How social media shapes polarization

Jay J. Van Bavel, Steve Rathje, Elizabeth Harris, Claire Robertson, Anni Sternisko

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


This article reviews the empirical evidence on the relationship between social media and political polarization. We argue that social media shapes polarization through the following social, cognitive, and technological processes: partisan selection, message content, and platform design and algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-916
Number of pages4
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • polarization
  • politics
  • psychology
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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