Scientists Look to Genetics of Behavior for Answers to Country's Partisan Divide

Scientists Look to Genetics of Behavior for Answers to Country's Partisan Divide 1

Andrew A. Nelles for The Chronicle

Riley E. Dunlap (second from right), of Oklahoma State U., says many studies of partisan behaviors strive too hard to be even-handed: "Out in the real world, I'm not personally convinced that there is an equal balance of bias."

Scientific analysis has been able to solve the mysteries of polio and smallpox, heavier-than-air flight, the structure of atoms, and millions of other longstanding puzzles of nature. Could it now be used to diagnose and perhaps even solve our nation's political dysfunction?

There are grounds for some optimism. A new generation of university researchers, many with backgrounds in psychology, are tackling the question, armed with new findings involving behavioral genetics.

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