Laura Osborne

Poles Apart

Poles Apart

Why People Turn Against Each Other, and How to Bring Them Together


Why do people become divided?
What steps can we all take to reduce hostility and bring about understanding?

In Poles Apart, an expert on polarisation, a behavioural scientist and a professional communicator explain why we are so prone to be drawn into rival, often deeply antagonistic factions. They explore the shaping force of our genetic make-up on our fundamental views and the nature of the influences that family, friends and peers exert. They pinpoint the economic and political triggers that tip people from healthy disagreement to dangerous hostility, and the part played by social media in spreading entrenched opinions. And they help us to understand why outlooks that can seem so bizarre and extreme to us seem so eminently sensible to those who hold them.

Above all, they show what practical and effective steps we can all take to narrow divisions, build respect for others, and create a greater degree of common understanding.
'It's a fascinating read, which will help anyone who wants to step out of the polarisation cycle and become part of the solution.' Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind and The Happiness Hypothesis