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Shutdown Psychology Made Simple

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The best explanation of the U.S. government shutdown points to two factors. The first involves information, or what people think they know. The second involves incentives, or what motivates our elected representatives.

From decades of empirical research, we know that when like-minded people speak with one another, they tend to become more extreme, more confident and more unified -- the phenomenon known as group polarization. One reason involves the spread of information within echo chambers.