December 8th, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EST (1 Hour, 30 Min)
Deepening political polarization, both in the United States and around the world, poses a profound threat to democracy. As polarization becomes toxic, it deteriorates trust in institutions and among fellow citizens, gives rise to political violence, and impedes collaboration across political lines. This session aims to elucidate the psychological factors that contribute to identity-based polarization, offer insights into what makes such polarization toxic, and identify ways to reduce toxic polarization and bridge partisan divides. We will begin by highlighting findings from a new report, “America’s Divided Mind: Understanding the Psychology That Drives Us Apart” (available at https://beyondconflictint.org/americas-divided-mind/). Panelists will then draw from their diverse areas of expertise in cognitive and behavioral science, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and media to discuss how we can come together, across sectors, to reduce partisan division. Although the presented research will focus on polarization in the United States, special attention will also be given to how research findings can be applied to understand and address division in global contexts. As a participant, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion and to work collaboratively with fellow attendees and panelists to co-develop a theory of change and design scalable interventions to address toxic polarization, both in the United States and around the world.