"In the United States, we have a relatively low threat history. We're separated by two oceans from other continents. We haven't been afraid of Canada, Mexico, chronically invading us. We haven't been afraid of constant fury from mother nature. And so, as a result, we have a harder time tightening up than other countries under these conditions because it's hard for people to sacrifice the kind of liberty and freedom that we've had for constraints and rules.” - Michele Gelfand
In today’s episode, our host Dr. Celine Gounder and former co-host Ron Klain interview two experts, Michele Gelfand and Howard Lavine, about why Republicans and Democrats are so deeply divided over almost everything to do with COVID. They discuss the shift towards identity politics and why people tend to vote along the lines of their chosen political party instead of in their best personal interests, and how this complicates different states’ responses to COVID. They also examine how a community’s history of threats in the past shapes their response to crises today.
Michele Gelfand is a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, and is the author of "Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World." Howard Lavine is the Associate Dean of Social Sciences and a professor of political science and psychology at the University of Minnesota. He's the co-author of the book "Open Versus Closed: Personality, Identity, and the Politics of Redistribution,” and the editor of the journal Advances in Political Psychology.
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