We humans are social animals, naturally driven to form close-knit groups. All too often, though, these groups become partisan. They start to compete with one another. They become mutually hostile. Why does this happen? And what can be done to counter the tendency
In Poles Apart, an expert on polarisation, a behavioural scientist and a professional communicator explain why we are so prone to be drawn into rival, often deeply antagonistic factions. They explore the shaping force of our genetic make-up on our fundamental views and the nature of the influences that family, friends and peers exert. They pinpoint the economic and political triggers that tip people from healthy disagreement to dangerous hostility, and the part played by social media in spreading entrenched opinions. And they help us to understand why outlooks that can seem so bizarre and extreme to us seem so eminently sensible to those who hold them.
Above all, by meticulously showing how and why polarisation affects every part of our lives - influencing everything from our friendship circles to our approach to health issues - they show what practical and effective steps we can all take to narrow divisions, build respect for others, and create a greater degree of common understanding.
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 522 g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 30 mm
A fascinating and thought-provoking analysis of the divisions between us, how we bridge them, how we reshape the world - and ourselves too. Essential reading. -- Cathy Newman * Channel 4 News *
Asks the best question I have ever heard. And, critically, offers solutions. A must read. -- Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman of Ogilvy UK, and author of Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
In Poles Apart, the authors give us a comprehensive review of the psychology of groupishness and polarisation. It's a fascinating read, which will help anyone who wants to step out of the polarisation cycle and become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem that is now damaging the world's leading democracies. -- Jonathan Haidt, NYU-Stern School of Business, author of The Righteous Mind and The Happiness Hypothesis
All my life I have been an impassioned advocate of technology. I believed it could connect the whole world, which it has largely done. What I and many others failed to see, was how those connections would then be used to divide and polarise us - for commercial and political gain. This is endangering our social institutions and democracy on which our dreams were based. It turns our own lives and sometimes, families, to the poles - into warzones. This is a pivotal moment for this book to be written, read and understood. -- Peter Gabriel, musician
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