Can Empathic Concern Actually Increase Political Polarization?

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Can Empathic Concern Actually Increase Political Polarization? Empty Can Empathic Concern Actually Increase Political Polarization?

Post by phildidge on Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:14 pm

New research suggests that those who display the most concern for others are also the most socially polarized.

Imagine you're walking home late at night and you see a poor, defenseless man being being bullied and called horrible names. Things start to escalate, and the crowd starts pushing him around, knocking off his hat and screaming at him more loudly. The man looks scared and calls out to you for help. Think about how you feel.

Now imagine that as you get closer, you see a MAGA hat on the ground lying right next to the guy. It's clear that the crowd had thrown his hat on the ground as they continue to taunt him and make fun of him for being a Trump supporter. Does that change how you feel?

Partisan politics in the US is increasingly becoming a matter of "us" versus "them." While the issues themselves haven't necessarily become more polarized, our identities have become more tied to our politics. This has resulted in "a nation that agrees on many things but is bitterly divided nonetheless."

One recent survey found that among those who are highly engaged in politics, 70% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans say they are "afraid" of the other party, and a near majority of Democrats and Republicans report being angry with the opposing party and see the opposing party as a threat to the nation's well-being.

Obama has proposed that a major source of this political conflict is an "empathy gap". But what if the reality is far more complex, and empathy in certain circumstances is actually the problem?


https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/can-empathic-concern-actually-increase-political-polarization/

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Post by Ben Reilly on Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:48 pm

I'd help anybody in that situation, no matter what. For me it's not about who they are, it's about who I am.

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Can Empathic Concern Actually Increase Political Polarization? Empty Re: Can Empathic Concern Actually Increase Political Polarization?

Post by phildidge on Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:52 pm

Ben Reilly wrote:I'd help anybody in that situation, no matter what. For me it's not about who they are, it's about who I am.

+1

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