Decisions on matters affecting the group by a member of that group (e.g., decisions on a political choice) engage a mix of cognitive and emotion-based resources. Political decision-making involves rationality, but also empathy, intuition, compassion, morality and fairness. Importantly, coping with uncertainty, assuming risk, dealing with huge responsibilities and resisting disappointment and considerable pressure are also crucial. Some of those decision-making elements from a neurocognitive framework proposed under the Somatic Marker Hypothesis (SMH) are developed. Based on the observation of abnormal decision-making characterizing patients with ventro-medial prefrontal cortex, the SMH affords discussions of mechanisms involved in antisocial decision-making in the political realm, such as engaging in immoral and corrupt behaviors. In addition, the SMH sheds light on pivotal attributes required for good leadership and governance, such as resistance to pressure, risk taking, seduction and dominance, so many concepts discussed with respect to modern theories of psychopathic tendencies in the context of political decision-making. In a recent article to be published in theOxford Encyclopedia of political decision making, Xavier NOËL, Nemat JAAFARI and Antoine BECHARA agrees with the reader to better understand the behaviors of our political leaders and their constituents in terms of the neuroscientific hypothesis of the ‘ somatic markers ‘ proposed by Antonio Damasio.


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