The Minds of Conservatives and Deniers
27 November 2016 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
There is by now evidence from a variety of laboratories around the world using a variety of methodological techniques leading to the virtually inescapable conclusion that the cognitive-motivational styles of conservatives are quite different from others. This research consistently finds that conservatism is positively associated with negativism, heightened epistemic concerns for order, structure, closure, certainty, consistency, simplicity, and familiarity, as well as existential concerns such as perceptions of danger, sensitivity to threat, and death anxiety.' This research was summarized a few years ago in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, by John Jost and fellow scholars
Jost and his team were blasted by Ann Coulter, George Will, and National Review for saying this; congressional Republicans began probing into their research grants; and they got lots of hate mail. However, the general conclusion has held up very well and been expanded further.
Much more work has been done since then. A large body of research scientists now agree that conservatives differ about politics and similar matters from other people in largest part because they are fundamentally a different kind of person at the levels of personality, biology and even physiology and genetics.
This is a major finding and conclusion. It suggests conservatives do not so much get their beliefs from family, or their childhood circles or their upbringing and that much is physiological, biological, genetic and ingrained, having a strong and negative bearing on conservatives ability to learn, reason and change their minds on many topics. It explains why discussion with conservatives is often useless on the topics of politics, economic policy and religion.
I have observed this extensively on Facebook.