Because the ideological gaps between Democrats and Republicans seem to develop more and more wider, there may be now new knowledge that exhibits what may very well be driving that political divide.
“We are likely to suppose people behave unpredictably, however an increasing number of we see that, in numerous settings, human selections could be defined by summary and stylish fashions,” mentioned Boleslaw Szymanski, a pc science professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
By analyzing thousands and thousands of roll name votes in U.S. Congress over the previous 60 years—by way of the rise of the Civil Rights motion and the Vietnam Warfare—Szymanski and his colleagues created a parameter to find out what drives the polarization of members of the legislative physique, what the authors name “polarization utility.”
This driving drive measures how a lot profit members of Congress can get by specializing in the problems that enchantment to their supporters, the researchers mentioned.
The 2 components that drive polarization utility: polarized voters and the rising affect of marketing campaign donors, which is pushed by the rising value of campaigning, in keeping with the examine, revealed Tuesday within the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.
“Which means that, if we need to encourage or discourage polarization of the Congress, we will accomplish that by altering the utility,” mentioned co-author Jianxi Gao, an assistant professor of laptop science at Rensselaer.
The authors recommend that two methods to vary the polarization utility may be altering marketing campaign donation limits and the size of phrases legislators serve, however they aren’t calling for any motion to be taken.
“Whether or not we would like polarization and the way a lot is just not a call for us scientists,” Szymanski mentioned, “however reasonably for society as an entire.”
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