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The researchers also suggest other measures like adjusting social media algorithms to prevent the spread of false or hyperpartisan information, incentivizing politicians to reach out to a wider group of Americans, instituting campaign finance reforms, and preventing partisan gerrymandering.
If you're wondering how the U.S. compares to other countries, research from Brown University released in January 2020 found that the polarization in the U.S. has increased much more from the late 1970s than in the eight other countries the scientists studied—the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.
Check out the new study "Political sectarianism in America" published in the journal Science.,
Awkward about talking
But the study also found people hold back from speaking to others, choosing email and texts instead, wrongly believing that a conversation could be awkward or that they could be misunderstood.
"People feel significantly more connected through voice-based media, but they have these fears about awkwardness that are pushing them towards text-based media," study co-author Amit Kumar, a McCombs School of Business assistant professor of marketing, told Science Daily.
In the experiment in which researchers asked people to phone an old friend, participants predicted the conversation would be awkward and that they would prefer to email.
In reality, people reported forming a "significantly stronger bond with their old friend on the phone versus email, and they did not feel more awkward," Kumar said.
And the call took no longer than reading and responding to an email.
"We're being asked to maintain physical distance, but we still need these social ties for our well-being - even for our health," added Kumar.,