Show Notes

How To Detox From Toxic Political Polarization

In this episode, Columbia Prof. of psychology Peter Coleman joins Julian Adorney to discuss the concept of affective polarization and its role in fostering toxic polarization. He explains how affective polarization operates as an attractor, drawing individuals into cycles of animosity and antipathy towards opposing viewpoints. Coleman emphasizes the importance of sustained contact and engagement with individuals holding divergent political perspectives. He also discusses the need for guardrails and structural changes to combat toxic polarization effectively. The episode concludes with a call to action, encouraging listeners to participate in the Polarization Detox Challenge.


  • Affective polarization operates as an attractor, drawing individuals into cycles of animosity and antipathy towards opposing viewpoints.
  • Sustained contact and engagement with individuals holding divergent political perspectives is crucial for combating toxic polarization.
  • Guardrails and structural changes are needed to address the deep divisions and hate in society.
  • Times of destabilization present opportunities for individuals and communities to reassess their priorities and choose a more decent path forward.

Who is Peter T. Coleman?

Dr. Peter T. Coleman is Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University where he holds a joint-appointment at Teachers College and The Earth Institute. Dr. Coleman directs the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR), is founding director of the Institute for Psychological Science and Practice (IPSP), and is co-executive director of Columbia University’s Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4).   


00:00 Introduction and Gratitude
03:15 Understanding Affective Polarization
06:01 Affective Polarization as an Attractor
09:18 Complexity Systems and Affective Polarization
13:00 The Importance of Sustained Contact
21:37 The Prisoner's Dilemma in Politics
25:08 The Rise of Political Violence
27:31 The Need for Guardrails and Structural Changes
32:19 Opportunities in Times of Destabilization
38:42 Taking Action: The Polarization Detox Challenge
45:13 Conclusion and Call to Action


Guest host, Julian Adorney:

Julian Adorney is an author and speaker focused on preserving and rebuilding the West against the threats of illiberalism and affective polarization. He's written for Quillette, Queer Majority, National Review, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR) and a few other sites; and is on the Braver Angels media team. He's the founder of Heal the West, a substack movement.

Connect with Julian on (X): @julian_Liberty

What have you done today to make your life a better life? What have you done today to make the world a better place? The world is a better place if we are better people. That begins with each of us as individuals. Be kind to one another. Be grateful for everything you’ve got. Make each and every day the day that you want it to be!

Please follow The Derate The Hate podcast on:

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter(X) , YouTube

Subscribe to us wherever you enjoy your audio or directly from our site. Please leave us a rating and feedback on Apple podcasts or other platforms. Not on social media? You can share your thoughts or request Wilk for a speaking engagement on our site’s contact page: DerateTheHate.com/Contact

If you would like to support the show, you’re welcome to DONATE or shop Amazon by going through our Support Us page and I’ll earn through qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Comments & Upvotes