Annie Neimand and Lauren Griffin Publish Article on the “Partisan Divide”
Annie Neimand, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications communication manager and frank research director and digital strategist, and Lauren Griffin, frank director of external research, collaborated on “Why Each Side of the Partisan Divide Thinks the Other is Living in an Alternate Reality.” The article, focusing on information avoidance in the post-Trump inauguration era, was published in The Conversation on Jan. 20.
The article focuses on how people are politically divided and seem to see the world completely different because of a psychological phenomenon known as information avoidance. Social scientists have documented that all of people have a well-stocked mental toolkit to ward off any new information that makes them feel bad, obligates them to do something they don’t want to do or challenges their view of the world. The article emphasizes that it’s crucial to recognize this all-too-human tendency to put our fingers in our ears when we hear something we don’t like. Only then can we move away from a media and cultural environment in which everyone is entitled to not just their own opinions but also their own facts.