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Monday, November 26, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 9:38 PM | permalink
At this very moment I am sitting outside a room that holds a $6 million machine conducting some interesting tests using the latest in brain-mapping technologies.

I did a bunch of research on the topic and found this interesting piece that ran about two weeks back in the New York Times called "This is Your Brain on Politics". Basically, some brain researchers fed a group of swing voters through a machine while the voters were viewing photos and watching videos of the various candidates. The results?
  • The words "Democrats" and "Republicans" prompted the "amygdala" part of the brain to go wild. This part of the brain deals with anxiety and disgust. (The word "independent" elicited little or no response in men)
  • Pictures of Hillary elicited activity in the anterior cingulate cortex which deals with emotions and conflicting choices.
  • Hillary and Rudy represent the gender gap. You can guess which sex went which way.
  • Here's the kicker on Romney. In their own words:
Mitt Romney shows potential. Of all the candidates’ speech excerpts, Mr. Romney’s sparked the greatest amount of brain activity, especially among the men we observed. His still photos prompted a significant amount of activity in the amygdala, indicating voter anxiety, but when the subjects saw him and heard his video, their anxiety died down. Perhaps voters will become more comfortable with Mr. Romney as they see more of him.
There are some other interesting points made about Thompson, Obama and McCain.

Take it for what its worth.... but I 'll reiterate a point I made last week. Voters may have an anxiety about voting for a Mormon, but they're not voting for just a Mormon, they're voting for Mitt Romney. And once people listen to Mitt, they tend to like him.

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Well, this was certainly different. Pretty interesting.

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