Washington Post reporter Ezra Klein has a thoughtful piece in The New Yorker this week that walks through the psychology and politics of how Republicans pulled a 180-degree turn in their position on the individual healthcare mandate. Klein’s argument revolves around several of the forms of motivated reasoning that I’ve discussed here over the past few weeks, including how partisans reflexively dislike whatever their opponent proposes and how we construct our ideals of fairness based on whatever suits our current purposes.
Tag Archive: polarization
Building on my post last week that highlighted how compromise becomes difficult when people think there’s more distance between them and the other side than there actually is, I wanted to pass along a recent column by James Surowiecki on the “fairness trap”.
Political polarization is not as bad as most people think. New psychological research on “polarization projection” reveals that people on the extremes have a tendency to project the strength of their beliefs on others, creating a distorted picture of the political landscape.
Following Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality Republican opposition to the cause grew stronger. Social psychology research tells us that this is what we should probably expect: people are often more often influenced by who is supporting a policy than the actual content of the policy itself.