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 Political Uses of Psychiatric Labels

The "Goldwater Rule" and the psychiatrization of sociopolitical conflict.

Codifying Discrimination: Trump’s Anti-Transgender Policy

Why President Trump’s policy banning transgender Americans from military service promotes a culture of intolerance and is fundamentally flawed.

What To Do When Someone You Love Votes For Someone You Hate

By Loren Soeiro, Ph.D. ABPP on July 25, 2017 in I Hear You
America's political landscape is deeply divided, and sometimes our families and friendships are, too. Here's how to talk to people whose political opinions you can't understand.

Why Black and Latinx Health Matters During an ACA Repeal

By Mariel Buque M.A. on July 25, 2017 in Unpacking Race
Why Black and Latinx health matters during an ACA repeal.

Beyond the Bystander Effect

By Cameron Brick, Ph.D. on July 24, 2017 in Grasping Risk
Are you more likely to recycle if someone is watching? It may depend on your identity
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National Security Act of 1947 Has Bipartisan Roots

By The Research Lab on July 24, 2017 in The Fundamentals
We need bipartisanship today, and every day. By J. Paul Pope

Making Healthy Choices

A third of Americans are obese and consumers spend more than $50 billion on weight loss. The reasons for the obesity epidemic may surprise you. Hint: Big Brother is trying to help.

How To Explain How Genes Affect Politics

How do genes affect political attitudes and behavior? At least one guy knows how to explain it.

Besides Religion, Immutable Nature Is Key to Civil Rights

Confusing "immutable nature" with "lifestyle choices" leads to disrespect, oppression, and "slippery slopes."

Unpacking David Lynch's Twin Peaks, The Return

By Judith Eve Lipton M.D. on July 22, 2017 in Peace and War
David Lynch's extraordinary TV series carries a serious message. It may also be the most ingenious and creative video of all time.

Privilege?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 22, 2017 in How To Do Life
A debate: Should society's Haves redistribute more of their assets?

CEOsiopaths, the Fanatic Formula, and Why We’re in This Mess

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 21, 2017 in Ambigamy
Are we playing or replacing the game? In politics, that's a hard distinction to keep straight. The Fanatic Formula and CEOsiopathy help explain why.

Why Brilliant Girls Tend to Favor Non-STEM Careers

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 20, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
If there are bona fide gender differences in preferences and interests, equal opportunities may never translate into equal outcomes.
U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO BY AIRMAN ISAAC JOHNSON

Mental Health Stigma in Healthcare

Access to mental health and substance abuse care is at risk.

Perfect Suicide?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 19, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story about hubris, a future president, and nuclear war.

Avoiding Political Precommitment

Warning! Your worldview may be undermining reason-based decision-making. This article can help you steer clear of that problem.

What's With the Emerging Gender Gap in Social Psychology?

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 18, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
Are you concerned about the gender gap in scientific fields, because such gaps reflect discrimination? Then you might want to consider this.

President Trump's Most Dangerous Enemy

By Paul Siegel Ph.D. on July 17, 2017 in Freud Lives
President Trump reveals his mind just about every time he says or does something extreme.

Stand Up For Civility

If we all do our part to reinforce civil behavior and provide corrective feedback for uncivil behavior we may help to turn our increasingly uncivil community into a more civil one.

Ethics and Honesty in an Age of Alternative Facts

Feeling ethically unmoored in the era of "post-truth" and "alternative facts?" Perhaps constructivist psychology can help!

Gender Bias in Science?

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 14, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
Where is the biggest, baddest, bias in social science on politicized topics?

What’s in It for Women? Vs. What’s in It for My Husband?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 14, 2017 in Living Single
A new study suggests that single women think differently than married women in a way that helps explain why they vote reliably for Democrats and married women do not.

The Invisible Crisis that Threatens the Auto Industry

By Jeff DeGraff Ph.D. on July 13, 2017 in Innovation You
China’s expenditures for research and development, and the patents awarded for innovations, have significantly outpaced our own.

Creating Safe Spaces

The idea of creating a safe space is well-intentioned. But creating a safe space takes work.

The Conflict Over Russia and Trump Family Values

By Stanton Peele on July 11, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Values determine behavior. The way to understand the current administration, and especially the dispute about collaborating with the Russians, is to understand Trump family values.

Marijuana Legalization and Answers to Our "Drug Problems"

Drugs & drug policy evoke strong opinions. At stake are issues of personal freedom, public health, racial equality, public safety, costs, & large financial profits.

What Happened To Moderation, Civility, and Compromise?

How polarized are we, and what can we do to reclaim the democratic virtues of moderation, civility, and compromise?

We Stand at a Difficult Moment in History

Did Anxiety Help Donald Trump Become President?

Holding the Right People Accountable for Vaccination Deaths

We must face uncomfortable truths if we want to reduce sources of medical error.

Rallying the Troops Versus Quieting the Indignation

By Gregory R. Maio Ph.D. on July 10, 2017 in Attitude Check
Is open-mindedness enough to make us more tolerant of other groups?