Age and Voting Patterns

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It is common knowledge that the younger voters tend to favor Democratis candidates:
http://www.pewtrusts.com/pdf/Circle_FS_04VotingRace.pdf

With modern brain imaging techniques, we now have some idea why:
http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/juvenile-justice/factsheets/braindev.pdf

Essentially, the frontal lobe is not completely developed until "mid-tweens." As such, emotion overrides logic.

Similarly, brain deterioration as one ages could explain the tendency of the elderly to for more Democratic. I suspect, however, that, being more dependent on the government encourages one to vote for Democrats, whose basic modus operandi is "Take from the few, give to the many, and the many will vote for you."

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19 Comments

Kevin said:

Ha ha! The science about the adolescent brain is really increasing these days. Still, you're using the same old bad science you've been relying on to make your points. You're equations just never quite add up, Jack. I'm surprised you aren't catching your own flaw in reasoning. Another mighty wild, impulsive leap to "the truth".

An additional part of what is developing during adolescence is the ability to take on another person's perspective. This is why you see all the identity struggles that Erikson made his name off of. But the ability to take another's perspective, try it on, decide whether or not you share that perspective, is the precursor to empathy, if you will. However, if someone is using substances, or they are traumatized in some other way during the adolescent years, their ability to take other peoples' perspective is can be damaged, along with a certain level of abstract reasoning; thinking remains more concrete (black or white, no greys), or so the theory goes anyways. It's really quite interesting research, however, there is much work and more investigating to be done. I have, however, seen some rather florid examples. . .

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Holy crap man you have got to be kidding me.

I'm glad you're an outlier, Jack, because this sort of "only those who agree with me can be considered of sound mind" thinking can be very dangerous.

Tell me, was this post inspired by a late night history channel documentary about Nazi eugenics programs?

Jack said:

Kevin -- I'd be interested to see some of the research. It is interesting that you mention the "substances," since it is generally liberals (with a few libertarians) advocating repeal of the drug laws.

Actually, puffalump, this WAS supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek piece. I just love to tweak you libs.

Now, can you get any research to refute the connections?

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

yeah, I'd like to site everything you've ever posted to make the point that you're a nut

Jack said:

Go for it, puffalump!

Robin said:

This is so out-there that it doesn't even merit my response.

Jack said:

Then why did you respond?

spmm said:

no, I'm not going to bother. I'm just going to state that posts made by you are nutty and say,

"actually, this WAS supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. now, can you get any research to refute the connections?"

Jack said:

I must ask, Kevin, why you consider it "bad science"? Please read the following peer-reviewed articles, which indicate peak frontal lobe maturity when one is in his mid-40's, which coincides with the time at which one in most likely to be conservative:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B75BK-4FNN66C-5&_user=3938616&_coverDate=03%2F31%2F2005&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000061828&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=3938616&md5=e0407d5d68fa4a388cf0d4320350e2cb

http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/58/5/461

Jack said:

Puffalump -- it is tongue-in-cheek because I find it fun to point out associations that annoy liberals, then watch you go into hissy fits.

spmm said:

annoying associations? how about this: conservatives and assholes always fall on the same side of every issue?

Coincidence? Maybe...

Kevin said:

Poor Jack. I didn't say the science you cited was weak, though I do find it interesting that you cited an advocacy group. The science which is weak is your continued reliance on the formula known as 2+2=5. The fabulous code you script of If/then's. It's the age old cliche that ice cream causes crime sprees or bathing suit purchases. The ole correlative mistake.

Oh yes, the actual science about the frontal and pre-frontal lobe is a plenty and is quite interesting. Really solid examples exist in the lead poisoning world. The frontal lobe was a great gift to mankind!

Unfortunately I do not have access to full texts of the articles. Abstract #1: I don't think anyone would dispute age-related changes in brain structure in young adults (defined here as 20's and 30's) amongst a sample of 25 subjects.
Abstract #2: seems to make your point a little more about frontal lobe changes in gray and white matter up to the ages of approximately 44 and 47, I'll give you that.

Seriously, you are aging yourself, though. "Coincides" is a good word to use.

As to your comment about substances and advocating for repealing drug laws, I will treat it as the non-sequitor ad hominem attack that it is, though you should know by now where I stand on the issue.

Jack said:

Maybe we can get funding for a study doing frontal lobe imaging compared to political leanings!

Actually, Kevin, I do NOT know where you stand on the issue of drug legalization. If we have discussed it, I don't remember the conversation.

Jack said:

Kevin -- as you point out, there may not be a cause-and-effect here (that frontal lobe maturity causes a shift to conservatism).

There may be a root cause, such as dependence on another. For instance, children depend on their parents, and many elderly depend on the government. That dependency could be suppressing frontal lobe development in the young, and increase its deterioration in the elderly.

Perhaps we could put random people on welfare (at their current income), and see whether they have reduced frontal lobe activity two years later.

Kevin said:

Now you got a good laugh outta me, Jack. You and your eugenics.

I'll leave the dependency study up to you and Reagan's cronies Murray, et al :)

Jack said:

Just so long as I get the government funding. I'm sure the study will take several years, at least. :-)

No Relation said:

Cool! I'm a mutant because I'm a young non-liberal. I'm like an X-men!

Or maybe my folks just raised me right and taught me how to take care of myself. What do you say, Poofy?

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

I'd say you need a new frontal lobe. It's just going to get worse as you go!

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