The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics

How Conservatism and Liberalism Evolved Within Humans
Author: Anonymous Conservative
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780982947944
Category: Philosophy
Page: 234
View: 6430

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Why do people adopt different political ideologies? How can seemingly equal intellects, presented with the same facts and circumstances disagree so vehemently over how society should be structured? What psychological undercurrents guide people to adopt Conservative or Liberal political beliefs, and where did they come from? The answer lies in a well known concept in biology, termed r/K Selection Theory. r/K Theory examines how all populations tend to adopt one of two psychologies as a means of adapting their behavior to the presence or absence of environmental resources. The two strategies, termed r and K, each correlate perfectly with the psychologies underlying Liberalism and Conservatism. One strategy, named the r-strategy, imbues those who are programmed with it to be averse to all peer on peer competition, embrace promiscuity, embrace single parenting, and support early onset sexual activity in youth. Obviously, this mirrors the Liberal philosophy's aversion to individual Darwinian competitions such as capitalism and self defense with firearms, as well as group competitions such as war. Likewise, Liberalism is tolerant of promiscuity, tolerant of single parenting, and more prone to support early sex education for children and the sexualization of cultural influences. Designed to exploit a plethora of resources, one will often find this r-type strategy embodied within prey species, where predation has lowered the population's numbers, and thereby increased the resources available to it's individuals. The other strategy, termed the K-strategy, imbues those who pursue it with a fierce competitiveness, as well as tendencies towards abstinence until monogamy, two-parent parenting, and delaying sexual activity until later in life. Obviously, this mirrors Conservatism's acceptance of all sorts of competitive social schemes, from free market capitalism, to war, to individuals owning and carrying private weapons for self defense. Conservatives also tend to favor abstinence until monogamy, two parent parenting with an emphasis upon "family values," and children being shielded from any sexualized stimuli until later in life. This strategy is found most commonly in species which lack predation, and whose population's have grown to the point individuals must compete with each other for the limited environmental resources that they are rapidly running out of. Meticulously substantiated with the latest research in fields from neurobiology to human behavioral ecology, this work offers an unprecedented view into not just what governs our political battles, but why these battles have arisen within our species in the first place. From showing how these two strategies adapt in other more complex species in nature, to examining what genetic and neurostructural mechanisms may produce these divergences between individuals, to showing what this theory indicates our future may hold, this work is the most thorough analysis to date of just why we have two political ideologies, why they will never agree, and why we will tend to become even more partisan in the future.

The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics

How Conservatism and Liberalism Evolved Within Humans
Author: Anonymous Conservative
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780982947937
Category: Philosophy
Page: 280
View: 9299

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Why do people adopt different political ideologies? How can seemingly equal intellects, presented with the same facts and circumstances disagree so vehemently over how society should be structured? What psychological undercurrents guide people to adopt Conservative or Liberal political beliefs, and where did they come from? The answer lies in a well known concept in biology, termed r/K Selection Theory. r/K Theory examines how all populations tend to adopt one of two psychologies as a means of adapting their behavior to the presence or absence of environmental resources. The two strategies, termed r and K, each correlate perfectly with the psychologies underlying Liberalism and Conservatism. One strategy, named the r-strategy, imbues those who are programmed with it to be averse to all peer on peer competition, embrace promiscuity, embrace single parenting, and support early onset sexual activity in youth. Obviously, this mirrors the Liberal philosophy's aversion to individual Darwinian competitions such as capitalism and self defense with firearms, as well as group competitions such as war. Likewise, Liberalism is tolerant of promiscuity, tolerant of single parenting, and more prone to support early sex education for children and the sexualization of cultural influences. Designed to exploit a plethora of resources, one will often find this r-type strategy embodied within prey species, where predation has lowered the population's numbers, and thereby increased the resources available to it's individuals. The other strategy, termed the K-strategy, imbues those who pursue it with a fierce competitiveness, as well as tendencies towards abstinence until monogamy, two-parent parenting, and delaying sexual activity until later in life. Obviously, this mirrors Conservatism's acceptance of all sorts of competitive social schemes, from free market capitalism, to war, to individuals owning and carrying private weapons for self defense. Conservatives also tend to favor abstinence until monogamy, two parent parenting with an emphasis upon "family values," and children being shielded from any sexualized stimuli until later in life. This strategy is found most commonly in species which lack predation, and whose population's have grown to the point individuals must compete with each other for the limited environmental resources that they are rapidly running out of. Meticulously substantiated with the latest research in fields from neurobiology to human behavioral ecology, this work offers an unprecedented view into not just what governs our political battles, but why these battles have arisen within our species in the first place. From showing how these two strategies adapt in other more complex species in nature, to examining what genetic and neurostructural mechanisms may produce these divergences between individuals, to showing what this theory indicates our future may hold, this work is the most thorough analysis to date of just why we have two political ideologies, why they will never agree, and why we will tend to become even more partisan in the future.

