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

5 Reasons We Tolerate Bullying Leaders

We have all encountered them at work or seen them in the political arena: Leaders who are essentially bullies. Why do we give bullies such power over us?

Is Donald Truly Delusional? Part 2

In many instances, we find ample evidence that the facts are not as Mr. Trump insists they are.

The Psychological Roots of Our Current Hypocrisy Epidemic

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in Ambigamy
We find it hard anxious work to seek the wisdom to know the difference between what to constrain and what to set free. Hypocrisy is the easy alternative to that hard work.

The New Ambivalence for Warm Weather

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in The Pursuit of Peace
We may be bearing witness to the dawning of a new human experience, one in which we both enjoy unseasonable warmth and also feel something may be wrong with the climate.

What Happens When Narcissism Turns Malignant

Narcissism is one of the Dark Triad traits that also include psychopathy and Machiavellianism. New research that sadism brings its own unique contribution to the equation.

Post Election Stress Disorder: Is It a Thing?

The APA just released their Stress in America survey. Results suggest we are stressed out, especially over politics. Perhaps Post Election Stress Disorder is a thing after all!

Could Thinking Positively Be Dangerous Right Now?

Have you started opening the newspapers each day with a sense of dread and disbelief about that latest actions of President Trump and his administration?

What's Ailing Fifty Shades of Grey?

By Stephen Snyder M.D. on February 20, 2017 in SexualityToday
Christian Grey’s dominant tendencies worked as erotica during the Obama years. But many women may soon find egalitarianism and restraint looking better and better.

I Called the Trump Presidential MO Years Ago

By Stanton Peele on February 20, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Donald Trump practiced his exact method for making the United States a totalitarian state more than five years ago, as I detailed for Psychology Today.

Are Refugees a Threat to Americans?

Are refugees a threat to the safety of Americans? Research suggests we needn't be afraid.

Americans Just Broke a New Record for Stress and Anxiety!

In January 2017, for the first time, the American Psychological Association's Stress in America survey found a statistically significant increase in stress and anxiety in America.
'Green Whistle', Steven Depolo, CC 2.0

Whistleblowing, Civil Disobedience, and Democracy

Was it okay for government officials to blow the whistle on National Security Advisor Michael Flynn? This blog looks at three key concepts.

Navigating the Swamp of Politics in a Relationship

By Dianne Grande Ph.D. on February 19, 2017 in In It Together
Do You and Your Partner Disagree About Politics? Ways to Cope With the Challenges
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The Behavioral Side of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

The tendency to engage in "mental accounting" can help government to target assistance where it is intended.

Declinism: Why You Think America is in Crisis

Is America really on the brink of disaster? Studies show most people feel things are bad and getting worse. Declinism, based on cognitive bias, explains why.

Why the "Like" Button May Be Killing Activism

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Is all the liking, retweeting, and commenting going on in American politics actually doing any good? Or are we just indulging in a form of entertainment and self-aggrandizement?

The President and the Vice of Pride

By Michael W. Austin Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Ethics for Everyone
A medieval monk assesses the president.
fotolia, used with permission

What’s Needed in These Uncertain Times? Maybe More Empathy.

By Allison Carmen on February 17, 2017 in The Gift of Maybe
During uncertain times, it can be hard to be empathetic to another's point of view, but empathy makes us wiser and more strategic, and it can even change how we view something.

Quiz Time!

By Robert J King Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Hive Mind
The Trump regime just issued a preposterous so-called survey which is so riddled with error that I am using it as an end of term quiz for psychology research methods class.

Hungry? No You're Not! A Working Example of the I-M Approach

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 16, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Ever been told you are wrong when you know you are right, or felt like your point of view is not respected? This is happening now in the USA with potentially devastating results.

Donald Trump as the Fisher King: #DonaldAreYouOkay?

Is Donald Trump the Fisher King? Are we all like the Grail Knight, forgetting to ask the crucial question?

Trumpaholics Anonymous

By Robert J Landy Ph.D. on February 16, 2017 in Couch and Stage
An imagined group of Donald Trump addicts convenes in a church basement.

Is Donald Truly Delusional?

What can we tell about such a powerful public person who makes so many startling and often preposterous statements and draws factually unsupportable conclusions?

Christian Ethics and Refugees

By Michael W. Austin Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Ethics for Everyone
To simply dismiss all of the world’s refugees because of some misguided ideas about heaven, or the false gods of safety or Christian nationalism, is simply unacceptable.

The Con of Propaganda

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Insight Therapy
If you don’t hear much about propaganda, that’s what you’re hearing.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

By Dean Olsher MA, MT-BC on February 15, 2017 in A Sound Mind
Meeting life’s challenges head-on allows us to not be crushed by anxiety. It is this struggle that gives our lives meaning.

What Do We Do When Our Reasons Seem Weak?

By Gregory R. Maio Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Attitude Check
Why is the gap between political viewpoints growing larger? Mechanisms for reducing attitude uncertainty may be part of the answer.

Playing With Politics vs. Playing Politics

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Play in Mind
Is the game of politics play?

Fake News & "Alternative Facts": The Decline of Rationality

By Ray Williams on February 14, 2017 in Wired for Success
We are inundated with waves of anti-expert, and anti-science information, where opinions in the form of “alternative facts” and fake news are being promoted as the truth.

People Mistrust Science in General, But Not Specific Studies

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 13, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
This has been a difficult era for science in the public eye. How does the uncertainty of science affect people's trust in it?