Politics Essential Reads

Forgiveness May Harm Society

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on November 30, 2015 Am I Right?
After the shooting in Charleston and terrorist attacks elsewhere, a question arises: is there anything that cannot be forgiven?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Why Did ISIS Do It?

By Clark McCauley Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 Friction
ISIS has a strategy. Our reaction to Paris is part of it.

How Making Colleges 'Safe Spaces' Makes Us All Less Safe

After years of colleges’ efforts to cultivate tolerance on their campuses, college students may be less tolerant than ever.

Gray Must Remain Our Sacred Space

By Tim Leberecht on November 16, 2015 The Romance of Work
Gray is the stance against a bipolar world, with extreme claims and exponential implications. Living in gray means living uncomfortably in the middle, but it also means living in tolerance and peace. It means commuting between two worlds and leading a double, a poetic life. It means being able to love, to feel everything but not know anything at all.

Replication Problems in Psychology

By Jeremy D. Safran Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 Straight Talk
A major research study recently found that many well known findings in psychology are difficult to replicate.This study and the media attention it has received have led to a considerable stir within the field. While some minimize the importance of these findings, they do rekindle longstanding debates about what kind of 'science' psychology is.

Is Virtual Virtue a Virtue or a Vice?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 Ambigamy
If you're a little troubled by the lightweight gesture of simply Praying for Paris, Je suis Charlie, or just clicking to superimpose the French Flag on our Facebook pictures, you're tapping into an old concern, whether little gestures are empty or useful.

In Wake of French Terror, Maybe Pastafarians Aren't So Crazy

By David Niose on November 15, 2015 Our Humanity, Naturally
As the world mourns the tragedy in Paris, the relevance and importance of religious criticism become more apparent.

The Biological Citizen: Neuropolitics as Aim and Danger

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on November 13, 2015 Side Effects
Neuropolitics is going global. To what end? At what cost?

The Link Between the Refugee Crisis and Climate Change Talks

Although it may not seem likely at first glance, many crises share a common source in human decision-making biases. Whether it is the refugee crisis, climate change or another crisis, the barriers formed by a preference for short-term gains and the status quo are hard to overcome.

An Epidemic of Hopelessness?

Depression and suicide are on the rise, while life spans decline. Part of the reason is our politics.

Ben Carson and the Mandela Effect

By David Ludden Ph.D. on November 09, 2015 Talking Apes
It’s not just that our memories are unreliable. Our intuitions about how memory works are inaccurate as well.

Why Is Denmark the Happiest Country in the World?

Denmark's social democratic public policies and its labor market policies illustrate what the scholarly literature suggests are the most important determinants of human well-being.

Psychopath for President?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on November 04, 2015 Talking Apes
When psychopathy is combined with a high degree of intelligence and a strong ability to delay gratification, the result is a ruthless, Machiavellian type who often makes it to the highest echelons of business and government.

To Win an Argument, Women Need to Hold Their Temper

In the heat of an argument, it’s natural to lose your temper once in a while. Whether that meltdown will help you or hurt you in winning that argument depends on your gender. For a woman, chances are you’ll lose the power of persuasion according to new research on how juries reach their decisions.

Aid-in-Dying Laws Still Leave Out Many

By Robin Marantz Henig on November 02, 2015 Cusp
The new California aid-in-dying law, like similar laws in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont, leaves out a wide range of people who might want to be covered: those with progressive debilitating diseases that don't have an obvious 6-months-to-live prognosis, and people with dementia, the fastest-growing health threat in the U.S. There may be no good way around this.

Is Psychology Insecure?

The emotional reaction of psychology supporters to Jeb Bush's comment is diagnostic of the field being in an insecure state.

Making a Choice: APA Reform or Business as Usual?

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on October 29, 2015 Dangerous Ideas
Following a seven-month investigation, an independent report revealed extensive collusion between the American Psychological Association and the Department of Defense in support of psychologists’ involvement in coercive war-on-terror interrogations. Now a campaign is underway to discredit that report, and to turn the APA away from much needed accountability and reform.

Why are Some People Eager to Fight for the Islamic State?

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on October 28, 2015 Hot Thought
Foreigners and locals decide to go to fight with the Islamic State because it provides a good fit with their fundamental values and beliefs – emotional coherence. A value map shows some of the emotional structure of the Islamic State ideology.

Would Anyone Vote For That Face?

Do we vote only according to our values or because we like how a politician looks and sounds?

The Paradoxes of Our Time

We live in a paradoxical age marked by enormous technological achievement and deep existential confusion.

Will Social Media 'Hijack' Your Vote in 2016?

Facebook and other Internet companies have the power to influence your emotions. And that power could impact the results of the 2016 elections ... and you may never know it happened.

The Evolutionary Psychology of Politics

Large-scale politics on a national or international scale is often disastrous. Maybe this is because the human mind has evolved to deal with small-scale politics.

Does Religious Freedom Trump Gender Equality?

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 21, 2015 Saving Normal
Is there a middle ground between demanding a universal standard of human rights versus respecting the traditions of alien cultures and religions that espouse discriminatory practices against women.