The Psychology of Politics

The world of politics reflects human nature in all its rational and irrational glory. How we govern ourselves and make decisions, use and often abuse power, reflect our deepest fears at least as much as our aspirations and ideals. Because many of the world's biggest problems are behavioral in nature, policies, to be successful, must grapple with our innermost attitudes.

Recent posts on Politics

Facts, Truths, Beliefs, Opinions, and "Alternative Facts"

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on March 25, 2017 in Think Well
In this time of "alternative facts," it's helpful to consider the difference among actual facts, truths, beliefs, preferences and opinions.

True Believers and Donald Trump

A True Believer who has passionate faith in a fundamentalist credo or a charismatic leader, totally accepting the promises and predictions as absolute truth, is often disillusioned

Beef Down, Atmosphere Up

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on March 25, 2017 in The Green Mind
You can feel the benefits of eating less meat, but you should also be aware that it’s a boon to the planet.

Donald Trump and Addictive Behaviors, Part II

By Stanton Peele on March 24, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Donald Trump's behavior in the aftermath of defeat is even more worrying than his bullying and gloating in victory.

With Two Sides to Everything It’s Dangerous to Ignore One

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 24, 2017 in Ambigamy
Here's a simple trick for making decisions you won't regret.

Is It the Business of the University to Silence Voices?

The issue of freedom of expression is coming to a head on our campuses.

The Peril of Ignoring Personality in Politics and Society

By Stanton Peele on March 24, 2017 in Addiction in Society
People differ in their basic outlooks, personalities, and performance. While much social and psychological research supports this point of view, we ignore it -- disastrously.

The War is ON, and Nature Will Not Lose—People Will

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in The Green Mind
Who will be the losers of Trump’s war on nature? Humans.

Is Trump a Conservative Only by Accident?

By Alfie Kohn on March 23, 2017 in The Homework Myth
Narcissism and hypercompetitiveness, like certain other personality features, actually can predict political positions.

The Psychology Behind London's Terrorist Attacker

A recent study found that much tactical planning goes into lone-actor terrorist events.

Science Is Not Political

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on March 22, 2017 in Mental Mishaps
Nonetheless, science is embroiled in politics. Why is science so controversial, and why are the scientists planning a big march?

The 3 C’s of Engaging Political Discourse and Behavior

Without a commitment to civility, compassion, and the common good it is hard to image a hopeful future for any of us.

Trump's First 60 Days

By Allen J Frances M.D. on March 21, 2017 in Saving Normal
On our democracy and our societal sanity

We Are All Mojo Addicts

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 21, 2017 in Ambigamy
We all gravitate toward self-revitalizing signs of hope, and in the process, we generate social and interpersonal congestion.

Safe Spaces and Free Speech

Find out what students think about this polarized issue, and give us your own thoughts on the matter.

Want Insights on Executive Psychology? Ask a Wise Old Jew

By Steven Berglas Ph.D. on March 20, 2017 in Executive Ego
Leaders of all kinds would do well to heed what many grandfathers could tell them.

Killing Us Softly

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on March 20, 2017 in Obesely Speaking
From our brains to our veins - the real problem with politics.

Can Somebody Please Teach President Trump Civility?

Previously immune from the consequences of his own instincts, President Trump doesn't act like an adult.

Rachel Maddow Needs to Better Understand Her Audience

If reporters and journalists are to relate effectively to their target audience, they must be empathic, always attempting to perceive the world through the eyes of their viewers.

Lady Justice Is Not Color-Blind

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on March 19, 2017 in Wicked Deeds
The massive U.S. prison population does not mirror the demographic profile of U.S. society. There is a stark pattern of racial disparity in the prison population.

Intellectual Humility Augments Nonpartisan Open-Mindedness

Regardless of your party or religious beliefs, new research from Duke shows that intellectual humility may be the key to breaking down barriers that divide us.

Can a Country Lacking Empathy Toward Others Be Great?

Caring for others and a commitment to fairness are essential to a healthy, civil, and just society.

The Sustaining Fires of Standing Rock: A Movement Grows

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on March 17, 2017 in Dangerous Ideas
Oil profiteers have awakened a movement that combines a commitment to addressing the trampled rights of Native Americans with a reinvigorated call for climate justice.

Why You Keep Rereading Some Sentences

Puzzled at the ballot box? You're not alone.

Patient in Chief

By Craig Malkin Ph.D. on March 16, 2017 in Romance Redux
Diagnosing Donald Trump from afar comes with a cost—including further dividing the country. Understand the debate and the one way we might heal as a nation.

Addicted to Hate

By Donna Flagg on March 15, 2017 in Office Diaries
Can our souls survive the current political landscape?

When It Comes to Health Care Reform

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on March 15, 2017 in Innovation You
Innovation will matter more than politics.

Silencing Is Golden: The Chilling Dogma of AntiNormalization

Many college students are unable to debate bad ideas because they aren't learning the difference between a firmly held opinion and a self-evident truth.

How Would Trumpcare Affect Mental Health Care?

People addicted to opioids and rural Americans would lose "big league"

How to Talk About Politics in a Post-Truth World

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Political discussions are increasingly devolving into accusations of “lying" and "fake news.” How do we have real conversations in this world of “alternative facts"?