Sunday, 10 May 2015

Politics and hatred

 With my social scientist hat on, I study group identity – how people behave differently to ingroups and outgroups. My experimental subjects are mostly students. If one divides them by sex or ethnicity, they are quite unlikely to be mean to the other group. This is not so surprising: most young people strongly believe that sexism and racism are wrong. But, dividing them by politics works much better. Leftwingers are happy to discriminate against rightwingers, and (maybe?) vice versa. (I, Denise Laroze and Arndt Leininger have some work using this approach: here is a presentation.)