Here's a Neurochemical Profile of 3 Presidential Candidates — And Their Supporters

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders: The biology of their brains is different from one another, which shows in their speech, behavior, and in who their supporters are.

Helen Fisher: Of course I am extremely interested in the biological aspects of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. Well Trump is all testosterone. This is why Putin likes him. They’re out of the same mold. I mean they’re coming from different countries; they speak different languages; they probably have different things for breakfast, but the bottom line is the temperament is exactly the same. Putin will understand Trump if, in fact, Trump becomes president. And Trump will be able to probably deal with Putin. Now I hope that both of them aren’t so low on impulse control that people push the button at the wrong minute. I mean there’s great benefits to dealing with somebody who’s exactly like you, really, in terms of temperament. But there’s also, you know, great problems. I mean the high-testosterone kind of person is impulsive. They say what they mean. They say it right now. They trample on people’s feelings because being honest is more important than being kind. They’re not great negotiators and we live in a modern world in which negotiation is, in my opinion, absolutely essential. Of course he’s a builder and that’s spatial relations. And that’s testosterone too, so the tough-mindedness and the analytical, spatial understanding is all high testosterone and that’s Donald Trump. I think Hillary Clinton is also high testosterone. She’s direct; she’s decisive; she’s somewhat warlike. But she also has quite a mix of the estrogen. She cares very much for women and for women’s rights. Bernie Sanders seems to be very expressive of the estrogen system. He’s all loving and caring and all these young people who like him I think they like him because they feel he’s a grandfather. Putin won’t understand him and he won’t understand Putin. They are marching to different drummers. The more socially skilled, of course, is Bernie Sanders. And very often a high-estrogen person can run circles around the high-testosterone person because they’re so skilled at negotiating and working things out. So I wouldn’t say that Trump would be any better at getting something done with Putin than Sanders, but they’re going to do it in a very different way. And Putin will not understand Bernie Sanders any more than he understands Barack Obama. Because Barack Obama also has those verbal skills, the people skills, the compassion, the subtlety, the nuance, the caring of the high-estrogen kind of person. And somebody like Putin doesn’t get that.

There's a not-too-subtle similarity between the leading GOP candidate, Donald J. Trump, and the alpha male Russian president Vladimir Putin. Both are primarily ruled by testosterone, says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher. Meanwhile, America's estrogen candidate isn't who you might expect. Hillary Clinton is too warlike and direct to claim the title. She falls between the barbarism of Trump and the soft, grandfatherly Bernie Sanders. These differences in biology help determine a candidate's personality and therefore what kind of people they attract to their campaigns.

Develop mindfulness to boost your creative intelligence

Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.

Image: Big Think
Big Think Edge
  • Try meditation for the first time with this guided lesson or, if you already practice, enjoy being guided by a world-renowned meditation expert.
  • Sharon Salzberg teaches mindfulness meditation for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why modern men are losing their testosterone

Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?

Flickr user Tom Simpson
Sex & Relationships
  • Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
  • While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
  • The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Keep reading Show less

For a long time, the West shaped the world. That time is over.

The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.

Videos
  • Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
  • European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Keep reading Show less