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The way people perceive groups and empathize with others shapes their political ideology, according to a study recently published by researchers affiliated with the University of Arkansas.
The researchers used a concept called "intergroup interconnectedness," defined as how people view groups who are either alike or different from themselves on some measure, and studied its impact on empathy and political ideology. They wanted to know if empathy for people who shared ("ingroups") or didn't share ("outgroups") some characteristic explained whether the people supported a liberal or conservative ideology.
Intergroup - Interconnectedness - Ideology - David - Sparkman
"We thought this intergroup interconnectedness might be related to your political ideology," said David Sparkman, who worked on the study as part of his doctorate in psychology from the University of Arkansas. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. "The idea is that perception of groups drives people toward one ideology or another. Throughout the study, that is basically what we found."
In one study, Sparkman and University of Arkansas colleagues Scott Eidelman, associate professor of psychology, and Derrick Till, a graduate student in the Department of Psychological Science, surveyed...
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