Feeling misunderstood boosts support for Brexit

9-Sep-2020 11:35 AM EDT, by University of Exeter

Newswise — Feeling misunderstood by other groups makes people more likely to support separatist causes like Brexit and Scottish independence, new research suggests.

The University of Exeter studied links between political views and so-called "felt understanding" - feeling understood and listened to by other groups, such as Europeans and EU institutions (in the case of Brexit), or the English public and politicians (in the case of Scottish independence).

The research also examined Protestant-Catholic relations in Northern Ireland and Basque-Spanish relations. In all cases, feeling poorly understood by other groups was linked to dramatically higher levels of support for separatism.

In the Basque study, people one point lower on a seven-point "felt understanding" scale (feeling less understood by Spanish people) were more than six times more likely to back independence.

However, "felt understanding" was also a unique predictor of trust and forgiveness - the more people felt understood by members of the other group, the more likely they were to trust and forgive them.

"Our research demonstrates the critical role of 'felt understanding' in relations between groups of people," said lead author Dr Andrew Livingstone, of the University of Exeter.

"When people - individually and collectively - feel that those around them aren't 'getting' their point of view, and if people feel they lack the ability to determine their own future, you get responses that are about 'taking back control'.

"Such responses might, in large part, be about people making their voices heard.

"Voting is fundamentally an act of communication, though it's not always easy to interpret what voters 'mean' by their vote."

Felt understanding was found to be a stronger predictor of separatism than beliefs about the "out-group" (ie Europeans, English people, etc) or "meta-beliefs" (what people imagined the out-group thought of them).

It was also a stronger predictor of Brexit vote than more commonly-discussed factors like age or highest educational qualification.

Dr Livingstone said the research, which included data from more than 7,000 participants, showed the vital importance of making people feel heard.

"Even if people have been brought to a belief by misinformation, it doesn't mean their belief is insincere," he said.

"One of the worst ways to change such a belief is to tell people their views aren't genuine, or that they are fools.

"The first step is to ask people why they hold a particular belief, and to listen to the answer.

"It's not about pretending to agree - it's about showing them you've really listened and understood their point of view, even if you ultimately disagree."

Following the 2019 UK general election and the divisive debate over Brexit, Dr Livingstone noted the call from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to "let the healing begin".

"Boris Johnson had to acknowledge the fact that people want respect for the way they see the world," he said.

The studies of Scottish independence, Brexit, Northern Ireland and Basque separatism did not address cause and effect.

This was tested by a fifth study in which young people in Spain saw one of two mock newspaper articles - one suggesting that older people understood them and cared about their concerns, and the other suggesting they didn't.

Young people who were told older people understood them (higher "felt understanding") reported more positive views of older people.

###

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY

Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5643
Released: 22-Oct-2020 11:55 AM EDT
A video posted by a European-based group called World Doctors Alliance falsely claims the novel coronavirus is “a normal flu virus”
Newswise

A video posted by a European-based group called World Doctors Alliance claims the novel coronavirus is “a normal flu virus” and there is no COVID-19 pandemic. Although the video was removed from Youtube, portions of the video are circulating on Facebook. We rate this claim as false. Scientists universally agree that the cuase of this pandemic is a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and not a strain of influenza. COVID-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu. COVID-19 so far has killed more people in the U.S. than the past five flu seasons combined.

Newswise: Time is Not on Their Side: Physicians Face Barriers to Voting
Released: 22-Oct-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Time is Not on Their Side: Physicians Face Barriers to Voting
UT Southwestern Medical Center

DALLAS – Oct. 22, 2020 – Two new UT Southwestern studies published today report some surprising findings: Only half of practicing physicians are registered to vote, and the most common obstacle faced by resident physicians is the lack of time to vote. The researchers say finding ways to increase voter participation among doctors is critical as the nation tackles health care issues.

Released: 22-Oct-2020 10:15 AM EDT
Pres. Trump claim that "phony ballots" were printed without his name on it is not entirely true
Newswise

We rate this claim as mostly false. There was one instance in Los Angeles where a small percentage of mail ballots omitted the presidential race entirely. That meant that it wasn’t only Trump’s name that was missing, but also Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Released: 22-Oct-2020 8:55 AM EDT
Embody, Inc. Announces FDA 510(k) Clearance of TAPESTRY® Biointegrative Implant for Tendon and Ligament Repair
Embody, Inc.

Embody, Inc., a privately-held medical device company developing novel collagen-based technologies for sports medicine and soft tissue repair, announced today it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its TAPESTRY Biointegrative Implant for tendon and ligament repair.

Newswise: Ning-Zhang.jpg?w=325&h=250&auto=format&q=65&fit=facearea&facepad=3
Released: 22-Oct-2020 8:30 AM EDT
Cyber-security, mind-hacking and the presidential election
Washington University in St. Louis

Ning Zhang, assistant professor of engineering The U.S. presidential election is only weeks away. Hackers are hard at work. What exactly are they doing?We often think of hacking as a shadow form of computer engineering – a matter of ones and zeros, of clever coding and hijacked hardware, of software vulnerabilities and brute force attacks.

Released: 21-Oct-2020 3:55 PM EDT
Viral Facebook image does not show a coronavirus testing patent was submitted in 2015
Newswise

A post of an image showing "evidence" of a patent application for a novel coronavirus test in 2015 by a person named Richard A. Rothschild was shared by hundreds of users. This claim is false. The image shows a supplemental application that was filed in 2020 following the submission of another patent application in 2015 that was not related to the coronavirus. A spokesperson for the financial services firm Rothschild & Co. said the patent’s applicant had no link to the company.

Released: 21-Oct-2020 3:15 PM EDT
Why Do White Americans Support Both Strict Immigration Policies and DREAM Act?
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

White Americans support strict immigration policies while at the same time favor the DREAM Act that would grant legal status to some immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, a contradiction linked to racial resentment and the belief that equality already exists, according to a Rutgers-led study.


Showing results

110 of 5643

close
2.14348