Winter Seminar Series Examines Political Polarization

RCGD Winter Seminar SeriesThe U.S. is experiencing unprecedented levels of political polarization, especially in terms of affective polarization, or feelings of dislike and distrust towards members of the opposing political party. 

This winter, the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social Research is hosting an interdisciplinary Winter Seminar Series, free and open to the public, to deepen our understanding of why political polarization is so high– and what, if anything, we can do about it.

William J. Brady of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management kicks off the series Jan. 23 with a talk focusing on how we overperceive moral outrage in online social networks, a dynamic that holds consequences for intergroup hostility.

RCGD’s David Dunning, best known as the co-identifier of the Dunning-Kruger effect, will speak Feb. 13 on the role of emotion in political thought and conflict, including why we hold false beliefs. The lineup includes three speakers from ISR’s Center for Political Studies: Ken Kollman, Mara Ostfeld, and Yanna Krupnikov. Visiting speakers– international experts from social psychology, political science, sociology, and communication– will be Jennifer Wolak, Anne Wilson, Delia Baldassarri, Eli Finkel, Joshua Kalla, and Yphtach Lelkes. 

Amie Gordon of RCGD and the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychology organized the series.

The RCGD Winter Seminar Series will be held Mondays from 3:30 to 5 at ISR, 426 Thompson St., Room 1430.