Politics: an intimate relationship of trust

In an article written by Ryan E. Carlin and Gregory J. Love titled “Political Competition, Partisanship and Interpersonal Trust in Electoral Democracies”, it is discussed how democratic politics informs the “interdisciplinary debate on the evolution of human co-operation and the social preferences” to the general public.

Starting off with the origins as to why humans cooperate and work with one another, the paper soon begins to touch upon the selfishness and stereotyping that comes from the identification of one’s self to one particular group. This identification typically comes from building trust in another individual/faction “based on ascriptive markers – such as gender and age – or on indicators of social distance like race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, class,ideology and region” (p.117). However Carlin and Love highlight the fact that partisanship is a specific trust based relationship between political parties and citizens. These bonds eventually can become so strong that they form an “in-group” and “out-group” between different associations. @cleacatona6529 described that “political competition drastically shaped how much trust we put in each other, with trust being the groundwork to a strong co-operative community”

Community is an interesting word to use in correlation to this article but describes the intimacy of how close knit those involved in political groups can be. Stereotypes are typically formed in a positive manner regarding those who share the same or similar beliefs to one’s self, while on the other hand negative perceptions are withheld by opposite political parties of one another. In the “trust game” the results came to show that majority of people involved in its experiment would choose to assist a stranger with no information given about them, rather than an individual who held beliefs polar to theirs.

It is extremely interesting to think of the hypocrisy involved with creating political parties (or even any group per say ) as our original hopes of bringing people together has in fact created larger rifts and pulled people apart. On page 116 of Carlin and Loves paper it was stated that “In short, humans evolved social and political institutions to resolve social conflicts from within and without”. Although created with good intentions it is evident even in modern day times the difficulties humans have getting along with one another. Local, civil and global wars are occurring in a time where peace is thought to be. Identifying as one political group over another can put an individual in a situation of either life or death because of certain prejudices.

#WRDS150 #Politics #Community


  1. Thank you for the post! I find it interesting that you said stereotypes are typically formed in a positive manner. Did it say that in the paper or is that a personal view of yours? Why do you think that they are usually formed positively? Personally, I thought stereotypes were mostly negative because I usually hear about the negative ones. It would be interesting to hear what you have to say!


  2. Thank you for your comment! I wrote this from a psychology standpoint as stereotypes form not in a positive manner of existence but of system. Stereotypes help form categories to make the everyday life of humans easier. Stereotypes need not be just one’s thought of racism, they also include subtle discrepancies such as that grocery stores will contain groceries, not just one in particular

    Liked by 1 person

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