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

This Thanksgiving, Don’t Mistake Getting Along For Giving In

By Andrew Shtulman Ph.D. on November 22, 2017 in Inconceivable
Don’t let the pundits make you feel guilty about breaking bread with your family while refusing to break your commitment to evidence and logic.

Trump’s Age of Anxiety: Worries Pile Up, Health Will Go Down

By Daniel P. Keating Ph.D. on November 21, 2017 in Stressful Lives
If you're feeling especially stressed lately, you aren't alone. National surveys show an unprecedented rise in anxiety. Health consequences are likely but there are options.

Sexual Harassment

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on November 21, 2017 in Life After 50
In 1991, 20 million viewers watched as Anita Hill was compelled to answer humiliating questions by contemptuous male senators. Has the worm turned?

Devin Kelley and Kevin Neal Are Domestic Terrorists

How is domestic violence already a form of terrorism?

Do You Dare Talk Politics with Family at Holiday Gatherings?

Decision number 1: Can you avoid talking politics at the holiday table?

Cognitive Dissonance and the Franken Sexual Misconduct Case

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on November 18, 2017 in Presence of Mind
Democrats and feminists must honestly grapple with the uncomfortable feelings generated by the Franken case.

How “Manipulation Armies” Are Undermining Democracies

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on November 18, 2017 in Side Effects
A new report on the “closed loops” of disinformation stoking chaos and confusion almost everywhere.

Use Scientific Methods to Detect Fake News

Both fake news and science became salient issues during last year’s presidential election. Understanding the principles of scientific methods can help detect false information.

Who’s Afraid of Roy Moore? Incongruence in the Age of Trump

By Kyle D Killian Ph.D., LMFT on November 17, 2017 in Intersections
If ethical principles and moral codes really have a bearing in voters' daily lives, then they should probably not overlook the nine allegations, and problematic stances, of Moore.

Roy Moore's Systemic Danger to Our Democracy

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Intentional Insights
Concerned about Roy Moore? This post shows how his accusations are a systemic danger to our democracy.

Nonviolence in the Face of Hatred

By Miki Kashtan Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Acquired Spontaneity
The practice of nonviolence begins precisely when our actions, words, or thoughts are not aligning with our commitment. Because our capacity often lags behind our commitment.

Is Nuclear War Coming to a Community Near You?

By Alice LoCicero Ph.D. on November 15, 2017 in Paradigm Shift
When Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump trade insults, the future of the human race is at stake. Why citizens should stop this madness.

Reframing the Budget Debate

Psychological research on moral values and persuasion offers ways to shift perceptions on what constitutes government spending and make progress on reducing the federal deficit.
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Making Better Bureaucrats

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on November 15, 2017 in This Is America
Often deemed rule-obsessed, callous, petty, power-trippers, bureaucrats strive to satisfy the impossible expectations we have of them. They deserve our respect.

The Vices of Conspiracy Thinking

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on November 14, 2017 in Trust
Trying to argue with conspiracy theorists can be distressing. Instead, philosophers suggest we should talk about intellectual character, virtue, and vice.

Mass Public Shootings Are on the Rise

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in Wicked Deeds
There are powerful social forces today that promote mass murder, including financial fears, distrust of government, prejudice and racism, terrorism and constant war.

Old Marshmallow Experiment Illuminates Trump's Weaknesses

By Rebecca Coffey on November 13, 2017 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
What does research into "delay discounting" tell us about Trump's "Achilles heel?"

Kindness is a Risky Business

Kindness is the last thing many of us want to try in these ideologically-divided times - but rethinking what kindness is and how to leverage it can reveal new solutions.

Immortality—Who Will Get It, and Who Won't?

By David Niose on November 12, 2017 in Our Humanity, Naturally
If you think wealth disparity is bad now, just wait until awesome medical breakthroughs redefine the human condition—for some of us.

How to Spot Fake News

Most people aren't able to distinguish fake from real news, can you? Here's five key tips to help spot fake news.

Mass Shootings, Compassion Fatigue (or Why I Stopped Caring)

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on November 12, 2017 in Nurturing Resilience
How do we not feel helpless, or worse, blame the victims of mass shootings for the violence that killed them? Emotional numbness grows when we lack control. There are solutions.

Roy Moore, Sex, Republicans, and Religious Conservatism

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on November 11, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Roy Moore embodies an arrested sexual development common among fellow Republicans and conservative Christians.

Tired of Feeling Divided?

By Peter T. Coleman Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in The Five Percent
If you are tired of the dysfunction shackling our country and interested in promoting reasonable conversations with citizens from the other side, here are a few pointers.

The Hypocrisy of Antipsychiatry

By on November 09, 2017 in Mental Illness as Metaphor
Coercive psychiatry and antipsychiatry are two sides of the same coin.

The New Army of Depth Healers

By Kirk J. Schneider Ph.D. on November 09, 2017 in Awakening to Awe
The need for highly attuned, depth psychological facilitators to address the bitter political, social, and psychological divides today could not be greater.

Will the Republican Tax Plan Make Americans Happier?

Research suggests that overall, people are happier when the rich pay more, and everyone pays their share.

The Psychological Roots of Trumpism

Downward Comparison Theory helps to explain some of Trump's unwavering support.
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Lead or Follow? An Introvert Weighs the Challenges

By Sophia Dembling on November 08, 2017 in The Introvert's Corner
After year one of political activism, I'm wondering if I have the will to be a leader.

Difficult People Have a Place in Our Lives

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on November 07, 2017 in Living Single
A new study identifies the people in our lives who are most likely to be difficult and helps explain why they still have a place in our lives.