If you have moderate political opinions, they will value you worse than if you have extreme ones.

If you have moderate political opinions, they will value you worse than if you have extreme ones.

As this new study suggests, even preprint , people rate moderate political views more negatively compared to extreme ones.

People who deviate from group norms pose problems for their in-group, but not all forms of deviation are equivalent .

Four different experiments

The study was divided into four experiments . Participants thought that both Democrats (Experiment 1) and Republicans (Experiment 2) would view moderate political candidates more negatively (e.g., less loyal, less principled, more likely to defect) than extreme candidates. Furthermore, these relatively negative evaluations by moderates extended to rank-and-file members of the Democratic (Experiment 3) and Republican (Experiment 4) parties.

These findings suggest that people intuitively understand subjective group dynamics and, when applied to politics, this understanding can have important consequences for how people with moderate and extreme beliefs engage in political discourse .

What underlies, then, is that people who deviate from prescriptive group norms can harm their group by blurring perceptions of consensus, thus eroding the legitimacy of a group’s position.

Without a doubt, another proof of the tendency to affiliate with the most extreme, compared to the most moderate. And how democracy is affected by it , in addition to the fact that politicians also take advantage, radicalizing themselves in their speeches, especially using demagoguery and populism.

For this reason, perhaps, in the cradle of democracy, in fact, a machine was used to choose the elected officials because one could not trust the vagaries of the administrators: the kleroterion was this device, used in the polis during the period of Athenian democracy, to randomly select the citizens who would participate in the majority of state offices.

Agma Kleroterion A kleroterion in the Agora Museum in Athens.