From Eureka Alert (regarding research co-authored by Situationist Contributor Peter Ditto):
Republicans and Democrats are less divided in their attitudes than popularly believed, according to new research. It is exactly those perceptions of polarization, however, that help drive political engagement, researchers say.
“American polarization is largely exaggerated,” says Leaf Van Boven of the University of Colorado Boulder, especially by people who adopt strong political stances. And when people perceive a large gap between political parties, they may be more motivated to vote. That message emerges from analyses of 40 years’ worth of voter data and could help predict voting behavior for the 2012 presidential election, according to social psychologists presenting their work today at a conference in San Diego, CA.
Polarization and political engagement
Much of the data comes from the American National Election Studies, a large survey of American’s political attitudes and voting behaviors from 1948 to 2008 funded…
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