Insular Cortex, Gusta Torey, L. A. Paul Bloom discussed on Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

You said something that struck me as something so important. I wrote it down immediately. You said you can't reason with someone out of a position that they weren't reasoned into in the first place that if they have I suppose you mean if they they have a feeling connection to their position and it's mainly the feeling that got them into that position. You're not going to change or affect them much with logic absolutely because you have to address it kind of okay somebody has its stance ounce. They have an opinion you disagree with the deeply they feel something about economics or social policy totally in contrast to urine. How can they believe? I believe that how can they think that and the key things to figure out what circumstances brought them to that point and and those circumstances have far more to do with emotion than they do with cognition mean huge predictors of people's political stances about social the issues revolve around how anxiety prone they are how much having their hands dirty distresses them how much much sitting down on a seat that somebody else was sitting on and it's Kinda warm and clammy does that kind of creep you out or what how much does have beauity make you anxious versus making you excited and it turns out those are hugely important predictors of people who aren't being social progresses versus Social Conservatives servivce yeah you remind me of a study where people were presented with an unpleasant smell yes and for the next few minutes they were. We're more conservative in their response to to question two. How did that work? Wonderful study came out of psychologist at L. A. Paul Bloom and others were you take people and essentially give him the questionnaire about their political attitudes about social issues economic issues shoes geopolitical issues and if they're in a room with a horrible smell of garbage in there and it turns out you can get a little like commercial vials oils of garbage smell to tidy up your home yes exactly in an even worse bodily odors than that turned out. If you put somebody in a room with a bad smell in it they tend to become more conservative about some social issues does nothing to the Geo political stances. This is the economic stances. What's that about? What is there about? Why would they do that? What's the rationale that has been proposed? There's a totally wonderful piece of neurobiology biology that helps explain that it's part of the brain called the insular CORTEX. If your your basic boring off the rack mammal with the insular the cortex is about is telling you if you've just bitten into some disgusting piece of food if it's rancid if it's toxic insular CORTEX reacts reacts triggers hold these reflexes you spit it out you gag. Maybe you throw up abuse scrunch up your face. This is all part of this mammalian response to to protect you from Gusta Torey discussed disgusting toxic spoiled food and it turns out works the same way and us and humans you stick somebody in a brain scanner and you some help persuade them to bite into this rancid whatever and insular cortex activates we can do something fancier than that. You don't give the person something disgusting to eat you prompt them to think about eating or cockroach and you activate the CORTEX home. I just just when you said that digest voted for Genghis Khan gets there proof inaction. All of this was one big experiment on you. How in what may what's the connection in between smelling something disgusting and exhibiting more conservative attitude? I don't get the connection yeah okay 'cause that comes from the the utterly amazing thing that the human insular Cortex does in addition to discussing tastes and smells or thinking about disgusting ones you tell somebody about about some Disgusting Act. The Nazis did this. The white supremacists did that. This is what happened in this massacre. This is something something heartbreaking something and the insular cortex activates us in humans it also does moral disgust and what that tells you is you look at the activity of like a single insular cortex neurons and you can tell it's just tasted some disgusting food or if it's contemplated some disgusting moral act so it makes it makes them moral of evaluation moral judgment and is that somehow somehow linked to a conservative view because it seems to me that you could have you could be disgusted at things that a more liberal view would be disgusted by and I don't see how you shifted over to a more conservative. When can you explain that great yeah well what you wind up seeing is this we associate this role discussed with moral disgust with that's why is something that's upsetting enough off makes feel queasy makes us feel sick to our stomach makes us feel like puking what you see? In terms of the political stances is this utterly league cruel great finding which is on the average social conservatives have a lower threshold for visceral disgust than and do social progressives even studies looking at the number of cleaning products in the bathrooms of social progressives versus conservatives in there's a difference. That's what you have is just on a visceral level. If you're very prone to finding all sorts of things to make you feel a little bit squeamish and a little golf and you're more prone to decide that them and their different behaviors rather than being cool or exciting were neutral. Is that much more likely that you conclude is just Kinda disgusting and it's wrong wrong wrong.

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