In “The Dark Side of Active Citizenship,Washington Post columnist Jason Willik references a recently published paper co-authored by Carey E. Stapleton, lecturer of data analytics and computational social science (DACSS) at UMass Amherst, and Jennifer Wolak, professor of political science at Michigan State University. The paper, “Political Self-Confidence and Affective Polarization,” analyzes data from the 2020 Cooperative Election Study and shows that Americans with the highest levels of self-described political knowledge and capabilities are also the most polarized and intolerant of the opposing party. “We propose that people’s feelings of self-assurance within politics can have a darker side,” write Stapleton and Wolak.

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