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

On Being Presidential - 6 Qualities and 4 Traits

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on August 28, 2016 in Just Listen
Do you agree with these 6 qualities and 4 traits as descriptive of being Presidential? If so, please add in the comments your assessment of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
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What "Make America Great Again" Means

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on August 27, 2016 in Full Living
In this political climate, and with this upcoming election, judging/mocking/shaming/hating/spewing isn’t going to get us an America that embraces and supports all its citizenry.

The Real Story Behind the Goldwater Rule

By Jonathan D Moreno Ph.D on August 27, 2016 in Impromptu Man
Only the American Psychiatric Association bars long-distance diagnosis. Why?
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How the Government Is Fighting Against the Opioid Epidemic

One of the federal government’s important roles is to take on our county’s most pressing issues and respond with solutions on a national scale.

Are Conservatives More Anti-Science Than Liberals?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in Talking Apes
Skepticism about scientific findings depends on your core beliefs, not your level of science literacy.

Is the “All Lives Matter” Slogan Racist?

By Gordon Hodson Ph.D. on August 25, 2016 in Without Prejudice
In the lead up to the 2016 US election, racial tensions are running high. Many Blacks are offended by White retorts that “All Lives Matter.” Racism may underpin this slogan.

Post-Presidency Career Advice for Obama With Lessons for All

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 25, 2016 in How To Do Life
Career ideas for the president, with implications for all of us.

9 Hidden Habits That Make Us Miserable at Work

By Nick Tasler on August 24, 2016 in Strategic Thinking
Want to be happier at work? Pick one of these habits to break.

Should We Want a President Who Can’t or Won’t Lie?

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on August 23, 2016 in Face It!
When it comes to lies, they are not all created equal. At what point do we accept that some lies are beneficial, especially when it comes to our leaders?

How Happy Are You?

If researchers really wanted to know how happy people are, they’d ask those people’s colleagues, neighbors, and family members, not the people themselves.

Nonconformity Has Counter-Intuitive Benefits, Study Finds

By Christopher Bergland on August 22, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A new study reports that going along with a group—whose viewpoints you are diametrically opposed to—triggers a physiological threat response.

Leadership Lessons From The Godfather

What can a movie about mafia bosses and gangsters teach us about leadership?

Seduced by Abandon

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on August 22, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
"Throwing caution to the winds" can be exhilarating or dangerous. In politics the idea manipulates us in wild ways.

Firebird Redux

The human spirit is imbued with an individual and social resilience worth celebrating.

What Do You Hear? Clinton, Trump, and Their Predecessors

By Gregg R. Murray Ph.D. on August 21, 2016 in Caveman Politics
What do you hear Hillz and the Donald saying? Do the data say the same thing?

The Lessons of Homelessness

Are you tired of the same old rhetoric about homelessness? Here is a different way to view the problem of homelessness.

Sea of Sadness

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on August 20, 2016 in Bear in Mind
For elephants in India, epic social changes are bringing hardships and hope.

Politics, Values, and Youth Sports

With the political blitz on “values,” where do sports fit in?

Trump´s Tweets and Twitter Psychology: You Talkin´ to Me?

Twitter is both public and personal. Facilitating interaction between political candidates and prospective voters creates synthetic intimacy which can translate into votes.

When You've Been Bad, Is it Enough to Say You're Sorry?

Regret may seem like a watered down version of an apology but, according to new research, honest feelings of regret will have more lasting effects on behavior.

The Fear Behind Women in Power

By Kimberly Key on August 19, 2016 in Counseling Keys
With a woman running for president, what kind of differences do women bring to leadership? How far have women come and where are women's rights headed?

Exercising Our Freedom and Intelligence: Part 8

By Michael Hogan Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in In One Lifespan
The future is uncertain. There is little doubt about that. Scenario-based collective intelligence design may help us to shape the future, specifically, through our innovations.

An Era of Incivility

By Saul Levine M.D. on August 18, 2016 in Our Emotional Footprint
Living with constant incivility breeds unrest, unhappiness and discord between people. This is an incremental step towards animosity and enmity, leading to aggression and violence.

All the Presidents' Men

Men need male friends. Even presidents, including the current Republican aspirant, need their friends. But the most interesting male presidential friendship was that of Lincoln.

Anti-Racist Action and Becoming Part of the Solution

For many well-intentioned white people, it is easy to slip into despair and passivity when it comes to taking action on social issues related to racism.

Is Donald Trump an Alpha Male?

Do we need to be more precise in applying terms such as “personality disorder” and “alpha male” to political candidates?

Add a Dose of Skepticism to Whatever You Believe

A finely honed doubt is as beautiful as a deeply held belief.

The Dark Side to the 2016 Olympics

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on August 17, 2016 in The First Impression
Behind the pageantry, what are some of the hidden aspects to the Olympic games, and how do they trace back to the Nazi regime?

Is It Offensive to Declare a Psychological Claim Wrong?

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on August 16, 2016 in Rabble Rouser
You might think that scientists just let the data speak. Instead, if what the data say is, "Your pet theory or claim is wrong," many scientists get very defensive and hostile.

George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” at 70

Seventy years ago, between Animal Farm and 1984, George Orwell published his famous essay, Politics and the English Language—a work that has relevance for our upcoming election.