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Your Brain and Politics

Why Politics Makes People Crazy

written by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD March 30, 2020
Your Brain and Politics

Your brain evolved to promote survival, so your neurochemicals create a sense of urgency about everything relevant to survival needs. Social needs feel as urgent as physical needs because the survival of your genes depends on it.

Politics and Your Brain

Politics triggers your happy brain chemicals by creating expectations of your needs being met, but it likewise stimulates unhappy chemicals by illuminating obstacles to meeting your needs. You can easily end up with a roller coaster feeling.

When you were born, the world revolved around your needs, but as you age, you face the devastating fact that the world does not meet your needs or revolve around you. From your survival brain’s perspective, it feels like something is wrong with the world because everyone else is focused on their needs. Politicians appeal to this pain by promising a world that revolves around you after all. This illusion seduces people in the short run and leads to devastating disappointment in the long run.

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