Episodes of my psychology podcast about political polarization

For my psychology podcast, People Who Read People, I’ve done quite a few interviews with various experts and academics on the subject of political polarization, social media effects on polarization, and some other polarization-related topics. I wanted to put all of those episodes in one place for people interested in learning about political polarization dynamics.

Why is polarization important?

Many people, when they hear about polarization, think something like, “One political group is horrible so it makes sense for us to be polarized. Polarization isn’t a problem at all; it’s necessary.”

If you think that, I highly recommend listening to some of these episodes below, so you can understand why so many smart and compassionate people consider polarization to be such a huge problem. If you’re worried about the U.S. becoming increasingly chaotic and dysfunctional, you owe it to yourself to learn more about how polarization dynamics work, and the psychology that drives it. At the very least, if nothing else, understanding these topics better will help you form more persuasive political arguments.

One thing I’d also say to that objection is: you can continue thinking one political group is much worse than the other while learning about polarization, recognizing it as a problem, and thinking about reducing it. I think many people think that acknowledging polarization is a problem means taking some sort of “both sides are equally bad” false equivalency stance, but that’s not at all what it’s about.

Personally, I think that if we’re going to avoid worst-case scenarios in this country, we need more people to make the effort to understand polarization and more people working to heal our us-versus-them divides.

Polarization-related episodes from my podcast

Here are some People Who Read People episodes that I think are helpful for understanding polarization, and especially American polarization:

Other political polarization-related episodes:

Below are episodes about some specific political issues. My interest in talking about these topics is mostly about wanting to examine aspects of the psychology of polarization and how it distorts our abilities to have respectful and nuanced conversations.

Want to learn more about the podcast? Go to behavior-podcast.com. Follow me on Twitter at @apokerplayer.

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Zachary Elwood

Have psych podcast “People Who Read People.” My research into online deception featured in NYT, WaPo, more. Wrote books on poker tells (translated 8 languages).