "W" was "M" and called it a day.

But lookout! The researchers threw a curveball by reversing the test, flashing "W's" and asking subjects to ignore the "M's." The results were exactly the same. If told"W" is the order of the day, then well, by heck. That's just what they're gonna do. It's that simple.

History has already shown that conservatives are suckers for "W." The letter has some kind of hypnotic effect on them, causing them to jab their index fingers at things -- liberals, mostly. "W" is their kind of letter, all points, aggressive, starting favorite conservative words like "War" and "Wealth" and "Welfare State." If you built a giant "W" out of steel and dropped a liberal on it, he would be impaled through his head, heart and groin. Yee-haw, it's BBQ!

Frank J. Sulloway, a researcher at UC Berkeley's Institute of Personality and Social Research told The Los Angeles Times that the results "provided an elegant demonstration that individual differences on a conservative-liberal dimension are strongly related to brain activity." The Times reports that "liberals were 4.9 times as likely as conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits that deal with conflicts, and 2.2 times as likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy." Thus with one, simple experiment we have solved the mystery of how half our nation fell for the 9/11/Sadaam Hussein boondoggle. W is to M as Sadaam is to Bin Laden. While, they share some qualities (spikey, swarthy, hateful, gun lovin') they were decidedly NOT the same man. But those differences are irrelevant once your mind has been made up for you.

So now its been scientifically proven that liberals are smarter than conservatives. There's no point in gloating: conservatives don't recognize science, either. Just let them continue digging their own spider holes of fuzzy logic and dogmatic umbrage and come November '08 we can use our superior hand-eye coordination and letter-recognition skills to hit all the right letters.

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