Thursday, February 18, 2021
"Political polarization is having far-reaching impacts on American life, harming consumer welfare and creating challenges for people ranging from elected officials and policymakers to corporate executives and marketers," according to a new paper in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing by researchers from Arizona State University, the University of Wyoming, and four other U.S. universities.
The researchers find that people's chosen political identities become self-reinforcing through associations with groups with shared beliefs. Our associations can even create a "group-specific shared reality" that makes it harder to relate to those with opposing views.
"[A]s society has become increasingly polarized, politicians' objectives diverge and their animosity toward the opposition grows, thereby reducing opportunity for compromise," the researchers warn. "Partisan incivility is a major reason for failed dialogue: Uncivil exchanges result in disagreement and greater polarization regardless of the evidence presented."