We live in an increasingly polarised world – we see this in online debates, political rhetoric and daily headlines. How did we get here? Dr Kris De Meyer explores how people become entrenched in their views and the gridlocked debates these opinions lead to. Kris’s explanation about how individuals become polarised in their views posits a challenge: how can we communicate with those who see reality radically different to us? And what responsibilities do we all have to break the cycle of polarisation? For, if we are unwilling to sacrifice some part of our perspectives, we risk never breaking the cycle of polarisation and the violence that may follow if we leave polarisation unchecked. Dr Kris De Meyer is a neuroscientist at King’s College London and his research lies in how people form opinions about high-stakes issues such as climate change, the economy or Brexit. He co-produced Right Between Your Ears, an award-winning documentary about how people can become convinced of something, even if it isn’t true. Kris also co-created The Justice Syndicate, an interactive play looking at how we reason, make decisions and deal with our preconceptions – both as an individual and as a group. He regularly speaks on BBC radio and TV about the neuroscience and psychology underpinning polarisation in society, including the recent BBC Radio 4 series How to Disagree. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Kris De Meyer


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