Do voters need therapy?
James Tilley, Professor of Politics, has been investigating why politics evokes such emotional reactions—and whether we are angrier than ever.
A 2019 study found that over two thirds of British people felt that Brexit had negatively impacted the country's mental health. Is this a reflection of the debate around borders, trade negotiations, and legal jurisdiction—or is it about how we, as a nation, feel about politics?
In a BBC Radio 4 programme—due to air initially on Monday 17 February 2020 at 20:30 (GMT)—he will explore the extent to which British politics is now 'steeped in cognitive distortion'.
To accompany the radio broadcast, Prof Tilley has written a BBC News piece, discussing why we become so emotionally invested in political decisions. He argues that this is in part due to our social interactions: today, we are less likely to engage with those who have different political views than us, both on and offline. To create a less politically angry society, Prof Tilley suggests we need to change ourselves, and not the opinions of those whom we disagree with.