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Outreach 2022

Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen highlights the challenge that media focus on political hypocrisy creates for certain agendas. He points out that politicians, including members of Enhedslisten, who advocate for redistribution and combating inequality, live in the same reality as their colleagues despite their different political ideals. Lippert-Rasmussen emphasizes that it can be costly for politicians to champion views that extend beyond their own circumstances, which can undermine their credibility and effectiveness. He also notes that democratic politics requires compromises, even though these may be perceived as compromising, and that principled dogmatists may find it difficult to navigate this reality. The article was brought in Politiken, 20 February 2022 (behind payment wall). The article is in Danish.

Lotte Thomsen dismisses the idea of the infant as a blank slate. She conducts experiments with children aged 6-18 months and explains how these young individuals come with built-in assumptions about the world. They have an advanced understanding of dominance and social hierarchies, prefer individuals who cooperate, and support punishment for those who do not. They also distinguish between 'them' and 'us.' The podcast "24 spørgsmål til professoren" is published by Weekendavisen, 5 September 2022: https://www.weekendavisen.dk/podcast/24sporgsmaal. The podcast is in Danish.

Søren Flinch Midtgaard reflects on Tinder's algorithm and its potential discriminatory effects. Midtgaard has researched the concept of 'lookism,' which refers to discrimination based on appearance. He explains that the algorithm can reproduce stereotypical perceptions of what an ideal partner looks like, which can lead to significant discrimination based on appearance. Attractive people generally fare better, and Tinder presents users with photos similar to those they have previously liked. Midtgaard points out that this can result in morally objectionable selection practices that we would not accept in real life. He argues that our preferences are often the result of years of discrimination and inequality, and therefore, we should critically examine them. Although Tinder does not track ethnicity, the outcomes can still be discriminatory, which Midtgaard believes we should attempt to counter by reflecting on our biases. The article was brought in Politiken, 13 September 2022 (behind payment wall). The article is in Danish.

Lasse Laustsen, who researches political psychology and voter behavior at Aarhus University, explains that the human political brain evolved on the savannah and functions on a smaller scale. When politics becomes too complex, we focus on individual issues and politicians rather than abstract problems and parties. Laustsen notes that physically strong men often advocate for less redistribution of resources, as they could find resources themselves in the Stone Age, while smaller men and women needed a more equal distribution. Furthermore, research shows that we often vote for individuals who physically resemble ourselves, which may stem from the advantages of having family members as leaders in early human groups.

Laustsen points out that our Stone Age brain can explain the bandwagon effect, where we are influenced by opinion polls and media moods, and that this effect can create snowball effects in election campaigns, where voters are influenced by media coverage, which in turn affects the polls. The article was brought in Kristeligt Dagblad, 27 November 2022: https://www.kristeligt-dagblad.dk/liv-og-sjael/derfor-foelger-vi-med-stroemmen-naar-valgkampen-bliver-kompliceret. The article is in Danish.

Michael Bang Petersen, a professor of political science, contributes to a global study revealing extensive discrimination against unvaccinated individuals. According to Petersen, the study shows that vaccinated people often view the unvaccinated as incompetent and untrustworthy, and this attitude can extend to societal and political rights. He explains that the negative reaction from the vaccinated towards the unvaccinated is a natural psychological response, where people perceive the unvaccinated as "free-riders" benefiting from others' responsible actions concerning public health.

Petersen warns that the strong prejudice against the unvaccinated could threaten their fundamental rights, particularly in some countries. He emphasizes that this prejudiced attitude can create additional mistrust, which may hinder effective pandemic management and leave society more polarized and divided. Petersen and his colleagues recommend that authorities avoid moral condemnation as a method to persuade people to get vaccinated, as this could exacerbate prejudices and undermine vaccination efforts. The article was brought in Daily Mail, 8 December 2022: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11510627/Covid-vaccine-snobbery-revealed-huge-global-study.html.