In a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, a team of scientists at Boston University find that even professional physicists are susceptible to one of the key mental defaults of religion--namely, teleological or purpose-oriented thinking.
Obama's debate performance was a textbook case of a kind of liberal psychology that mars effective communication. If you are too tolerant of and sensitive to nuance and ambiguity, it is easy to get mired in details and complexities and fail to have a message, or to demonstrate what others perceive to be decisive leadership.
Cultures, it would seem, adapt to their environments. Political, economic, and environmental stresses are crucial to the kinds of cultures that nations develop, even in cases in which those stresses happened centuries ago.