The political world permeates people's everyday experiences. In this article, we review recent research concerning how the pursuit, creation, and maintenance of shared reality underlie important political phenomena. We address three general points. First, we discuss how the desire to share reality shapes the political attitudes that people adopt. Second, we outline how the existence of competing representations of reality can lead to prolonged political conflicts that are challenging to overcome. Third, we consider how and why shared reality contributes to social stasis and change. A scientifically informed understanding of how shared reality shapes the political arena will enrich psychological research and facilitate addressing social issues.
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