Political Overconfidence

President Trump is not alone in stating that complex and time-consuming tasks can be accomplished easily. Is this a political phenomenon, or basic human nature?

Conservatism Predicts Lapses Back to Meat Consumption

Although those on the right eat more meat in general, some nonetheless attempt to quit. New research provides insights into why they may struggle.

Minority Growth Makes Other Minorities More Conservative

When majority groups (e.g., Whites in the US) perceive growth of minority groups they endorse more conservative positions. Is this also true for minorities?

Why Hitler Did Not Use Chemical Weapons on the Battlefield

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer recently stated (incorrectly) that Hitler did not use chemical weapons on his own people. How can psychology inform this discussion?

Race as a Social Construction, Part 2

What if Chinese people were categorized as “Black," and Japanese people as “White”?

System Justification: Why People Buy Into Social Inequality

We do not always act in the best interests of our self or our groups.

Race as a Social Construction

With the release of an autobiography by the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, a biracial South African man, there are renewed questions about how we categorize people into racial groups.

Offensive Halloween Costumes

Intergroup relations are made tense—or detrimental—when we fail to consider differing perspectives.

Is the “All Lives Matter” Slogan Racist?

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.

Did Brexit Voters Make Decision Based on Head or “Gut?"

The UK just voted to leave the European Union (EU). Such momentous votes are extremely important, yet we often decide at the last minute, and often based on emotion and intuition.

Predictors of Online Sex and Porn Consumption

US states with greater religiosity or conservatism conduct more searches for sexual content. Yet religious people consider porn addiction more problematic than racism or guns.

Meta-Dehumanization (They Think We Are Animals)

Rhetoric characterizing “others” as less human is powerful and releases negativity toward that group. But how do we react to feeling dehumanized ourselves?

Being Anti-Racist, Not Non-Racist

Some people are content to be non-racist. But is that enough? What about the importance of directly opposing prejudices you observe in others?

Political Polarization on Climate Change

Some call environmentalists “watermelons”: green on the outside, but red (Communist/Socialist) on the inside. Does pushback against environmentalists explain the left-right divide?

Advice for the Animal Rights Movement Part 2

In a previous column I gave some advice, from a psychological point of view, on how animal rights advocates can more effectively communicate their message. Here I follow up with some additional comments.

Ideology Matters (Too Much)

Historically, theorists argued that political ideology is not meaningful in our day-to-day lives. But the psychological record now demonstrates that ideology matters a great deal to our personal and social lives. In fact, some might argue that it now matters too much, influencing our basic perception and decision-making.

Attitudes Toward Asexuals (ATA) Prejudice Scale

In a past post I discussed bias against asexuals (those without enduring sexual attraction directed toward men or women). Here I discuss a newly validated scale that captures prejudice toward asexuals, providing a more nuanced understanding of biases against sexual minorities and the challenges such individuals face.

Oklahoma Fraternity Incident, Just a “Joke?"

Psychologists often study the up-side of humor (well-being, social bonding). But what are the implications of passing off derogatory communications, such as jokes or chants, as harmless and thus not to be judged seriously?

Becoming a Minority Fuels Conservatism

Psychologists are presently very interested in understanding factors that predict political ideology. A recent series of studies asks whether White Americans, when facing the future as a minority group, shift politically to the right.

Are same-sex marriages good for the economy?

With noticeable declines in the numbers of heterosexual marriages, marriages between gay couples can boost the economy among businesses linked to the wedding industry. By similarly tuning self-interests toward economic strategies that cut carbon emissions, can psychology help save the planet?

Can (Violent) Video Games Reduce Prejudice?

It is widely held that violent video games produce negative outcomes (e.g., aggression). This might be true, but can these virtual environments also allow us to play out intergroup situations in ways that could reduce prejudice?

Feeling “Torn” About Homosexuality as Modern Bias

Sometimes prejudices concern open expressions of disliking a group. But sometimes people claim to feel “torn,” “mixed,” or “ambivalent” about a group or their rights. Do such assertions genuinely represent subjectively ambivalent feelings, or might they mask darker attitudes?

Advice for the Animal Rights Movement

In a world where we eat animals, wear animals, and amuse ourselves by watching animals perform tricks for us, advancing animal rights represents a clear minority position. What does psychology teach us about influencing others, particularly when advocating a minority position?
The Meat Paradox: Loving but Exploiting Animals

The Meat Paradox: Loving but Exploiting Animals

Following cultural advances in animal rights, psychologists are increasingly asking difficult questions concerning how humans think about animals.

Homophobia Is Alive and (Un)well

Gay rights have progressed remarkably in Western countries over the past 15 years or so. But has progress hit a plateau? And what about homophobia as a global phenomenon?

Are Homophobes Secretly Attracted to Gay People?

Laypeople and theorists have long pondered whether homophobes (those openly expressing anti-gay attitudes) secretly possess attraction toward same-sex partners. In other words, do we “hate” what we secretly crave? A new study uses an implicit sexual-attraction measure to finally test this hypothesis.

Facts? No Thanks, I’ve Got Ideology

Everything these days, from healthcare to climate change to nutrition, seems not only “political” but increasingly polarized in nature. In such debates, why does ideology often take a front seat to basic facts?

Dehumanizing Others Is No “Joke”

An Italian politician recently likened a (Black) Italian government minister to an orangutan. He then passed this off as simply a joke, not a racist comment. Is dehumanization harmful? Can cavalier humour beliefs facilitate expressions of racism, or are jokes simply jokes?

Exploitation Is Exploitation, Period

In the West, we are all too comfortable living lives that come at a terrible cost to the third world, as the factory conditions in Bangladesh remind us. What psychological processes underpin this neglect?

“Don’t Humanize My Demons!”

When we dehumanize others, we see them as relatively less human than ourselves personally (and our ingroup). But we also dehumanize dehumanizers, a process I call “meta-dehumanization”, and resist seeing them in turn as human.