UPCOMING REPORT JUNE 2020
New insights from brain and behavioral science explain how polarization is fueled by Americans’ misperceptions about each other. Learn more about the psychology that drives us apart, and how we can start to reverse it.
Deepening polarization in the United States is a profound threat to the American people and to the very core of American Democracy. After 30 years of working around the globe to bring peace and reconciliation to deeply divided societies, Beyond Conflict launched an unprecedented research project in 2018, the Beyond Conflict Polarization Index™, featured in our upcoming report, America’s Divided Mind.
Our research has found a consistent pattern. There is a wide divide between perception and reality across key measures of the Beyond Conflict Polarization Index™. Americans incorrectly believe that members of the other party dehumanize, dislike, and disagree with them about twice as much as they actually do. In short, we believe we’re more polarized than we really are—and that misperception can drive us even further apart. The divide is correlated with outcomes that are consequential for democracy and represent a new degree of toxic polarization in America.