Independents often are portrayed as political free agents with the potential to alleviate the nation’s partisan divisions. The reality is that most independents are not all that “independent” politically. An overwhelming majority of independents (81%) continue to “lean” toward either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. Among the public overall, 17% are Democratic-leaning independents, while 13% lean toward the Republican Party.
Over the past 50 years – from the Silent Generation’s young adulthood to that of Millennials today – the United States has undergone various cultural and societal shifts. Now that the youngest Millennials are in their 20s, Pew Research Center has done a comprehensive update of their prior demographic work on generations. Millennials are better educated – a factor tied to employment and financial well-being – but there is a sharp divide between the economic fortunes of those who have a college education and those who don’t.
A new Pew Research Center survey finds that most Americans (73%) say colleges and universities should not consider race or ethnicity when making decisions about student admissions. Just 7% say race should be a major factor in college admissions, while 19% say it should be a minor factor. While majorities across racial and ethnic groups agree that race should not be a factor in college admissions, white adults are particularly likely to hold this view: 78% say this, compared with 65% of Hispanics, 62% of blacks and 59% of Asians.
In this episode, David McRaney sits down with psychologist Michele Gelfand and discuss her new book: Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. In the book, Gelfand presents her research into norms and a fascinating new idea. It isn’t norms themselves that predict how cultures will react, evolve, innovate, and clash -- but how different cultures value those and sanction people who violate them. She categorizes all human cultures into two kinds -- tight and loose -- and argues that all human behavior depends on whether a person lives in a tight culture or a loose one.