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

Matthew Brady/ Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln's Reading List for a Divided Nation

What were the key books and documents that guided Lincoln toward his unique Presidency?

Mom? Dad? Can I Have Lunch with a Nazi?

If your child asked if it was okay to have lunch with a stranger who is a Nazi or KKK, chances are you would say “No.” So, is your child at risk for exposure to a hate group?

Mind the Gap

When those who fall outside of the dominant culture are judged because they fall outside of the dominant culture, are they given an equal opportunity?

Male Risk of Autism: No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Stigmatizing autism research as "sexist" for finding a gender difference in risk is not going to help us discover the truth about it.

The One Thing Trump Got Right on Charlottesville

Trump got almost everything wrong, except this one thing

What Leads to Cooperation and Competition?

By Peter T. Coleman Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in The Five Percent
What leads to cooperation or competition in the first place? Exploring 10 big ideas on peace and justice from Morton Deutsch.
By Lizbeth Jacobs, with permission

The Virtues of Science-Based Thinking

By Mona S Weissmark Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in Justice Matters
Did science-based thinking help pave the way for the Gates Foundation motto, “All lives have equal value"?

Rising Toxic Masculinity and Authoritarianism in America

By Ray Williams on August 17, 2017 in Wired for Success
Toxic masculinity, authoritarianism, and the militarization of America threaten the foundations of democracy.

Where Do You Really Stand in the Wake of Charlottesville?

By Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in Laugh, Cry, Live
Following the Charlottesville riots, reactions are disturbingly mixed. Here’s how to strengthen your thinking about the effects of racism.

Careers for Data-Oriented People

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in How To Do Life
The third in a series on interesting careers.

A Moral Compass for Troubling Times

We need a clear moral compass during these complicated times.

Taking Care of Yourself and Others During Racial Trauma

By Mariel Buque M.A. on August 16, 2017 in Unpacking Race
Taking care of yourself and others during racial trauma: a guide for healing in the face of race-based turmoil.

Careers for People People

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 15, 2017 in How To Do Life
The second in a series on interesting careers.

Will Trump's Twitter Feed Have Unexpected Boomerang Effects?

By Christopher Bergland on August 15, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Will President Trump's latest Tweets directed at American CEOs result in unexpected outcomes? The theory of psychological reactance helps to explain some of the dynamics at play.

On This Father’s Day

By The Research Lab on August 15, 2017 in The Fundamentals
We need to take a hard look at child support policies. By Robert Crosnoe, Ph.D.

Coal Miners and Resilience

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on August 15, 2017 in Nurturing Resilience
Making families and communities resilient when industries are in decline is possible but we have to give people the resources they need to build new lives.

Is There a "Superior” Sex?

Whether we are talking about academic, emotional, or social success, young males these days are struggling. Let’s acknowledge and address this problem.

How to Get Elected as a Democrat: Three Winning Memes

By Stanton Peele on August 15, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Each party rejects the other's key themes. But there are three ideas that cannot be defeated in contemporary America. Support these three "memes" and, sure as shooting, you're in.

11 Careers for Word People

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 15, 2017 in How To Do Life
The first in a series on interesting careers.
Nancy F. Knapp

It's Poverty, Stupid!

Billions spent to raise U.S. reading scores have had little, if any, effect. Is the money misspent? Maybe, but there is another major factor holding us back.

Why Your Sex Life Stinks—Yes You, Capitalist Tool

By Stanton Peele on August 14, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Your lousy sex life is likely due to your overachieving participation in the capitalist system. Just ask women who have lived under both communism and capitalism.

Death and the Risk-taker

By George Michelsen Foy on August 14, 2017 in Shut Up and Listen!
Philosopher Anne Dufourmantelle, who criticized the safe life, is killed saving children from drowning

Responding to Hate: Should We Just “Love One Another”?

Is "just love one other" a solution to rise of hate in the United States? Or do we need to take a deeper look at issues of social justice and human rights?

Why Trump's Comments About Charlottesville Matter

Trump's choice not to immediately denounce white supremacists for their views and their violence was dangerous.

Charlottesville and Self-Segregation

No, Trump,"hatred, bigotry violence" steming from conflict that's become chronic due to self-segregation by straight white Chrisitans is not from "many sides, on many sides."

Blood Spills Over a Statue of Lee

By David Niose on August 13, 2017 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Why would blood spill over a statue of a Civil War general? Because public displays validate ideas.

Diversity Includes Intellectual Diversity

James Damore, an engineer with Google, was fired for sending out a memo suggesting that our understanding of human nature should inform corporate policy. We have a long way to go.

Personality and Potential Nuclear Confrontation

By Ian H. Robertson Ph.D. on August 12, 2017 in The Stress Test
The possible catastrophe of nuclear war rests on the psychology of just two men

The Psychology of the New McCarthyism

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on August 11, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
On the rising threat to science and basic human rights in America.

How Facing Nuclear Destruction Could Make Us Wiser.

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on August 11, 2017 in ExperiMentations
We are apparently in a nuclear standoff. Do we find ourselves here again because we can't cope with death anxiety? Terror management theory informs the discussion.