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Rigged: What can go wrong when a word becomes linked with a political identity

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The History Behind Three Words

If it sounds like political parties speak different languages, social scientist Dannagal Young says they do. She says politicians repeat certain words to speak to their base and move people to action.

About Dannagal Young

Dannagal Young is a professor of communications at the University of Delaware. She is author of Wrong: How Media, Politics, and Identity Drive Our Appetite for Misinformation and Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States. In her work, she researches how digital and traditional media intersect with human psychology, and how our information landscape is affecting democratic health and societal wellbeing.

Young is also a professional improvisational comedian. In 2018, she wrote and performed in Dr. Young Unpacks, a live, one-woman show diving deeply into the psychology of media, politics and pop culture.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Harsha Nahata and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHourand email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

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Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Harsha Nahata
Harsha Nahata (she/her) is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She is drawn to storytelling as a way to explore ideas about identity and question dominant narratives.