The Art and Science of Political Deception: The Political Artist and Neurobiological Mecamisms Underlying Human Vulnerability

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David Garver M.D., Student (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Angeldeep Kaur

Abstract: Many politicians are highly successful in diverting citizens’ attention from their legitimate interests, silencing the voice of constituents and undermining interests of voters who have elected them. They restrict voting to prevent non-existent fraud. They deny medical services to protect seldom-existent consumer-provider relationships. They allow tax increases on the working class while preserving loopholes for wealthy corporate sponsors. Yet the same politicians are reelected by popular demand.This thesis uncovers a primary mechanism that underlies human susceptibility for such manipulation. The handles for deception are embedded in ancient reflexes that favored survival. Contemporary worldviews embody such ancient intuitions now integrated with modern vocabulary and narratives. These reflexes are grounded in neural networks that respond rapidly to present-day cues triggering ancient signals of threat, contamination and loss. Using such cues, polemicists often divert citizens’ efforts away from personal concerns to buttress business and ideological objectives of their patrons. In this thesis, neuronal circuitry dedicated to assessing the personal relevance of incoming information is described. Conditions for informing the worldview as opposed to censoring disagreeable information are elucidated. Examples in recent political discourse are provided. Constituent attempts to resist the process of diversion and information censure are explored. Constitutional and social impediments to reprogramming worldview are discussed. Evidence of weakening entanglements within some contemporary narratives from ancient intuitions is presented.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
political deception, human vulnerability, neurobiological mechanisms, political artists

Email this document to