Research event

Cross-partisan dialogue

A presentation by Egon Tripodi, Hertie School. This event is part of the Political Economy Lunch Seminar (PELS)

The rise in political polarization has led to a decrease in interactions across party lines. Since Democrats and Republicans are differentially informed across political topics, fewer cross-partisan conversations might lead to an overall less informed citizenry. This study aims to understand the reasons behind individuals' preference for engaging with politically like-minded individuals and the extent to which they can learn from cross-partisan conversations. We designed an experiment in which American participants engaged in dyadic political discussions via video calls with either a co-partisan or a cross-partisan counterpart. We assessed their willingness to pay for these conversations, their learning expectations, and the actual knowledge gained from these interactions. In our pilot study, participants anticipated cross-partisan interactions to be less enjoyable and informative compared to co-partisan exchanges. These expectations of reduced informativeness are accurate, indicating a failure in information transmission: despite Democrats and Republicans possessing distinct knowledge across political subjects, they struggle to effectively communicate their understanding to cross-partisans.