Essential Reads

Introducing Heterodox Academy

Organizing to Liberate Campuses and Scholarship From (Mostly Leftist) Dogma

Save Me From the Fact-Checkers

Can you be the most honest man if your story isn’t actually true?

The Qualities of Leaders

Clues about leadership from the animal world.

Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change

Five “Best Practice” Insights From Psychological Science

Recent Posts on Politics

Is Trump’s Narcissism Really a Bad Thing?

By David J Ley Ph.D. on November 29, 2015 Women Who Stray
We select leaders who tell us what we want to hear - that they have the answers and can fix things. Are we telling candidates we want them to be narcissists?

The Harmful Hypocrisy Of "The Right To Life" Movement

By Allen J Frances M.D. on November 29, 2015 Saving Normal
"Right To Lifers" fight for the premise that all life is sacred when it is in the uterus, but show callous indifference to people once they are born.

Why Don't Bankers Learn?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on November 28, 2015 Hidden Motives
Banks Keep on Incurring Massive Penalties.

A Letter from a "Trapped" Government Employee

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 28, 2015 How To Do Life
There are ways to escape from the golden handcuffs.

Thanksgrieving: How Inevitable Decline Can Make Us Grateful

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 26, 2015 Ambigamy
A grateful song I wrote for those times when it's hard to feel grateful.

Explaining Americans' Reluctance to Accept Syrian Refugees

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on November 25, 2015 Presence of Mind
The Syrian conflict has created the biggest humanitarian crisis since WWII yet over fifty percent of Americans oppose Syrian resettlement in the United States. Terror management theory, the principle of moral exclusion, and the study of prosocial behavior help explain why.

What to Do About ISIS?

By Clark McCauley Ph.D. on November 25, 2015 Friction
Iraq and Syria cannot be restored as centralized states. What's next?

Critical Thinking 101: Why Lies Travel Faster than Truth

Mark Twain said it best: "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

The Rise and Rapid Reduction of 'Rowdy' Ronda Rousey

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on November 24, 2015 Black Belt Brain
Even though we enjoy watching the best athletes demonstrate their skills, we also like to see skillful, but super-confident athletes get beaten. Is it because we cannot identify with them?

Introducing Heterodox Academy

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on November 24, 2015 Rabble Rouser
Fighting "Mirror Image McCarthyism" and Advancing Political Diversity on Campuses

Save Me From the Fact-Checkers

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on November 24, 2015 Mental Mishaps
Politicians lie. They also exaggerate and misremember. Each creates an autobiographical past that makes a great story but which probably isn’t completely true. But we are just like the lying politicians except for one critical difference.

When Ideological Differences Are Developmental Differences

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 24, 2015 Ambigamy
It's not about ideology or political theory. Through the lens of developmental psychology, today's Republican majority simply manifests immaturity. Sure, they'll cry, "hey, no fair!" but so do all children who try to stir theoretical debate when they don't get what they want.

Fearing the Wrong Things?

By David Myers Ph.D. on November 24, 2015 Talk Psych
Horrific terrorist acts abroad have sparked fears of international travel—and of Muslims and Syrian refugees—and warnings to "be aware" of risks. The psychological dynamics that drive exaggerated fears also were at work in 1942, as my family observed first hand.

Mostly Leftist Threats to Mostly Campus Speech

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on November 23, 2015 Rabble Rouser
Social justice, trigger warnings, microagressions -- mounting threats to freedom of speech on campuses and elsewhere

Problems Monitoring Terrorists/Muslims

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on November 23, 2015 Fighting Fear
Mr. Trump and Doctor Carson have suggested monitoring Muslims by staking out mosques and following anyone who wears a turban. This will not work. Muslims do not wear turbans.

The Qualities of Leaders

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on November 23, 2015 Naturally Selected
What makes a good leader? The way leaders are chosen and how they lead may not be so different between humans and others in the animal world. This is important to consider when we make decisions about our political leaders.

How to Avoid Being Deceived by Opinion Polls

Master manipulators in politics, government, business, and media use opinion polls to influence our thinking, our choices, and our behavior. Learn to know when you’re being played for a rube.

Politics, Money, and Religion: Happy Holidays

Are you stressed about spending the holidays with family? A simple strategy for dealing with 'those' relatives can help.

An Alternative Approach to ISIS

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 23, 2015 How To Do Life
Should a psychological approach to ISIS be added to the military one?

Stop Making Sense

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on November 21, 2015 Social Studies
Some historical moments are more contradictory than other. The US has entered into a state of so many competing and contradictory forces that it has stopped making sense.

The Psychology of Terrorism

By Ray Williams on November 21, 2015 Wired for Success
We need to restrain ourselves from retributive justice and focus on restorative justice, one not fueled by vengeance.

Is Keeping Muslims out of US Un-American?

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on November 20, 2015 Am I Right?
"America First" or "I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door" are competing versions of American history. Both are accurate.

The Uneven Distribution of Violence and News

Which violence counts? It is as if the entire world is complicit in some unconscious belief that violence in some parts of the world is unavoidable, part of life, and therefore not important, and only some parts of the world, those that have managed to export violence elsewhere, those are the parts of the world about whose rare acts of violence news media speak.

Who Would Jesus Stone?

By Rebecca Coffey on November 20, 2015 The Bejeezus Out of Me
Classic nonviolence is far from passive. It is smartly aggressive. To get under their oppressors’ skin, civil rights and social reform leaders have had to be psychologically astute. (“What will get their goats them this time?”). And, apparently, thinking that way works. A growing body of research suggests that nonviolence is more effective than violence.

Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change

In this article, we advance five simple but important “best practices” drawn from psychological science to help policymakers galvanize concern and thereby improve public responses to climate change.

A Warmer Embrace of Muslims Could Stop Homegrown Terrorism

When people experience a loss to their sense of personal significance—for example, through humiliation or disrespect—they seek out other outlets for creating meaning. Extremists know and exploit these vulnerabilities, targeting Muslims whose sense of significance is low or threatened.

How to Live With Terrorism: Empowering Bystanders

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on November 20, 2015 Time Out
What can we learn from a week of terror in Paris, Marseilles, Tel Aviv, Beirut and Yolo, Nigeria?

Income Inequality and Bullsh*t

By William Irwin Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 It’s Your Choice
We all need to have enough income, but enough is not determined by how much our neighbors earn. It is incumbent upon each of us to define ourselves as individuals.

The Imposter Syndrome in Progressive Leaders

Progressive political leaders have a special version of the Imposter Syndrome, a set of beliefs in public leaders that they don't deserve the power and authority that they actually have. For progressives, this often stems from a guilty over-identification with the underdog. They react my diminishing their power and status to their own detriment and that of their movement