Predisposed

Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences
Author: John R. Hibbing,Kevin B. Smith,John R. Alford
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136281215
Category: Political Science
Page: 304
View: 8258

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Buried in many people and operating largely outside the realm of conscious thought are forces inclining us toward liberal or conservative political convictions. Our biology predisposes us to see and understand the world in different ways, not always reason and the careful consideration of facts. These predispositions are in turn responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that marks human history. With verve and wit, renowned social scientists John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford—pioneers in the field of biopolitics—present overwhelming evidence that people differ politically not just because they grew up in different cultures or were presented with different information. Despite the oft-heard longing for consensus, unity, and peace, the universal rift between conservatives and liberals endures because people have diverse psychological, physiological, and genetic traits. These biological differences influence much of what makes people who they are, including their orientations to politics. Political disputes typically spring from the assumption that those who do not agree with us are shallow, misguided, uninformed, and ignorant. Predisposed suggests instead that political opponents simply experience, process, and respond to the world differently. It follows, then, that the key to getting along politically is not the ability of one side to persuade the other side to see the error of its ways but rather the ability of each side to see that the other is different, not just politically, but physically. Predisposed will change the way you think about politics and partisan conflict. As a bonus, the book includes a "Left/Right 20 Questions" game to test whether your predispositions lean liberal or conservative.

The Righteous Mind

Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
Author: Jonathan Haidt
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307455777
Category: Philosophy
Page: 500
View: 3368

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Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

The Republican War on Science


Author: Chris Mooney
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465003869
Category: Science
Page: 376
View: 2830

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Science has never been more crucial to deciding the political issues facing the country. Yet science and scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since Richard Nixon fired his science advisors. In the White House and Congress today, findings are reported in a politicized manner; spun or distorted to fit the speaker's agenda; or, when they're too inconvenient, ignored entirely. On a broad array of issues-stem cell research, climate change, evolution, sex education, product safety, environmental regulation, and many others-the Bush administration's positions fly in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus. Federal science agencies-once fiercely independent under both Republican and Democratic presidents-are increasingly staffed by political appointees who know industry lobbyists and evangelical activists far better than they know the science. This is not unique to the Bush administration, but it is largely a Republican phenomenon, born of a conservative dislike of environmental, health, and safety regulation, and at the extremes, of evolution and legalized abortion. In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney ties together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government's increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience.

Silent America

Essays from a Democracy at War
Author: William Alfred Whittle
Publisher: Aurora Aerospace
ISBN: 9780976405900
Category: Political Science
Page: 304
View: 2359

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Readers are invited to join the thousands who have laughed, cried, and found in "Silent America" the words they have been searching for to describe the wonder and pride they feel for America.

The Social Leap

The New Evolutionary Science of Who We Are, Where We Come From, and What Makes Us Happy
Author: William von Hippel
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062740415
Category: Psychology
Page: 304
View: 8055

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In the compelling popular science tradition of Sapiens and Guns, Germs, and Steel, a groundbreaking and eye-opening exploration that applies evolutionary science to provide a new perspective on human psychology, revealing how major challenges from our past have shaped some of the most fundamental aspects of our being. The most fundamental aspects of our lives—from leadership and innovation to aggression and happiness—were permanently altered by the "social leap" our ancestors made from the rainforest to the savannah. Their struggle to survive on the open grasslands required a shift from individualism to a new form of collectivism, which forever altered the way our mind works. It changed the way we fight and our proclivity to make peace, it changed the way we lead and the way we follow, it made us innovative but not inventive, it created a new kind of social intelligence, and it led to new sources of life satisfaction. In The Social Leap, William von Hippel lays out this revolutionary hypothesis, tracing human development through three critical evolutionary inflection points to explain how events in our distant past shape our lives today. From the mundane, such as why we exaggerate, to the surprising, such as why we believe our own lies and why fame and fortune are as likely to bring misery as happiness, the implications are far reaching and extraordinary. Blending anthropology, biology, history, and psychology with evolutionary science, The Social Leap is a fresh and provocative look at our species that provides new clues about who we are, what makes us happy, and how to use this knowledge to improve our lives.

