Politics Essential Reads

The New Ambivalence for Warm Weather

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in The Pursuit of Peace
We may be bearing witness to the dawning of a new human experience, one in which we both enjoy unseasonable warmth and also feel something may be wrong with the climate.

What Happens When Narcissism Turns Malignant

Narcissism is one of the Dark Triad traits that also include psychopathy and Machiavellianism. New research that sadism brings its own unique contribution to the equation.

Could Thinking Positively Be Dangerous Right Now?

Have you started opening the newspapers each day with a sense of dread and disbelief about that latest actions of President Trump and his administration?

What's Ailing Fifty Shades of Grey?

By Stephen Snyder M.D. on February 20, 2017 in SexualityToday
Christian Grey’s dominant tendencies worked as erotica during the Obama years. But many women may soon find egalitarianism and restraint looking better and better.

Are Refugees a Threat to Americans?

Are refugees a threat to the safety of Americans? Research suggests we needn't be afraid.
'Green Whistle', Steven Depolo, CC 2.0

Whistleblowing, Civil Disobedience, and Democracy

Was it okay for government officials to blow the whistle on National Security Advisor Michael Flynn? This blog looks at three key concepts.

Declinism: Why You Think America is in Crisis

Is America really on the brink of disaster? Studies show most people feel things are bad and getting worse. Declinism, based on cognitive bias, explains why.

Why the "Like" Button May Be Killing Activism

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Is all the liking, retweeting, and commenting going on in American politics actually doing any good? Or are we just indulging in a form of entertainment and self-aggrandizement?

The Con of Propaganda

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Insight Therapy
If you don’t hear much about propaganda, that’s what you’re hearing.

Playing With Politics vs. Playing Politics

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Play in Mind
Is the game of politics play?

People Mistrust Science in General, But Not Specific Studies

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 13, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
This has been a difficult era for science in the public eye. How does the uncertainty of science affect people's trust in it?

When and Why Trump's Tweets Are Inappropriate, An Analysis

By Jennifer Golbeck Ph.D. on February 13, 2017 in Your Online Secrets
We analyze the appropriateness of tweets and what defines them. Trump's tweets are less appropriate, more negative, less sophisticated than staffers'.

The Pure Hubris of "In His Shoes I'd Have Acted Differently"

Judge people for what they do. But don't pretend you can understand why they did it, or whether their motives were good.
Damian Boeselager/Shutterstock

Hope and Hopelessness in Trump's America

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on February 09, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Not only does hopelessness feel bad, it’s associated with inaction, making it a recipe for disaster in a democracy. So how do those in the political opposition remain hopeful?

Nudges: Social Engineering or Sensible Policy?

Nudges are a powerful policy tool, but effectiveness and ethics don’t always go hand in hand.

Hope and Connection In These Political Times

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on February 06, 2017 in Listen Up!
Worried, anxious, and confused by politics? Here are a few steps that can help.
Alessandra Pigni

Preventing Burnout in the New Era

By Alessandra Pigni on February 06, 2017 in The Idealist
How do you keep sane and avoid burnout while engaging in activism and social change? Here are the ABCs of burnout prevention in the new era.

Why Science Is on the March

Generally scientists like to stick to science-ing, and stay out of politics. So why are they taking to the streets this Earth Day and marching on Washington?

Yes, It's Time to Politicize Science

By David Niose on February 04, 2017 in Our Humanity, Naturally
Some are urging scientists to stay off the streets and out of politics, but is that such a good idea?

Why Celebrities (and Celebrity Presidents) Misbehave

A combination of wealth, celebrity, and actual power has the potential to corrupt. What is the antidote?

Should Supreme Court Justices Believe in Democracy?

Is it wise to confirm Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice, considering his known biases and disregard for democracy?

Will We All Just Get Used to Trump?

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on February 02, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Although many believe that public resistance to Trump will increase over time, basic psychological principles predict otherwise.

Politics and Poison: Casualties of Fake News

The FDA warns that some natural remedies contain poison. Meanwhile partisan rhetoric poisons the body politic.

Childrearing Beliefs Were Best Predictor of Trump Support

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on February 01, 2017 in Freedom to Learn
By assessing the mindset of Trump's earliest supporters, this political scientist predicted that Trump would do far better in the election than most at that time believed.

Our National Nuclear Nightmare

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on January 31, 2017 in Peace and War
One of the skeletons in the closet of nuclear deterrence is "credibility": how to make credible a threat that is necessarily incredible. Trump may provide a catastrophic answer.

Shrinks Battle Over Diagnosing Donald Trump

Chaos in the White House fuels discord amongst the experts.

Researching Terrorism From the Field

By Scott Atran Ph.D. on January 31, 2017 in In Gods We Trust
The many challenges of countering extremism.

Crowd Size, Line Length, and Conformity

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on January 30, 2017 in Mental Mishaps
When you quietly agree with the statements of a group, how does conforming change you? Can you retain your original views? Does conforming alter the way you see the world?

When Will Smart Girls Believe They're Smart?

By Jen Kim on January 30, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
The war on women's intelligence starts earlier than we thought.

Everyday Gaslighting

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 30, 2017 in Ambigamy
Gaslighting–causing someone to question their own sanity isn't just for con-artists. People who act inconsistently but deny it will project their inconsistency on any challengers.