January 4, 2016

WHY YOU CAN'T THINK:

2016 : WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST INTERESTING RECENT [SCIENTIFIC] NEWS? WHAT MAKES IT IMPORTANT? (Jonathan Haidt, 1/03/15, Edge)

The Strongest Prejudice Was Identified

If you were on a selection committee tasked with choosing someone to hire (or to admit to your university, or to receive a prize in your field), and it came down to two candidates who were equally qualified on objective measures, which candidate would you be most likely to choose?

__A) The one who shared your race
__B) The one who shared your gender
__C) The one who shared your religion
__D) The one who shared your political party or ideology

The correct answer, for most Americans, is now D. It is surely good news that prejudice based on race, gender, and religion are way down in recent decades. But it is very bad news--for America, for the world, and for science--that cross-partisan hostility is way up.

My nomination for "news that will stay news" is a paper by political scientists Shanto Iyengar and Sean Westwood, titled "Fear and Loathing Across Party Lines: New Evidence on Group Polarization." Iyengar and Westwood report four studies (all using nationally representative samples) in which they gave Americans various ways to reveal both cross-partisan and cross-racial prejudice, and in all cases cross-partisan prejudice was larger.


Posted by at January 4, 2016 12:51 PM

  

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