Why do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories? What the Leading Research Says

From the Center This viewpoint is from a writer rated Center. The coronavirus pandemic led to the emergence of conspiracy theories about the origins and nature of the new virus. In part reflecting intense political polarization in the United States, conspiracy groups like QAnon have risen...
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More than Memorization: A New Civics Education Vision May Reduce Polarization

In the United States today, politics seems to be less about governing and more about finding the best way to demean the other side. The result: a partisan divide and an epidemic of affective polarization. Affective polarization is defined as “the extent to which citizens feel more...
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How You Can Depolarize Yourself and America: The Best 7 Ideas from Early 2021

From the Center This viewpoint is from a writer rated Center. How can I depolarize myself? How can I depolarize others in my network? I searched across the web for thought leaders who can help answer these questions. The links below are all from early 2021. Some links are nearly entirely...
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The History of American Media Bias, Pt. 3: The 1900s-1950s

Click here for Part 1 of this series: The Press in Colonial America and Creation of the 1st Amendment and Part 2: The 1800s . Today, we hold journalists and media outlets accountable to journalistic code of ethics and a set of standards, which include truth, transparency, and objectivity...
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When Selective Outrage Takes Over Congress

I’ll admit that I have little use for Marjorie Taylor Greene. Similarly, I’ve never thought that highly of Maxine Waters either. Both represent an ideologically extreme and unnecessarily combative approach to representative governance that I find counterproductive. As a result of their...
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It’s Not Just Them: Research Suggests Irrational Biases Across the Political Spectrum

In our increasingly polarized age, it has become commonplace to attribute our political opponents’ beliefs to their irrationality. Advancements in psychology seem to validate this view: we are prone to confirmation bias, engage in motivated reasoning, and become self-insulated in social...
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Surveys Show Republican Voters Actually Support Increasing the Minimum Wage, Just Not to $15/Hour

U.S. Congress will consider a $15 minimum wage for the second time soon. Joe Biden and most congressional Democrats want to more than double the minimum hourly wage from its current level of $7.25. Although Democrats have this policy goal, survey data (see below) show that the majority of...
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How a Famous Democratic Socialist and Christian Conservative Forged a Deep Friendship

Cornel West and Robert P. George are unlikely friends, but they are so close they call each other “brother” and regularly talk about friendship and faith across political differences. West, a Democratic Socialist, public intellectual and self-described “revolutionary Christian,” and...
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Are Republicans or Democrats More Compassionate? Research Says It May Be a Trick Question

We know the stereotypes of “bleeding heart” liberals, compared with conservatives who are supposedly less caring. But what does academic research say on the topic of which party is more compassionate? According to research published by Dr. Meri Long of the University of Pittsburgh,...
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Surveys Show that Democrats — Not Just Republicans — are Proud to be American

From the Left This view is from a writer rated Lean Left. Surveys show majorities of Democrats and Republicans are proud to be American, preferring life in the U.S. to any other place. Many people agree on key aspects of what it means to be a “true American.” A false narrative popular...
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Four Steps for Depolarizing with Mass Messaging: The Power of Commonality, Uniqueness, Elevation, and Togetherness

Political sides in the U.S. have the potential to see each other in highly negative ways. They can see each other as an out-group that is distant, stereotyped, lesser, and to be avoided, as I argued in my last article . This article focuses on the corresponding solutions. Each of those...
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We’re on a Hill, They’re in a Valley: The Four Steps that Happen When Animosity Grows Toward the Other Political Party

What happens if animosity grows toward those in the other political party? What are negative ways we can feel about any group that is not our own? These are not just academic questions, but they are important to answer in order to figure out how to reduce political polarization. This...
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Reducing Polarization: Research Says Typical Republicans and Democrats are Moderate, Only Talk Politics Occasionally

Animosity towards members of an opposing political party has substantially worsened in recent years. But much of what we know about polarization and citizens’ attitudes to their political opponents may be wrong. \When Democrats and Republicans say they reflexively dislike each other, they...
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