WASHINGTON, D.C. — Look no further than a raucous Homeland Security hearing this week in the United States Senate on examining irregularities in the 2020 election to see partisan divisions on full display. Despite a lack of evidence to support widespread voter fraud, some Senate Republicans maintain President DonaldTrump was robbed of a second term.

What You Need To Know

  • Division and polarization are at an all-time high in the United States

  • 68% of Republicans believe the 2020 election was not free and fair

  • President Donald Trump continues repeating disputed claims of widespread voter fraud on Twitter even after the Electoral College confirmed Biden's win on Monday

  • Congress convenes on January 6 to officially receive and verify each state's electoral college votes 

"The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen," said Sen. Rand Paul, (R-Ky).

"The real change has to do with what psychologists call affective polarization. Affective polarization is not where you stand on an issue but how you feel about your side versus how you feel about the other side, the other group of partisans," said John Blanchar, a psychology professor at Swarthmore College.

Blanchar studies polarization in America. With most Republicans — an estimated 68% according to Morning Consult — saying they don't believe the 2020 presidential election was free or fair, he says it's going to require everyone to take a step back and assess how we got to such a fractious state.

"Feelings of positivity towards one's own party have not been going up, so this is totally a product of the animosity and hatred developing across the aisle in terms of how we feel about each other, not just in terms of the positions that we hold. We’ve segregated into different news sources where we are constructing our own realities that are disconnected from each other. We are operating on a different sets of facts," Blanchar said.

Blanchar says he hoped the worldwide crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic would have brought the country together but that has not occurred. He argues solely spending time with like minded people is natural and reinforcing but leads us all to become more dogmatic in our beliefs.

"I think if you could reset the situation and acknowledge not all dialogue is about debate but you reset it as one advantage that we have to talk to people who we disagree with is to figure out why they think the things they do," said Blanchar.