Politics Essential Reads

Powerful Biases Shape How Presidential Debates Are Viewed

Voters are most favorable toward those candidates who are the most optimistic and highest in positive emotion.

Scoring the Presidential Debates: How Do We Decide Who Wins?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on September 26, 2016 in Psych Unseen
What’s the point of debating, do the presidential debates influence voting, and how do we decide who wins?

"Power Ties" Are Actually Powerless

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on September 23, 2016 in Attraction, Evolved
Donald Trump is hardly a sartorial icon, though he is known for one eye-catching style choice—his “power ties." But does his favored red tie really make him seem more powerful?

When You’re of Two Minds, Admit It

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in Ambigamy
Is integrity being consistent or is it being honest about your inconsistency? It's both and the latter matters more.

8 Ways to Overcome a Blow to Your Ego

It’s tough to lose at something that matters to you, whether a race with hundreds of strangers or a bet with your best friend. These 8 tips will help you bounce back from defeat.

A Match Made in America: Who Will Dominate the First Debate?

By Wendy L. Patrick Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 in Why Bad Looks Good
Research shows that Trump and Clinton will be judged by what they say, and how they behave when their opponent has the floor—because viewers are voters.

Benevolent Sexism and the Art of the Deal

By Peter Glick Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in The Enquiry
Benevolent and hostile sexism have proved a winning combination for men for thousands of years, but it is not working for Donald Trump.

The Psychology Behind Donald Trump's Unwavering Support

By Bobby Azarian Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in Mind In The Machine
The political ascent of Donald Trump seems to defy all logic, but psychology and neuroscience research explains how quirks of the brain underlie the mind-boggling phenomenon.

A Post-Racial America?

America in 2016 offers a sign post on the path from thousands of years of separation through centuries of conflict and exploitation towards a hopeful human family reunion.

The Common Descent Doctrine

While Darwin and Lincoln were born on the same day in 1809, only Darwin can be said to have shown an unwavering stance on human equality. Meet Darwin's doctrine of Common Descent.

Watching Myself Die

By Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. on September 09, 2016 in Naked Truth
My mother, Dr. Karen J. Warren, was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness. This blog explores why legal end-of-life options are essential to dying with autonomy and dignity.

What Happens When Republicans and Democrats Get Married?

Are partisan political views reflected in who marries whom?

Do Racial Stereotypes Have Nothing to Do with Race? Part II

Some readers objected to my coverage of research suggesting race stereotypes are often ecology stereotypes. Steve Neuberg, an author of that research, responds thoughtfully.

Madness and Guns

By Lawrence D. Blum M.D. on September 04, 2016 in Beyond Freud
The ability to control anger, and to distinguish fantasy from reality, are difficult tasks to master. What does this mean for access to weapons?

Having Trouble Finding a Good Job? Keeping a Good Job?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 04, 2016 in How To Do Life
You may be less at-fault than the govt.-trumpeted "unemployment rate" implies.

Admit It, You Are Secretly Voting for Donald Trump? Right?

Many people will not follow their expressed views with their vote. These stealth voters will hit the ballot box en masse in November. But will they make a difference?

The Real Story Behind the Goldwater Rule

By Jonathan D Moreno Ph.D on August 27, 2016 in Impromptu Man
Only the American Psychiatric Association bars long-distance diagnosis. Why?

Are Conservatives More Anti-Science Than Liberals?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in Talking Apes
Skepticism about scientific findings depends on your core beliefs, not your level of science literacy.

Nonconformity Has Counter-Intuitive Benefits, Study Finds

By Christopher Bergland on August 22, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A new study reports that going along with a group—whose viewpoints you are diametrically opposed to—triggers a physiological threat response.

What Do You Hear? Clinton, Trump, and Their Predecessors

By Gregg R. Murray Ph.D. on August 21, 2016 in Caveman Politics
What do you hear Hillz and the Donald saying? Do the data say the same thing?

Trump´s Tweets and Twitter Psychology: You Talkin´ to Me?

Twitter is both public and personal. Facilitating interaction between political candidates and prospective voters creates synthetic intimacy which can translate into votes.

When You've Been Bad, Is it Enough to Say You're Sorry?

Regret may seem like a watered down version of an apology but, according to new research, honest feelings of regret will have more lasting effects on behavior.

Exercising Our Freedom and Intelligence: Part 8

By Michael Hogan Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in In One Lifespan
The future is uncertain. There is little doubt about that. Scenario-based collective intelligence design may help us to shape the future, specifically, through our innovations.

Add a Dose of Skepticism to Whatever You Believe

A finely honed doubt is as beautiful as a deeply held belief.

Is It Offensive to Declare a Psychological Claim Wrong?

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on August 16, 2016 in Rabble Rouser
You might think that scientists just let the data speak. Instead, if what the data say is, "Your pet theory or claim is wrong," many scientists get very defensive and hostile.

Learning the New Language of Racism

Language influences how we feel and how we react to things. Language is the foundation of change. Rather than avoid and deny, we need to start learning.

In Politics, a Closed Mouth Gathers No Foot—or Free Press

Donald Trump is media accessible. Yet for positive press, the key is to appeal to the voting public through the likability and trustworthiness of the reporter, not the candidate.

The Social Psychology of Brexit

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on August 12, 2016 in Naturally Selected
How can social psychology contribute to understanding the consequences of Brexit for the European Union? Exit-voice-loyalty theory offers some suggestions and solutions.

Thriving in a Gig Economy

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 12, 2016 in How To Do Life
How to avoid it or do well in it.

The Logic Underlying Trump's Outrageous Comments

Trump phrases things in a way that gets through to his supporters, but leaves him almost immune from attack by his detractors.