U-M winter seminar series examines political polarization

January 17, 2023
Written By:
Written by Tevah Platt, Institute for Social Research


DATE: 3:30-5 p.m. Mondays, beginning Jan. 23, 2023

EVENT: Group Dynamics Seminar series: Political polarization

PLACE: Room 1430, U-M Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson St., Ann Arbor

DETAILS: The Research Center for Group Dynamics at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research will host an interdisciplinary winter seminar series to deepen our understanding of why political polarization in the United States is so high—and what, if anything, we can do about it.

The series, free and open to the public, kicks off with William Brady of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Jan. 23. His talk will focus on how we overperceive moral outrage in online social networks, a dynamic that holds consequences for intergroup hostility.

The series includes 12 seminars on political polarization through mid-April. Among the speakers are:

  • U-M psychologist David Dunning, best known as the co-identifier of the Dunning-Kruger effect, who will speak Feb. 13 on the role of emotion in political thought and conflict, including why we hold false beliefs.
  • Political communication expert Yanna Krupnikov of U-M, whose March 6 talk will focus on social media “unfriending” due to polarization and political disagreement on social networks.
  • Stanford political scientist Shanto Iyengar, who will address taking stock of affective research on polarization March 6.
  • Northwestern psychologist Eli Finkel, who will speak April 3 about whether partisanship poses a threat to the American republic and if political hatred is a distorted perception of opposing partisans.

For a full lineup of speakers, see the Research Center for Group Dynamics website. The series is organized by Amie Gordon, faculty associate at RCGD and assistant professor of psychology.

The Group Dynamics Seminar series is considered one of the oldest seminar series in the social sciences, running uninterruptedly since it was founded by psychologist Kurt Lewin in the 1920s in Berlin.

SPONSOR: Research Center for Group Dynamics at the U-M Institute for Social Research