This really interesting article by Eric W. Dolan is published by:
Psychologists have found that using nature scenes to experimentally induce a sense of awe can reduce the strength of one’s ideological convictions. The findings, which appear in the journal Emotion, provide evidence that the mix of wonder, reverence, and dread we feel in response to the vastness of the world can promote intellectual humility and reduce polarization.
“My interest in this topic was twofold. Firstly, I have a strong interest in the psychology of political polarization; specifically understanding the ways in which the emotions we experience can shift the conviction and extremism with which we hold our own beliefs and the extent to which we experience hostility towards those with opposing beliefs,” said study author Daniel M. Stancato, a doctoral candidate at the University of California and member of the Berkeley Social Interaction Laboratory.
“This probably isn’t news to most, but the divide between Democrats and Republicans in the United States is at its highest level in more than 30 years (perhaps ever). Both the actual and perceived divide along political party lines exacerbate political gridlock, pose barriers to civil dialogue, and contribute to a political environment filled with vitriol and mutual distrust.”
Read the full article here.