American society is deeply divided at this moment—not just on values and opinions but on basic perceptions of reality. In their latest book, One Nation, Two Realities: Dueling Facts in American Democracy
(Oxford University Press, 2019), Morgan Marietta
and David Barker
attribute such division to the natural human tendency towards having different versions of reality. They introduce the concept of ‘dueling fact perceptions’ based on years of research, and for our interview, Morgan Marietta explains how they arrived at such conclusions and their implications for our country’s future. We have a sobering conversation about how fact-checking and greater education will not fix the problem of dueling fact perceptions, and we address the importance of trust—in our politicians, media, and other information sources—can ultimately shape how we use information to advance our beliefs. This interview is essential for those seeking to making sense of our current political climate and will provide realistic but thoughtful answers to many of your persistent questions about it.
Morgan Marietta is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, where he studies the political consequences of belief. His prior books include The Politics of Sacred Rhetoric: Absolutist Appeals and Political Influence
, and A Citizen’s Guide to American Ideology: Conservatism and Liberalism in Contemporary Politics
. He and co-author David Barker write the "Inconvenient Facts" blog at Psychology Today
Eugenio Duarte, Ph.D. is a psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in Miami. He treats individuals and couples, with specialties in gender and sexuality, eating and body image problems, and relationship issues. He is also a university psychologist at Florida International University’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center, where he coordinates the eating disorders service. He is a graduate and faculty of William Alanson White Institute and former chair of their LGBTQ Study Group. He is also a contributing author to the book
Introduction to Contemporary Psychoanalysis: Defining Terms and Building Bridges (Routledge, 2018).