The study found that effective control of COVID-19 requires governments and their constituencies to engage in mutually trusting relationships with a shared understanding of what is expected by both sets of actors. The ability of government and public health leaders to gauge how the population perceives the effectiveness of government responses to COVID-19, both generally and on specific responsibilities, is essential for identifying potential obstacles to achieving disease control objectives.
Governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have varied widely across countries. The paper sets out to measure public perceptions of government COVID-19 pandemic response efforts of the most heavily affected countries and to identify the key factors associated with those perceptions. The goal was to provide governments with a survey instrument that they could use to support the upgrade of measures to improve public commitment to disease prevention and control, and to mitigate the social, health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
American politics is becoming increasingly polarized, which biases decision-making and reduces open-minded debate. In two experiments, we demonstrate that despite this polarization, a simple manipulation can make people express and endorse less polarized views about competing political candidates. In Study 1, we approached 136 participants at the first 2016 presidential debate and on the streets of New York City. Participants completed a survey evaluating Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on various personality traits; 72% gave responses favoring a single candidate. We then covertly manipulated their surveys so that the majority of their responses became moderate instead. Participants only noticed and corrected a few of these manipulations. When asked to explain their responses, 94% accepted the manipulated responses as their own and rationalized this neutral position accordingly, even though they reported more polarized views moments earlier. In Study 2, we replicated the experiment online with a more politically diverse sample of 498 participants. Both Clinton and Trump supporters showed nearly identical rates of acceptance and rationalization of their manipulated-to-neutral positions. These studies demonstrate how false feedback can powerfully shape the expression of political views. More generally, our findings reveal the potential for open-minded discussion even in a fundamentally divided political climate.
Non-profits, as well as the media, have hypothesized the existence of a radicalization pipeline on YouTube, claiming that users systematically progress towards more extreme content on the platform. Yet, there is to date no substantial quantitative evidence of this alleged pipeline. To close this gap, we conduct a large-scale audit of user radicalization on YouTube. We analyze 330,925 videos posted on 349 channels, which we broadly classified into four types: Media, the Alt-lite, the Intellectual Dark Web (I.D.W.), and the Alt-right. According to the aforementioned radicalization hypothesis, channels in the I.D.W. and the Alt-lite serve as gateways to fringe far-right ideology, here represented by Alt-right channels. Processing 72M+ comments, we show that the three channel types indeed increasingly share the same user base; that users consistently migrate from milder to more extreme content; and that a large percentage of users who consume Alt-right content now consumed Alt-lite and I.D.W. content in the past. We also probe YouTube's recommendation algorithm, looking at more than 2M video and channel recommendations between May/July 2019. We find that Alt-lite content is easily reachable from I.D.W. channels, while Alt-right videos are reachable only through channel recommendations. Overall, we paint a comprehensive picture of user radicalization on YouTube.
At the time of this paper's publishing, we didn't have very good evidence about when (or if) intergroup contact reduces real-world prejudice, especially racial and ethnic prejudice among adults. Since then, we've learned more, e.g. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6505/866 and https://www.povertyactionlab.org/sites/default/files/2018.05.23-lowe-ideasforindia.pdf.
When defined in terms of social identity and affect toward copartisans and opposing partisans, the polarization of the American electorate has dramatically increased. We document the scope and consequences of affective polarization of partisansusingimplicit,explicit,andbehavioralindicators.Ourevidencedemonstratesthathostilefeelingsfortheopposing party are ingrained or automatic in voters’ minds, and that affective polarization based on party is just as strong as polarization based on race. We further show that party cues exert powerful effects on nonpolitical judgments and behaviors. Partisans discriminate against opposing partisans, doing so to a degree that exceeds discrimination based on race. We note that the willingness of partisans to display open animus for opposing partisans can be attributed to the absence of norms governing the expression of negative sentiment and that increased partisan affect provides an incentive for elites to engage in confrontation rather than cooperation.
Polarization is at an all-time high in the United States. But contrary to popular belief, Americans are polarized not so much in their policy preferences as in their feelings toward their political opponents: To an unprecedented degree, Republicans and Democrats simply do not like one another. No surprise that these deeply held negative feelings are central to the recent (also unprecedented) plunge in congressional productivity. The past three Congresses have gotten less done than any since scholars began measuring congressional productivity. In Why Washington Won't Work, Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph argue that a contemporary crisis of trust-people whose party is out of power have almost no trust in a government run by the other side-has deadlocked Congress. On most issues, party leaders can convince their own party to support their positions. In order to pass legislation, however, they must also create consensus by persuading some portion of the opposing party to trust in their vision for the future. Without trust, consensus fails to develop and compromise does not occur.Up until recently, such trust could still usually be found among the opposition, but not anymore. Political trust, the authors show, is far from a stable characteristic. It's actually highly variable and contingent on a variety of factors, including whether one's party is in control, which part of the government one is dealing with, and which policies or events are most salient at the moment. Political trust increases, for example, when the public is concerned with foreign policy-as in times of war-and it decreases in periods of weak economic performance. Hetherington and Rudolph do offer some suggestions about steps politicians and the public might take to increase political trust. Ultimately, however, they conclude that it is unlikely levels of political trust will significantly increase unless foreign concerns come to dominate and the economy is consistently strong.