Carey Stapleton, lecturer and teaching fellow for data analytics and computational social science (DACSS) has co-authored the paper, “Political Self-Confidence and Affective Polarization,” published in Public Opinion Quarterly. The paper shows how individual-level differences in feelings of self-confidence and self-described political knowledge fuel political polarization and intolerance of the opposing party. The authors analyze data from the 2020 Cooperative Election Study. They conclude that, “People are most tolerant of partisan discrimination when they are confident in their own political capabilities,” which is different from their perceptions of their self-worth. Higher self-esteem is associated with less willingness to tolerate discrimination on partisan grounds and is a good measure for increased political tolerance.

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