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Animosity is running high in America right now. In a survey conducted last year by the Pew Research Center, 72% of Republicans said that Democrats are “more immoral” than members of their own party, and 63% of Democrats said the same about Republicans — increases of 17% and 16% in just a three-year period.

Hostility between political parties has been associated with a lack of respect for democracy and a rise in support for partisan violence, such as the attack on the US Capitol in 2021. Some researchers think that these trends could eventually culminate in the collapse of democracy in the United States and elsewhere.

“That’s the lurking dark pit that we’re all trying to avoid,” says social psychologist Kurt Gray at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.