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NYT: The Spirit of Sympathy

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Group-to-group relations are more often marked by calculation, rivalry and coldness. Members of one group sometimes see members of another group as less than human: Nazi and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi, Sunni and Shiite.

Political leaders have an incentive to get their followers to use the group mode of cognition, not the person-to-person. People who are thinking in the group mode are loyal, disciplined and vicious against foes. People in the person-to-person mode are soft, unpredictable and hard to organize.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/article;jsessionid=396E6FA3AB6692BF7199E47266B7CC3C…

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