Study | People think they are their political enemies … idiots

Are people who pursue political views that oppose our policies misguided? Misinformation? So where do they have the worst value? An analysis by the University of North Carolina and the University of McGill in the United States shows that they are considered idiots. Press He discussed this with Rachel Hartman, who holds a PhD in Psychology and Neurology from the University of North Carolina at Chappell Hill and co-author of the article. People see political enemies as more fools than evil 2, published in the journal Science Bulletin on Personality and Social Psychology.

Released at 5:00 p.m.

Nicholas Proup

Nicholas Proup

K. Were you surprised or did you expect people not to think that supporters of the other side were basically bad?

A. I was a little surprised, because much of the political discourse is rooted in differences in values ​​between supporters of different political parties. But at the same time, I think the results make sense. In general, people believe that everyone is good and deep. When people meet someone who does not agree with them on important issues or vote for different candidates, they struggle with intellectual contradiction – on the one hand, people are good, but on the other hand, this political enemy is doing something wrong. The easiest way to resolve this conflict is to view the adversary as stupid or brainwashed (or both). In that sense, it is not their fault they have antivox, or pro-choice or whatever.

K. In a way your study seems promising. People on the other hand do not think they are evil or inferior to them, just dumb. Is this the right way to look at things?

A. This is a great question, I do not think it’s such a good thing. On the one hand, I agree that it is better not to see your enemies as evil. On the other hand, when we dismiss the other side as stupid, we fail to recognize their action and credibility. Someone who disagrees with you does not really mean it, deeply, degradingly and inhumanely. To understand what it means to see our opponents like this, I think we need to do more work in this area.

A. In your opinion, what would be the positive steps to reduce the political divide we see in Canada, the United States and elsewhere in the world?

Reducing political animosity is a difficult issue and there are no easy solutions. Many of our companies and media are designed to foster animosity between supporters of different political orientations, and changing moods one by one may not be an option. As a psychologist, based on the findings of our analysis, we can try to change the way we view our political opponents by recognizing the positive values ​​that motivate them to think, speak, and act. Even if people are on the wrong track, they can still act on true values. Although these values ​​differ from ours, we can still identify them as good. Once we see our adversaries as real human beings with an honest perspective, we can converse with them and recognize the value of having different perspectives on important issues.

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