What if Polarization is Actually an Illusion?

With Todd Rose - Co-Founder & President of think tank Populace and author of the book ‘Collective Illusions: Conformity, Complicity, and the Science of Why We Make Bad Decisions’

Episode description:

If you are a Democrat, have you ever espoused the slogan “Defund the Police?” If you’re a Republican, do you agree with politicians who claim that 2020 presidential election was stolen? If you said yes, you may well be operating under a “collective illusion,” a widespread mental phenomenon in which people take positions in public they privately don’t actually believe, because they think that everyone else in their group does believe it. The implications for the spread of disinformation these days are obvious. In this episode of In Reality, host Eric Schurenberg talks with Todd Rose, co-founder of the think tank Populace and the author of a fascinating book called ‘Collective Illusions.’ The conversation covers a mind-boggling range of common public beliefs that almost no one privately believes (who knew?). Todd also explains why it’s so important for your own mental health and the health of democracy to speak your own authentic truth – and how to do that without getting yourself shunned by your in-group.

Created & produced by: Podcast Partners / Published: Sep 29 2022

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