Politics Essential Reads

Striving To Maximize Both Charm and Chutzpah

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 28, 2015 in Ambigamy
Etiquette is no longer enough to make a gentleman or gentlewoman, and actually never was. Aspiring gents must strive to maximize etiquette and character, humility and boldness, always seeking for better ways to speak their minds and be heard.

Are We Finally Ready to Invest in People, Not Prisons?

For too long, he said, harsh mandatory sentencing guidelines, mostly involving drug use, have been disproportionately affecting minorities and the poor, and costing both those who are imprisoned and the society paying for that imprisonment far too much.

Evolutionary Psychology 2.0

Evolutionary psychology got its start with a large focus on evolved behavioral sex differences. Since its inception, the field has broadened to the entirety of topics studied within the behavioral sciences. It may be time to start talking EP 2.0.

Does Human Nature Make Genocide Inevitable?

I just appeared in a BBC debate about whether future genocide is inevitable. I said that it wasn't, especially if we utilize knowledge about human nature. Here's why I'm so optimistic about our evolved psychology and potential for peace.

Revisiting the Ethics Case of Dr. John Leso

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on July 10, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
My new commentary in the peer-reviewed, open-access Journal of Social and Political Psychology offers a thorough examination of the seemingly inexplicable decision by the American Psychological Association’s Ethics Office not to pursue action against psychologist John Leso – despite his documented role in the abusive treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Gay Marriage: Where Politics Meets Matters of the Heart

Well, now we’ve got marriage equality. And with it, we’ve also got marriage—with all of its ups and downs and psychological challenges.

The Sexism in Science Controversies

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on July 02, 2015 in Rabble Rouser
Are scientific claims of sexism in science overstated?

Preventing Disaster Through Screening and Assessment

By Kathryn Seifert on June 30, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
Recently we have seen two convicted murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escape prison with the help of two prison employees, Gene Palmer and Joyce Mitchell. It leads us to ask the question, how does this happen?

The Truth Behind Your Rainbow Profile Picture

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on June 29, 2015 in Friendship 2.0
In a spontaneous and beautiful display of support, many people rainbow-tinted their profile pics to celebrate marriage equality. What many did not know was how much cold, hard data analysis goes on about their decision to do so.

The Psychological Benefits of Legalized Gay Marriage

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in More Than Mortal
Marriage provides psychological security and meaning. And now these benefits are fully available to same-sex couples.

Supreme Court Upholds Marriage Ideology

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in Love, Inc
We can celebrate the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality without swallowing the Supreme Court's marriage ideology.

It Is Time to Legalize and Accept Same-Sex Marriage

Researchers, the majority of the American public, and even advertisers are calling for acceptance of same-sex marriage—isn’t it time the Supreme Court and our legal system followed suit?

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

By David Niose on June 23, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
America's social and political dysfunction is rooted in dangerous pathology: anti-intellectualism.

#transracial

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on June 14, 2015 in Social Studies
Rachel Dolezal and Caitlyn Jenner force us to face the messiness of our true selves.

Rejecting Evolutionary Psychology Is Rejecting Evolution

Behavior is the result of the nervous system – which is the result of eons of natural selection. Rejecting evolutionary psychology, thus, is the same as rejecting evolution itself.

The Importance of Evidence-based Practice

By APA Division 15 on June 02, 2015 in PsychEd
In virtually every professional field, a research-to-practice gap exists in which some practices shown to be effective by scientific research are seldom used in applied settings, but some commonly implemented practices are not empirically validated and may be ineffective or even harmful. Thus, great opportunity exists for those who employ research-based practices.

Happy Birthday Edward Gibbon

227 years ago this month, the last installment of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire came out. Gibbon was wrong about Roman emperors, and he was wrong about the Church. But he was right that democracy depends on the ability to sail away from a tyrant.

Our Children's Children's Children*

On top of old worries about whether humankind will survive the next few centuries come new concerns about whether our descendants will even be human in a sense that we would recognize. The centuries ahead could be very interesting, indeed.

Moving Beyond Science vs. Religion

Ignorance underlies most claims about the conflict between science and religion

How We Use Shame (and Why We Should)

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on May 20, 2015 in Shame
In different ways, the religious right and the liberal left both make use of shame to enforce their values.

Fugitive Facts Escape from APA Headquarters

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
As they wait for an investigator’s report, APA leaders claim that they’ve already refuted allegations of collusion in the Bush Administration’s abusive “enhanced interrogation program.” Such pretense is a disservice to APA members, to the profession as a whole, and to the public at large.

Democracy and the Pro-social Impulse

Governments answerable to the people can exist only due to the fact that we’re emotional, social creatures, not isolated, rational, strictly selfish individuals. A better appreciation of human nature can help us secure a democratic future.

The Delusion of a Savior Nuclear and Otherwise

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on May 17, 2015 in Pura Vida
It's a common delusion: there exists a potential savior that/who will swoop in and rescue us. This error is depicted in a fascinating new sci fi novel, even as it is acted out in today's nuclear policies.

Emotional Ideologies

By Eyal Winter on May 08, 2015 in Feeling Smart
We vote out of passion and not out of reasoning

Role of Youth: Countering Violent Extremism, Promoting Peace

By Scott Atran Ph.D. on May 05, 2015 in In Gods We Trust
An anthropologist addresses the UN Security Council.

The APA Relied on the CIA for Ethical Guidance

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on May 05, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
Last week’s release of previously undisclosed emails provides further evidence of the American Psychological Association’s extensive and secret involvement with the CIA and White House in crafting ethics policies that permitted psychologists to participate in abusive “war on terror” detention and interrogation operations.

Couldn't Have Said It Better: Baltimore Riots 2015

A short piece that explains why some of the responses in the media to the Baltimore riots feel particularly damning to Black Americans, especially when considered in context.

A Palestinian Gandhi

By Izzy Kalman on April 21, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
Where are the "Palestinian Gandhis"? Ali Abu Awwad is a one of them, and there are more. However, we don't hear about them, and their effectiveness is limited, because the media are more attracted to violence than nonviolence. Thus, rather than helping promote peace, reporters unwittingly encourage violent activism.

Hillary Clinton's Social Media Challenge

Obama was the classic Underdog archetype. Social media wasn’t his communications vehicle, it was part of his story. Don’t ask if Hillary Clinton will have a social media advantage because Obama did or if the Republicans will ever get it right. Ask if Hillary can adapt her archetype to social.

The APA and Guantanamo: Actions, Not Words

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on April 07, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
APA leaders have an abysmal track record when it comes to meaningful action that runs counter to the Pentagon’s own policies on detention and interrogation operations. Time and again in these situations, the APA has trumpeted its commitment to psychology’s do-no-harm ethics but then retreated into the shadows when those principled words required principled actions.