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

The Psychology Behind How Young People Vote

Young people will have more power to influence U.S. elections and policy than at any other time in recent history. How do they vote differently from older adults?

Eight Major Problems for Women on the Job

Are you female, and frustrated by your slow advancement at work? Here are roadblocks you don't see.

When Diversity Is Wrong

We take religion too seriously. If all religions are false, then they should all be excluded from our public life.

Transhumanism May Change Racism in the Future

Despite decades of progress, racism and bigotry are still prevalent in the United States. Coming transhumanism technology might help us all get along better.

In Politics, Is It Always Good to Be a Woman?

Should Hillary play the Woman Card or the Human Card? Counteracting the stereotype of the female political candidate.

The Suppression of Individual Liberty

Humans are the only animals with free will. With freedom comes responsibility and despite so much perceived “freedom,” many are unhappy. Loss of individual liberty may be to blame

September 11th, Evolution, and the Face of Hell

September 11, 2001 showed us the darkest side of our nature. The evolutionary perspective can help us understand why.

PC: That Powerful Term That No One Bothers To Define

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 20, 2016 in Ambigamy
Accusing someone of being PC has become just another way of saying, "The problem is you, not me. I'm not insensitive; you're hypersensitive." Here's a better definition.

Charisma and Vision

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on May 20, 2016 in Hot Thought
Charisma and vision are important characteristics of leaders such as Justin Trudeau and Steve Jobs. Both are intensely emotional.

The Most Important Quality of a President: Temperament

The words candidates choose, and how and when they use them, are important indicators of temperament, a crucial characteristic of US Presidents.

The Evolutionary Psychology of Humility

Stewardship is broadly valued in others - just as selfishness is broadly repulsed. Here’s why.

Is Hillary an Enabler?

Standing by your man — is it an act of weakness?

Calling the Holocaust "Bullying" Is Offensive

By Izzy Kalman on May 18, 2016 in Resilience to Bullying
Experts who call the Holocaust "bullying" are wrong. They are trivializing genocide and catastrophizing bullying. Genocide is actually victim behavior.

The Skullduggery of Politicians

Frequent stories about politicians who engage in illicit acts serve to reinforce our mistrust and cynicism, but whether they are more so inclined than anyone else is debatable.

The Kelly Trump Rematch - If I Were Megyn Kelly

A mistake stops being a mistake when you learn the lesson it is trying to teach you and correct it going forward so that you don't repeat it.

A Message to Clinton, Trump and Sanders

We need high goals. We need lofty aims that give us hope, lofty things we can set out to achieve. A nation that looks up goes up. A nation that looks down.

The Manliness of Donald Trump

Not since Ronald Reagan has America had a manly president, and maybe that’s a good thing. Trump’s “us vs. them” mentality appeals to our visceral, unthinking instincts.

Who Deserves Healthcare and Unemployment Benefits?

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on May 16, 2016 in Pop Psych
Understanding why people often hold fundraisers for cancer but not for unemployment

Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Electing a woman president would be truly revolutionary.

Donald, people who live in glass houses shouldn't name call

Will she do everything she can to resist the ever-so-tempting, but career-ending response of, “You Mr. Trump are an ignorant pr—k!” from a Megan Kelly?

Does Happiness Really Come From Within?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 13, 2016 in Living Single
What's wrong with believing that happiness comes from within?

How to Not Be Fooled by Jerks. Or Become One

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 12, 2016 in Ambigamy
New studies suggest that gullibility can be gauged by one's respect for nonsense that's all dressed up. Here are four tools for undressing it.

“Normal Barbie” Challenges Body Ideals

Should dolls represent 'real' people? Some believe that it is essential to resist the thin ideal.

Rocking the Vote: Is Trump Psychology Flash Over Substance?

Does Donald Trump have star power or staying power? Is Trump psychology a case of flash over substance?

5 Better Ways to Deal With Disappointment

After suffering a disappointment, it's important to let go of negative feelings. What's the best way to do this?
Aniwhite/Shutterstock

When Intelligence Flourishes, the Questions Get Tougher

Human and machine intelligence are flourishing. Is our wisdom keeping pace?

Making Sense of the Moment We're In

Are the relentless shocks of our present moment wearing you out? Seeing the big picture can help us all navigate—and thrive—through these uncertain times.

The Star Spangled Banner: Just What Are We Singing About?

By Hank Davis on May 10, 2016 in Caveman Logic
Before we call it Patriotism, does anybody even know what the words to the Star Spangled Banner are all about? And does anyone dare sing it in public anymore without lip-synching?

Homelessness: What the Research Gets Wrong

By focusing on what is wrong with "the homeless, however, we risk following the classic steps of blaming the victim

Why Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get You Down

Economist Heather Boushey demonstrates that paid sick days, family and medical leave, and child care can empower and support workers - and are also good for the American economy.