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Political polarization: Horseshoe Delight - Wikipedia

Political polarization: Horseshoe Delight – Wikipedia

Knowers of the world have discovered the Internet as a megaphone. There they cry out their certainty, peck each other’s eyes and disgust in silent readers. The rule of thumb for these ideologically colored continuous battles is clearly this: the crazier the statement, the more evident the certainty it represents.

In the political sphere, of course, this presents a huge problem – the concrete heads of both camps slam their skulls together and raise so much dust that the debates are covered. Philosopher Karl Popper once went so far as to describe this tendency to certainty as a key component of totalitarianism: anyone who believes that their worldview is the only way to a happy future with absolute certainty can use it to justify nefarious actions and name opponents. As an evil and vile label or put it out immediately.

Now, neither camp has a monopoly on totalitarian tendencies and fantasies, and both ends of the political spectrum are equally vulnerable. Psychologists Thomas Costello and Shauna Bowes have just published a study that tracks aspects of this phenomenon. Toward the extreme ends of the political spectrum, the level of perceived certainty that one’s opinions are just as true, as they are, increases. in the magazine Social psychology and personality science to report. Among the fanatics of both the left and the right, one-third of those questioned believed that their view of the world was 100 percent correct and perfectly clear. On the other hand, among the moderates in the so-called political center, only one in 15 participants had the gift of a completely objective view of what was happening.

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Political opponents always diagnose a lack of intelligence on the other side

The corresponding results have just been published by psychologists led by Rachel Hartmann in another study. Accordingly, supporters of the two major American parties regard voters on the other side as less immoral or even evil than stupid above all else. It is the lack of intelligence that drives members of the political opposition to their opinions. This attitude also drips from self-confidence: we know the only truth, so everyone who thinks differently must be as stupid as bread. It is logical.

Almost all people tend to overestimate themselves in some or even many things. Education, leadership skills, housework, morals, virtue – in these and other areas, the majority like to be issued a selfie with above-average grades. The psychological research literature on everyday arrogance is bloated. At the extreme levels of the political arena, overconfidence simply rises to certain heights.

Right and left radical currents attract people who are similar in their psychological characteristics. They are similar in their faith, self-confidence, irrationality and rigid thinking. The present study can also be interpreted as an argument for the so-called horseshoe theory. According to this concept, left and right extremists are often surprisingly close to each other in many situations or situations, and on the other hand, they maintain a greater distance from the moderate political center. The best people who understand Putin can be found, for example, among those on the far right and far left.