Monday, September 27, 2021

Play

The House could vote this week on the Build Back Better infrastructure bill, which contains resources to fight climate change, and the NTSB investigates an Amtrak derailment in north-central Montana.

Play

A government shutdown looms as the Senate prepares to vote on the debt ceiling, former President Trump holds a rally in Georgia, the U.S. reopens a Texas border crossing, and an Amtrak train crash kills three in Montana.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Could Curiosity Help Americans Bridge Deep Divides?

Play

Thursday, April 15, 2021   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Polarization is seen as a growing problem in the United States, and many blame social media. But polls show Americans agree on many hot-button issues - and the divide may be more emotional than ideological.

One example is gun control. A majority of Americans polled agree that stricter laws should be enacted for firearms sales. And Rachel Kleinfeld of Santa Fe, a senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said there's also some common ground on immigration and abortion. Kleinfeld said she believes polarization is less about ideas and more about emotions that cause people to identify with a "tribe" with similar beliefs. She suggested that curiosity could be the antidote.

"It is extremely hard to be curious and to hate at the same time," she said. "When you're curious, it doesn't mean you agree, but it does mean you have to find out more."

According to a recent Gallup poll, 57% of Americans favor tougher gun-control laws, while only 9% want to see fewer gun restrictions and 34% support the status quo.

Social scientists often recommend limiting internet and media consumption to avoid hot topics such as economics or politics - and when consuming news, trying to seek out balanced reporting. Kleinfeld said social-media users often gravitate to sites that reinforce their own beliefs, and young people can become polarized because they avoid anything they think might inflict trauma.

"Polarization, of course, is not just about young people," she said, "but there is something particular that does seem to be going on with young people about a lack of ability to handle too much complexity in their thinking."

While it might not be as extreme as sometimes portrayed, Kleinfeld said polarization is worrisome because what we're seeing in America now also has been observed in other countries with extreme violence.


get more stories like this via email
Many people with developmental disabilities couldn't receive meaningful day services during the pandemic. (Adobe stock)

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE -- Spurred on by COVID challenges, a grant from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council to two human services providers is …


Environment

RUBY MOUNTAINS, Nev. -- Nevada is the driest state in the nation, yet few of its rivers and streams have federal protections. Now a new report …

Environment

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. -- This weekend, athletes from across the nation gathered in South Pass City to Run the Red, a series of marathons through the Red …


With census data showing a more diverse population in Minnesota, advocates say it's important to adopt policies that meet the needs of growing racial groups, including older residents. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The challenges facing older Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Minnesotans will be the focal point of a virtual forum tomorrow…

Health and Wellness

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - Missourians have a little more than a month until open enrollment for health-care coverage at healthcare.gov, and medical experts …

Since Section 232's implementation, U.S. steel producers have announced the reopening of facilities in at least 15 states. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

TOLEDO, Ohio -- As the Biden administration engages in talks with the European Union about dropping tariffs on its steel exports, many U.S.-based …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. - A coalition of Nebraska community organizations and supporters are collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would raise the …

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. - Prescription drug costs are climbing faster than wages for the average Wisconsin resident. That's according to a new analysis…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021