Political Gridlock

image credit: Gary Mcinnes

Whodda thunk it? It seems your political beliefs may be related to your psychology. And if that’s the case, compromise is a hard won lot.

Perhaps fueled by increasing gridlock in Washington, lately there have been a lot of studies published on why people form and keep the political beliefs that they do. While none are particularly encouraging for those who want to see government work, the findings offer some insight on why politicians reaching agreement is tougher than it sounds. A couple of weeks ago, Psychology Today reported that researchers at the University of Nebraska have pointed to a biological basis for ideology. In general, they reported, liberals have a deep psychological propensity to focus more on positive forces and outcomes, while conservative minds are more occupied by what is potentially threatening.

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Original article, “Knee Jerk Gridlock,” by Sam Ross Brown and posted in Utne, March 30, 2012.

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