Inequality in the electorate undermines equality of voice in elections. There is a steep social status gradient in political participation in the U.S.; adults with higher levels of education are more likely to vote than those with only a high school education. Why this gradient has persisted across decades of American elections is a topic of debate across many social science disciplines. We interrogate the schooling experiences, especially during adolescence and early adulthood, that may empower students to use their voice in elections later in life.
Animosity between political partisans in the United States has grown dramatically over roughly the last two decades. It has become normal for Americans to express outrage and hatred toward their fellow citizens on the other side of the political spectrum, undermining the quality of political discourse and the well-being of most Americans. The increasingly volatile political climate has begun to threaten the very foundation of democratic governance and social stability that American business depends on to thrive.
Political polarization, moreover, creates an unpredictable financial and regulatory environment, making planning difficult for many businesses. Meanwhile, consumers increasingly demand that businesses take public stands on controversial issues, forcing those businesses to toe a perilous line and risk alienating large portions of their consumer base. The TxBSPI approach is to develop and evaluate a novel behavioral intervention to reduce feelings of partisan outrage and hatred, and the sharing of polarizing content over social media.