Archive for November, 2016

Politics and Pain

- November, 2016

NO! I will not be making any political statements here. But in “painfully” watching this political season, I have had some insights into how our brains attract information that “fit” and perpetuate our current beliefs.

As I watch friends on both sides of the aisle, it is fascinating to notice that people who are equally educated and informed make diametrically opposed decisions about candidates. This year is more intense than ever and it’s made me wonder; how is it that we can take in similar information and come to such different conclusions.

I find myself thinking of a well-known scientific theory for pain called the Hebbian Theory: Neurons that fire together, wire together. So as you spend your life collecting information to support your political ideology, your brain will continue to be attracted and reinforced by the information that is consistent with your prior beliefs. Imagine what it would take for you to consider voting for the “other” candidate — Yikes! (more…)