By Alan Hall | Excerpted from the February 2016 Socionomist
How do people choose their leaders?
Alan Hall explains that choosing a leader is not an objective, rational cerebral process. Rather, it is an instinctive, non-rational attempt to feel emotionally safe.
Read an excerpt of the fascinating report below.
With the US Presidential election rapidly approaching, it’s worth exploring how people actually choose their leaders. It appears that one part of the brain trumps, pun intended, the other parts in regulating voting activity.
In Chapter 8 of The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior, Robert Prechter discusses the work of Paul MacLean, former head of the Laboratory for Brain Evolution at the National Institute of Mental Health. MacLean developed a body of evidence supporting the idea that the human brain evolved into three basic parts. Prechter wrote,
The primitive brain stem, called the basal ganglia, which we share with animal forms as low as reptiles, controls impulses essential to survival. The limbic system, which we share with mammals, controls emotions. The neocortex, which is significantly developed only in humans, is the seat of reason. Thus, we actually have three connected minds: primal, emotional and rational. …
The basal ganglia control brain functions that are often termed instinctive: the desire for security, the reaction to fear, the desire to acquire, the desire for pleasure, fighting, fleeing, territorialism, migration, hoarding, grooming, choosing a mate, breeding, the establishment of social hierarchy and the selection of leaders (emphasis added).
On January 4, The Washington Post published this photo, taken at a Donald Trump rally the night before. The photo’s subject expresses strong emotion, but which emotion? The Post wrote, “you might at first glance think she is horrified to see Trump … But, you’d be wrong. [She] was, in fact, ecstatic to catch an up-close-and-personal glimpse of The Donald….”
Voters do not coolly, objectively and rationally consider and weigh all the pros and cons of each candidate. Leader selection is an instinctive, non-rational and deeply emotional …
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