These questions can help you think about how polarized you are these days, and how you might want to change. The questions are about your attitudes towards the millions of people on the other political side rather than how you feel about particular issues, political leaders, or fringe groups.
- How often do I find myself thinking about “those people” on the other political side without much regard for the variation among them? (Usually we’re aware of great variation within our own group.) Select one: Frequently, Sometimes, Never
- How often do I find myself assigning mainly self-serving or negatives motives to the other group—and mainly positive motives to my group? Select one: Frequently, Sometimes, Never
- How often do I tend to focus on the most extreme or outrageous ideas or people on the other side, thereby making it hard to see how a reasonable person could remain in that group? Select one: Frequently, Sometimes, Never
- How often do I find myself comparing the worst people on the other side with the best people on my side? Select one: Frequently, Sometimes, Never
- How often do I feel a “rush” of pleasure with friends when we ridicule those crazies on the other political side? Select one: Often, Sometimes, Never
- Which of the following is closest to my overall emotional attitude towards the majority of people who support the other side?
- Hate. They are enemies out to destroy the country. (4)
- Disdain. They are ignorant and should know better. (3)
- Pity. They are well-meaning but duped. (2)
- Basic respect. They make contributions even if they are mostly off base. (1)
- Respect and appreciation. They make unique and necessary contributions. (0)
For questions 1-5:
- Assign a 2 to each “frequently,” 1 to each “sometimes,” and 0 to each “never.”
- Then add in the number (0-4) for your response to question 6.
The total reflects your degree of inner polarization. Ask yourself if you are okay with where you are now, or whether you want to work on becoming more depolarized.
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