Opposites may attract when it comes to personal relationships. In political affairs today, however, that claim is becoming more difficult to assert.

New research shows that common ground is shrinking in politics and people on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum are more entrenched in their divergent positions than at any time in recent history.

Those conclusions are not derived only from results of traditional opinion polls. In this era of big data and cutting-edge computational techniques, scientists are modeling patterns of various human interactions to examine how those relationships shape individuals’ viewpoints, as well as change the collective attitudes and behaviors of a population over time.

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