The Religious Brain: A Default Setting?

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.

Post-Debate Spin: Left, Right, and Loyal

Joe Biden shellacked Paul Ryan in the debate last night. So did conservatives pan Ryan's performance the way liberals panned Obama's? Of course not. Here's why.

How Obama's Liberal Brain Lost The Debate

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.

Why America Changed Its Mind on Global Warming

There's been a serious political and public opinion shift about global warming over the last year, rendering it a potentially winning political issue. And how did this happen? Simple: psychology.

Why Republicans Don’t Want to Marry Democrats

Why are we so polarized--and more important for our purposes here, why would this polarization extend to non-political issues, like whether your darling daughter marries a Democrat?

Can Geography Fuel Ideology?

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.

Do Liberals and Conservatives Reason Differently?

We know conservatives score higher on the need for closure. We also know that they are more loyal to their group, tribe, team. And these are not unrelated: Belonging to a group provides epistemic closure—certainty, because you adopt that group’s views and membership in it provides you with a sense of stability and belonging.

Introducing Your Brain on Politics

This is my inaugural post here at Psychology Today, and I naturally thought I’d start by telling you a bit more about myself, and the kind of content you can expect here at "Your Brain on Politics."