Misperception, policy attitudes, and affective polarization

Presented by Dr. Yphtach Lelkes (University of Pennsylvania)
Two heads facing each other with a red burst between them.
Event Date & Time
| -
Event Location
Walter Library 401/402

117 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Political polarization in the United States is characterized by the rising partisan animosity towards the opposing party: Democrats and Republicans increasingly hate each other. This CLA talk will discuss one of its potential remedies: Correcting public misperceptions of Democrats’ and Republicans’ policy attitudes. Using surveys and pre-registered experiments with representative and convenience samples, Dr. Yphtach Lelkes (University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication) will assess the extent to which Americans misperceive that each party holds "all the same" attitudes and, furthermore, the consequences of these perceptions. Contrary to existing research, American partisans do not consistently overestimate how radical the “average” Republican or Democrat is. However, Republicans and Democrats do vastly underestimate the diversity of each party's attitudes. Correcting these misperceptions reduces partisan animosity and the perceived threat posed by the opposing party.

This is a hybrid event with the virtual option being presented on Zoom. Following the lecture there will be a short Q&A and a reception. 

This event is co-sponsored by CLA Associate Dean for Social Sciences; Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication; Center for the Study of Political Psychology; The Public Life Project; Department of Political Science.

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