The Psychology of Politics

The world of politics reflects human nature in all its rational and irrational glory. And we have witnessed remarkable times in recent government. How we govern ourselves, make decisions, use and abuse power, all reflect our deepest fears at least as much as our aspirations and ideals. Many of the world's biggest problems are behavioral in nature. Therefore, policies, to be successful, must grapple with our innermost attitudes. Political psychology is a burgeoning field that examines behavior to better inform policy and leadership.

Recent posts on Politics

What Is China's Current Attitude Concerning Dogs?

By Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC on February 21, 2018 in Canine Corner
In modern China attitudes toward dogs are complex and varied. They have changed significantly over historical and modern times.

The Paradox of White Women Voters

Married white women may be persuaded to focus on the financial futures of their daughters instead of their husbands if the right social science arguments are used.

The Racial Politics of Black Panther

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D. on February 20, 2018 in Between the Lines
Want to delve a little deeper into the Black Panther's racial symbolism? Both the characters and story arc are ripe for unpacking.

We are Missing Decades of Research on Gun Violence

By Joanne Bagshaw Ph.D. on February 19, 2018 in The Third Wave
Gun violence in America is a national public health crisis and we need research informed solutions to keep our children safe.

"Baldy" Donald Trump

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on February 18, 2018 in Fighting Fear
An account, referencing the bible, of the possible consequences of calling people names.

"Make America Great Again," like Reagan and Clinton

An examination of President Trump's campaign slogan reveals roots with Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and a chance to define our own future with equality.

The Shock We Share

We are all affected by this week's shocking news about another school shooting. Here are suggestions about how we can engage in compassionate witnessing.

Death By Irony in Modern America

By David Niose on February 18, 2018 in Our Humanity, Naturally
As we watch another tragedy unfold, the inconsistencies of our culture are harder to avoid.

Rules of Engagement

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on February 17, 2018 in One Among Many
When the belief in the gun becomes a sacred value, it is time to switch religions.

On Gun Rights in America

By Thomas Hills Ph.D. on February 16, 2018 in Statistical Life
The American Constitution is based on "We the people," because it is about valuing people's life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. God did not grant these rights, people did.

Gun Violence? We Need to Start Listening to Each Other

By Michael Mascolo Ph.D. on February 16, 2018 in Values Matter
Yet another school shooting. But attacking "the other side" isn't going to get you what you want...

Mass Shootings: What Role Do Guns Play?

Is it true the mental health concerns are the cause of mass shooting? Or is it bullying, video games, or hate? And what is the role of guns?

The Mythology of 'The Lone Wolf'

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on February 15, 2018 in The First Impression
What does social science add to the dialogue regarding mass public shootings? Why are these findings largely neglected by our political institutions?

Differences in Grief Expression

Dismissing people's "thoughts and prayers" will backfire as a persuasion tactic.

Speeches for School Shootings

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on February 15, 2018 in Addiction in Society
Every mass killing is followed by the same set speeches, interviews, and narratives.

Profiling Politicians’ Personalities: Are Experts Biased?

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on February 15, 2018 in Attraction, Evolved
New research suggests that how we perceive the personality of our leaders is colored by our own politics.

Mental Health and School Shootings

A mountain of studies have demonstrated that mental health problems are increasing. This may partly be why mass shootings have become normalized. We can do better.
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How to Think About Terrorism

By Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. on February 15, 2018 in Anxiety Files
The terrorists want us all to be afraid. But should we?

My Father Was A Gambling Man

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on February 14, 2018 in Pop Psych
As younger children play more games with in-game purchases available, debates have begun to arise over whether games with loot boxes should be banned from their hands.

Jordan Peterson’s Flimsy Philosophy of Life

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on February 14, 2018 in Hot Thought
Some people are taking Jordan Peterson to be profound about the nature of morality, reality, and life. How well do his views stand up to philosophical scrutiny?
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Psychiatry in Politics and Political Psychiatry

As scientific fields describing natural phenomena, medicine and psychiatry have the ability to serve as neutralizing grounds for politics.

The Science of Sustaining Peace

By Peter T. Coleman Ph.D. on February 13, 2018 in The Five Percent
The scientific evidence suggests that living in peace is both possible and replicable.

What Political System Rules Your Psyche?

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 13, 2018 in Feeling Our Way
Since we are not unitary selves, but an assortment of response repertoires, emotions, and goals, we need some system of government to secure the blessings of liberty.

How Politicians' Statements Register in the Partisan Brain

By Gregg R. Murray Ph.D. on February 11, 2018 in Caveman Politics
Kneejerk partisanship is running amok these days. But do political partisans really only react reflexively?

Hardening of the Smarteries

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 10, 2018 in Ambigamy
Cultishness is not a product of what you believe but how you clutch and strut it. Here's a test for figuring out who has gone cultish with a few comments on why people do.

Flaws in the Algo: How Social Media Fuel Political Extremism

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on February 09, 2018 in Side Effects
New research documents just how forcefully social media algorithms are driving polarization.

Techlash: Foxconn's Wisconsin Con & Bitcoin's Carbon Bubble

More and more Americans are getting mad about the massive losses to environmental well-being hidden by all the wizardry and hype surrounding digital devices and cryptocurrencies.

Don’t Let the Government (or Anyone) Pressure You to Marry

Why choose only traditional marriage when there are so many other options?
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A Psychiatrist’s Duty to Society

A physician must recognize responsibility to patients first and foremost, as well as to society.

Do Conservatives Have a Monopoly on Antiscientific Thinking?

In recent years, conservatives have rejected scientific consensus on global warming and evolution. But new psychological research asks: Are both sides selectively antiscientific?