A highly political environment may encourage competition, active involvement in local government and participation in the community, but it can also cause increased friction and an overly divisive dynamic. American politics have a reputation for being vitriolic and often dividing those who would otherwise get along.
Psychology Today reports that not only are politics influenced by the brain, but they can also influence brain function. People often lament that election season gives them a headache, but neuropsychologists have found significant evidence that the saying may be more literal than figurative. Living in a highly political environment can increase stress and cause tension between people who would otherwise be able to get along. Because politics bring highly charged values to the surface in a way that forces people to rally behind a cause, it is difficult to remain emotionally neutral.
CNN examined the nature of negative politics and showed that although many people complain about negative election ads, the ads are overwhelmingly effective. Although a political environment may increase stress and cause friction within communities, there is also significant evidence that people enjoy political tension to a certain degree. Within reason, a political community could lead to a frenzied exchange of ideas, conversation and more active community members.