DRRC & IPR Political Polarization Conference

Consumer finance and new technologies: research and practice

After much consideration, we have decided to postpone the Political Polarization Conference scheduled for June 6-7, 2020 to a later date. We made this decision with the safety and wellbeing of all conference participants top of mind, and in accordance with Northwestern University’s COVID-19 guidance.

We want to thank you for your excitement in joining us in conversation around this topic, and we will notify you when we have settled on new dates for the conference.  We hope you’ll be able to join us then.

In the meantime, please direct any immediate questions to our conferences team (conferences@kellogg.northwestern.edu).

The Kellogg School of Management, the Dispute Resolution Research Center (DRRC) and the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at Northwestern University are pleased to host the Political Polarization Conference on June 6-7, 2020.  

Our goal in organizing the conference is to generate novel, integrative insights into the causes and consequences of political polarization. Toward that goal, we seek to bring together around a dozen of the most interesting and influential scholars from disciplines like political science, psychology, sociology, management, and philosophy. The conference will include topics like: the state of polarization, echo chambers, fake news, motivated cognition, moralization, and anger/civility. We will leave plenty of time for discussion, perhaps including a broad concluding discussion of how an ideal body politic should function.

June 6-7, 2020

Kellogg is postponing the conference to a later date and will reopen registration once that date has been secured. 


If you have any questions, please reach out to the DRRC.

Dispute Resolution Research Center
2001 Sheridan Rd Rm 5236
Evanston, IL 60208
Ph: 847.491.8068
Fax: 847.467.5700


Saturday, June 6, 2020

Time Event
8:15 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. 
Breakfast and Registration
8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. 
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 
Session 1:  The State of Polarization

Shanto Iyengar, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

Samara Klar, Associate Professor, School of Government and Public Policy, University of Arizona
10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 
Coffee Break
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 a.m. 
Session 2: Motivated Cognition

Peter Ditto, Professor of Psychological Science, University of California, Irving

Mary McGrath, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University 

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
Session 3: Moralization

Linda Skitka, Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago

Jay Van Bavel, Associate Professor of Psychology, New York University
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. 
Session 4: Anger and Civility

Lilliana Mason, Associate Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, College Park

Mina Cikara, Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard University 

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 
Speaker Dinner 

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

Time Event
8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. 
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 
Session 5: Fake News

Brendan Nyhan, Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

David Rand, Associate Professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT Sloan
10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 
Coffee Break
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
Session 6: Echo Chambers

Joshua Tucker, Professor of Politics, New York University

Christopher Bail, Professor of Sociology, Duke University
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
Session 7: In Pursuit of an Ideal Political System

Group discussion.  


Eli Finkel, Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University

Peter Sagal, Host, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, NPR
mosaic bar


Getting Here & Parking

Major airlines fly into both O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. O’Hare Airport is approximately 45 minutes from Kellogg and Midway Airport is approximately 60 minutes from Kellogg, but you may want to allow more time for traffic.

Taxi service from both airports can be arranged in advance of your visit for a reduced fare. Pre-arranged rides start at approximately $35 from O’Hare and $50 from Midway. For up-to-date fare information, please contact a taxi service directly. 
We are happy to provide a parking permit for visitors that drive to campus. Upon arriving, park at either the South Campus Parking Garage (1847 Campus Drive) or the North Campus Parking Garage (2311 North Campus Drive.) The North Campus Parking Garage is closer to the Global Hub. Before leaving campus make sure to ask the staff for a validated parking ticket to exit the garage.

Where to Stay

Kellogg secured a room block at a reduced rate at the Hyatt House in central Evanston.  To receive the group rate, please use the code: G-FKCT. 

Organizing Faculty

James Druckman

James N. Druckman is the Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. He is also an Honorary Professor of Political Science at Aarhus University in Denmark. His research focuses on political preference formation and communication. His recent work examines how citizens make political, economic, and social decisions in various contexts (e.g., settings with multiple competing messages, online information, deliberation). He also researches the relationship between citizens' preferences and public policy, and how political elites make decisions under varying institutional conditions

Eli Finkel

Eli Finkel -- author of the bestselling book The All-Or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work -- is a professor at Northwestern University, where he has appointments in the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management. In his role as director of Northwestern’s Relationships and Motivation Lab (RAMLAB), he has published ~150 scientific papers and is a regular contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. The Economist has identified him as "one of the leading lights in the realm of relationship psychology.”

Cynthia Wang

Cynthia Wang is the Executive Director of the Dispute Resolution and Research Center (DRRC) and a Clinical Professor of Management and Organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and a M.S. and Ph.D in Management and Organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Her research interests fall in the area of cultural and social diversity, ethical decision-making, and negotiations.