Liberalism and Its Critics


Author: Michael J. Sandel
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814778410
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 5586

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Much contemporary political philosophy has been a debate between utilitarianism on the one hand and Kantian, or rights-based ethic has recently faced a growing challenge from a different direction, from a view that argues for a deeper understanding of citizenship and community than the liberal ethic allows. The writings collected in this volume present leading statements of rights-based liberalism and of the communitarian, or civic republican alternatives to that position. The principle of selection has been to shift the focus from the familiar debate between utilitarians and Kantian liberals in order to consider a more powerful challenge ot the rights-based ethic, a challenge indebted, broadly speaking, to Aristotle, Hegel, and the civic republican tradition. Contributors include Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls, Alasdair MacIntyre.

Biohistory


Author: Jim Penman
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Pub
ISBN: 9781443871655
Category: History
Page: 670
View: 647

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Biohistory is a revolutionary new theory that explores the biological and behavioural underpinnings of social change, including the rise and fall of civilisations. Informed by significant research into the physiological basis of behaviour conducted by author Dr Jim Penman and a team of scientists at RMIT University and the Florey Institute in Melbourne, Australia, Biohistory examines how a complex interplay between culture and biology has shaped civilisations from the Roman Empire to the modern West. Penman proposes that historical changes are driven by changes in the prevailing temperament of populations, based on physiological mechanisms that adapt animal behaviour to changing food conditions. It details the history of human society by mapping the effects of these epigenetic changes on cultures, and on historical tipping points including wars and revolutions. It shows how laboratory studies can be used to explain broad social and economic changes, including the fortunes of entire civilizations. The author's shocking conclusion is that the West is in terminal and inevitable decline, and that its only hope may lie with the biological sciences. Drawing on the disciplines of history, biology, anthropology and economics, Biohistory is the first theory of society that can be tested with some rigour in the laboratory. It explains how environment, cultural values and childrearing patterns determine whether societies prosper or collapse, and how social change can be both predicted and potentially modified through biochemistry.

Conjectures and Refutations

The Growth of Scientific Knowledge
Author: Karl Popper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135971374
Category: Philosophy
Page: 608
View: 6609

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Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.

The Evolution of Beauty

How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us
Author: Richard O. Prum
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385537220
Category: Science
Page: 448
View: 2405

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A FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, SMITHSONIAN, AND WALL STREET JOURNAL A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature? Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change. Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time. The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

Radical Evolution

The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies--and what it Means to be Human
Author: Joel Garreau
Publisher: Broadway
ISBN: 0767915038
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 1528

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Arguing that the acceleration of technological innovation is setting the course for the next stage of human evolution, the author of Edge City raises thought-provoking questions about human culture, society, and the very nature of humankind. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

How To Improve Your Mind

20 Keys to Unlock the Modern World
Author: James R. Flynn
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118315022
Category: Psychology
Page: 208
View: 3994

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Become the master of your world Presents 20 key concepts, or keys, to aid critical thinking Authored by one of the world's most eminent psychologists - and founder of the Flynn Effect Looks at topics such as Race and IQ, "good" science and the current world economic crisis Written in a clear and lucid style, illustrated with many examples

The Intelligence Paradox

Why the Intelligent Choice Isn't Always the Smart One
Author: Satoshi Kanazawa
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118137663
Category: Science
Page: 256
View: 451

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A book that challenges common misconceptions about the nature of intelligence Satoshi Kanazawa's Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters (written with Alan S. Miller) was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "a rollicking bit of pop science that turns the lens of evolutionary psychology on issues of the day." That book answered such burning questions as why women tend to lust after males who already have mates and why newborns look more like Dad than Mom. Now Kanazawa tackles the nature of intelligence: what it is, what it does, what it is good for (if anything). Highly entertaining, smart (dare we say intelligent?), and daringly contrarian, The Intelligence Paradox will provide a deeper understanding of what intelligence is, and what it means for us in our lives. Asks why more intelligent individuals are not better (and are, in fact, often worse) than less intelligent individuals in solving some of the most important problems in life—such as finding a mate, raising children, and making friends Discusses why liberals are more intelligent than conservatives, why atheists are more intelligent than the religious, why more intelligent men value monogamy, why night owls are more intelligent than morning larks, and why homosexuals are more intelligent than heterosexuals Explores how the purpose for which general intelligence evolved—solving evolutionarily novel problems—allows us to explain why intelligent people have the particular values and preferences they have Challenging common misconceptions about the nature of intelligence, this book offers surprising insights into the cutting-edge of science at the intersection of evolutionary psychology and intelligence research.

