Recently it has become commonplace in America for commentators and the public to use the terms "red" and "blue" to refer to perceived cultural differences in America and American politics. Although a political divide may exist in America today, these particular terms are inaccurate and reductive. This article presents research from social psychology demonstrating that the increased use of these terms is likely to increase the conflict between political groups in America by making political conflict salient in nonpolitical contexts, reducing the ability of Americans to form multifaceted complex identities, pushing Americans to misperceive political in-groups and out-groups, and contributing to a "spiral of silence." An alternative model for discussing cultural differences is proposed.
Friday, September 22, 2006
A House Divided? The Psychology of Red and Blue America
From the American Psychologist [Conor & Newman]...