Brief Communication abstract

Nature Neuroscience 10, 1246 - 1247 (2007)
Published online: 9 September 2007 | doi:10.1038/nn1979

Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism

David M Amodio1, John T Jost1, Sarah L Master2 & Cindy M Yee2


Political scientists and psychologists have noted that, on average, conservatives show more structured and persistent cognitive styles, whereas liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty. We tested the hypothesis that these profiles relate to differences in general neurocognitive functioning using event-related potentials, and found that greater liberalism was associated with stronger conflict-related anterior cingulate activity, suggesting greater neurocognitive sensitivity to cues for altering a habitual response pattern.

  1. Department of Psychology, New York University, 6 Washington Place, New York, New York 10003, USA.
  2. Department of Psychology, 1285 Franz Hall, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.

Correspondence to: David M Amodio1 e-mail:


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