The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind

How Self-Interest Shapes Our Opinions and Why We Won't Admit It
Author: Jason Weeden,Robert Kurzban
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400851963
Category: Psychology
Page: 376
View: 2039

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When it comes to politics, we often perceive our own beliefs as fair and socially beneficial, while seeing opposing views as merely self-serving. But in fact most political views are governed by self-interest, even if we usually don't realize it. Challenging our fiercely held notions about what motivates us politically, this book explores how self-interest divides the public on a host of hot-button issues, from abortion and the legalization of marijuana to same-sex marriage, immigration, affirmative action, and income redistribution. Expanding the notion of interests beyond simple economics, Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban look at how people's interests clash when it comes to their sex lives, social status, family, and friends. Drawing on a wealth of data, they demonstrate how different groups form distinctive bundles of political positions that often stray far from what we typically think of as liberal or conservative. They show how we engage in unconscious rationalization to justify our political positions, portraying our own views as wise, benevolent, and principled while casting our opponents' views as thoughtless and greedy. While many books on politics seek to provide partisans with new ways to feel good about their own side, The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind illuminates the hidden drivers of our politics, even if it's a picture neither side will find flattering.

The Moral Animal

Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
Author: Robert Wright
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307772748
Category: Psychology
Page: 496
View: 9320

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Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics--as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies. Illustrations. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life

A Psychologist Investigates How Evolution, Cognition, and Complexity are Revolutionizing our View of Human Nature
Author: Douglas T. Kenrick
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465023428
Category: Science
Page: 288
View: 9672

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“Kenrick writes like a dream.”—Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Biology and Neurology, Stanford University; author of A Primate’s Memoir and Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers What do sex and murder have to do with the meaning of life? Everything. In Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life, social psychologist Douglas Kenrick exposes the selfish animalistic underside of human nature, and shows how it is intimately connected to our greatest and most selfless achievements. Masterfully integrating cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, and complexity theory, this intriguing book paints a comprehensive picture of the principles that govern our lives. As Kenrick divulges, beneath our civilized veneer, human beings are a lot like howling hyenas and barking baboons, with heads full of homicidal tendencies and sexual fantasies. But, in his view, many ingrained, apparently irrational behaviors—such as inclinations to one-night stands, racial prejudices, and conspicuous consumption—ultimately manifest what he calls “Deep Rationality.” Although our heads are full of simple selfish biases that evolved to help our ancestors survive, modern human beings are anything but simple and selfish cavemen. Kenrick argues that simple and selfish mental mechanisms we inherited from our ancestors ultimately give rise to the multifaceted social lives that we humans lead today, and to the most positive features of humanity, including generosity, artistic creativity, love, and familial bonds. And out of those simple mechanisms emerge all the complexities of society, including international conflicts and global economic markets. By exploring the nuance of social psychology and the surprising results of his own research, Kenrick offers a detailed picture of what makes us caring, creative, and complex—that is, fully human. Illuminated with stories from Kenrick’s own colorful experiences -- from his criminally inclined shantytown Irish relatives, his own multiple high school expulsions, broken marriages, and homicidal fantasies, to his eventual success as an evolutionary psychologist and loving father of two boys separated by 26 years -- this book is an exploration of our mental biases and failures, and our mind’s great successes. Idiosyncratic, controversial, and fascinating, Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life uncovers the pitfalls and promise of our biological inheritance.

The Republican Brain

The Science of Why They Deny Science--and Reality
Author: Chris Mooney
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118094514
Category: Political Science
Page: 327
View: 5596

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Looks at the Republican Party in the United States and the psychological science behind why conservatives believe what they believe.

Behave

The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
Author: Robert M. Sapolsky
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0735222789
Category: Science
Page: 800
View: 2717

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Why do we do the things we do? Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its genetic inheritance. And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. What goes on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happens? Then he pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell triggers the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones act hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli which trigger the nervous system? By now, he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened. Sapolsky keeps going--next to what features of the environment affected that person's brain, and then back to the childhood of the individual, and then to their genetic makeup. Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than that one individual. How culture has shaped that individual's group, what ecological factors helped shape that culture, and on and on, back to evolutionary factors thousands and even millions of years old. The result is one of the most dazzling tours de horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.

The Political Brain

The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation
Author: Drew Westen
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1586485997
Category: Political Science
Page: 496
View: 9299

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The Political Brain is a groundbreaking investigation into the role of emotion in determining the political life of the nation. For two decades Drew Westen, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, has explored a theory of the mind that differs substantially from the more "dispassionate" notions held by most cognitive psychologists, political scientists, and economists—and Democratic campaign strategists. The idea of the mind as a cool calculator that makes decisions by weighing the evidence bears no relation to how the brain actually works. When political candidates assume voters dispassionately make decisions based on "the issues," they lose. That's why only one Democrat has been re-elected to the presidency since Franklin Roosevelt—and only one Republican has failed in that quest. In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven't decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates' policy positions. Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn't so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate. He shows how it can be done through examples of what candidates have said—or could have said—in debates, speeches, and ads. Westen's discoveries could utterly transform electoral arithmetic, showing how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years—such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can't change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it. And here's how…