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Honored Social Butterfly

Science Explains Deep Political Polarization

 

It is what it is but it's not what it seems --U2 lyric

 

Why is it conservatives and liberals have such apparent difficulty hearing one another, listening to one another, understanding one another?

 

No surprise here, but: guess what? There was a recent study about this issue. 🙂

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There may be more to the phrase “the voice of reason” than meets the ear. When it comes to controversial ideas, a person's voice is more persuasive than the written word, according to a new study.

 

In “The Humanizing Voice: Speech Can Reveal, and Text Conceal, The Presence of a Thoughtful Mind in The ...” in a recent issue of Psychological Science, Juliana Schroeder of the University of California at Berkeley and faculty at the University of Chicago conducted several experiments exposing volunteers to ideas they agreed or disagreed with. In one, about 300 people watched, listened to or read arguments about war, abortion or music (country or rap — genres people tend to have strong feelings about).

 

Afterward, the volunteers were asked to judge the person who communicated the argument. Those who were exposed to someone they disagreed with tended to “dehumanize” the communicator. That is, they regarded the person as “having a diminished capacity to either think or feel.” However, those who listened to the argument, either in a video or audio file, were less dismissive than those who read a transcript of the opposing opinion.

 

Beliefs that are communicated by voice make the communicator seem more reasonable, even human, according to Schroeder, an assistant professor at Berkeley's Haas School of Business. But those same beliefs are stripped of the humanizing elements when the opinions are communicated on a piece of paper.

 

The research that forms the basis of the study began with a newspaper article, she said.

 

“One of us read a speech excerpt that was printed in a newspaper from a politician with whom he strongly disagreed,” Schroeder said in an email to The Washington Post. “The next week, he heard the exact same speech clip playing on a radio station. He was shocked by how different his reaction was toward the politician when he read the excerpt compared to when he heard it. When he read the statement, the politician seemed idiotic, but when he heard it spoken, the politician actually sounded reasonable.”

 

 

(snip)

 

“When two people hold different beliefs, there is a tendency not only to recognize a difference of opinion but also to denigrate the mind of one's opposition,” the study's authors wrote. “Because another person's mind cannot be experienced directly, its quality must be inferred from indirect cues.” Those cues, involving the many characteristics of the human voice, are absent in written communication.

 

 

From here, where you can read the entire article.

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Honored Social Butterfly

If we truly stand for diversity, wouldn't that include respectfully allowing divergent thought?

 

I can't speak for other people but my position is I can't make a deal with the devil, I can't go along with killing the planet so we can pretend to bring back coal, I can't go along with pretending to care about family planing , preventing poverty, and preventing abortions in women while closing down family planing offices.

 

I can't pretend to care about the poor and stand up and shout " let them die " when we debate solutions to provide health care for the poor.

 

I can't pretend that Medicare and Medicaid is the only reason we don't have worse sub class of the elderly poor in this country.

 

I won't do that to get along, I won't meet the people who want to take us back to that half way.

 

I won't accept Jim Crow light or the yellow star of David for people who are not white and the right kind of Christian.

 

Honored Social Butterfly

 

@gruffstuff  Well of course, you have your views and opinions. It's excellent to form one's own view, and even, I would go so far to say, a gift you offer to the American people. Even if I disagree with your view, I think you forming your own opinions is a great thing.

 

Expressing them with respectful conviction is also good. Being able to express them here without being attacked, would also be a great thing. 🙂

 

For when we are treated with respect, we tend to return it. When we feel we are heard, we tend to listen. But when we pull people out of their car and beat them for having an opposing opinion, and so forth, we not only do democracy a disservice, we only manage to push people away and their thoughts underground. 

 

If I call you a heathen pig for having XYZ belief, you and I will soon stop talking. But if we keep talking respectfully, you and I will end up with an enhanced understanding of the American on the other side of the pixels (more importantly: that American's needs). That's a prize well worth respect.

 

Or so I think, anyway. 🙂

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Honored Social Butterfly

Or so I think, anyway.

 

I understand what you're saying but I'm not respecting people or ideas that are wrong, because it gives them and their ideas  respectability.

 

I'm not respecting Nazis for example because you know they have free speech and everyone has their own opinion, I've done that all my life, I'm done doing that.

 

I'm going to be like my parents and their parents and brothers and sisters and fight the Nazis, and there is no comparison, I'm not going to storm the beach in Normandy or fight my way up the hill at Anzio, but I'm will speak up and I will vote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

 

 

@gruffstuff Tossing around terms like Nazis is detrimental to peaceful conversation. You don't want that, do you? If so, why are you posting to this thread? No, I think what you are saying is not that these people are wrong but that their ideas are not yours. Well, OK. But behind the ideas that you are so sure are wrong* are people --Americans-- who vote, who love, who dream, who pay taxes and who want the best for their family and their community. To build a bridge of understanding we start with choosing commonality. 

 

We are better than this divide. We are stronger, more fair, more compassionate, too. Or at least we can choose to be. 🙂

 

Respecting other people actually brings you respect. That's the secret to this. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Honored Social Butterfly


@Epster wrote:

 

 

@gruffstuff Tossing around terms like Nazis is detrimental to peaceful conversation. You don't want that, do you? If so, why are you posting to this thread? No, I think what you are saying is not that these people are wrong but that their ideas are not yours. Well, OK. But behind the ideas that you are so sure are wrong* are people --Americans-- who vote, who love, who dream, who pay taxes and who want the best for their family and their community. To build a bridge of understanding we start with choosing commonality. 

 

We are better than this divide. We are stronger, more fair, more compassionate, too. Or at least we can choose to be. 🙂

 

Respecting other people actually brings you respect. That's the secret to this. 🙂

 


I agree with gruffstuff.  If people display Nazi beliefs or White Supremacist beliefs here in this forum or out on the streets, I could care less if they think what I say is disrespectful or not, I am going to tell them how wrong they are, how wrong their beliefs are, and how unacceptable their beliefs are.  I could care less if a Nazi or a White Supremacist likes what I say or not.  I refuse to show any respect for such vile individuals.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

 

 

OK. So the researcher thinks her study can explain the political polarization that's happening in America. It is still up to us to stop it.

 

Since we cannot talk face to face here, we'll have to try something else, another route to understanding.

 

Patience, kindness, giving others the benefit of the doubt come to mind. 🙂

 

Any takers?

 

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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