Misperception, policy attitudes, and affective polarization
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.
Yphtach Lelkes, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and the Political Science department (secondary appointment) of the University of Pennsylvania. He co-directs the Polarization Research Lab, which examines the causes and consequences of polarization using surveys, experiments, and natural language processing. His work has appeared in major communication, political science, and psychology journals, including the Journal of Communication, the American Political Science Review, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, as well as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and Nature Human Behavior. It has also been covered in outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Atlantic.