Essential Reads

Hunting Bwana the Dentist

What fantasies move a man to ambush an elderly tourist lion?

Stars, Bars, and Embryos

Confederate flag and genetic testing issues are more alike than one might think

This Is How We Should Treat Each Other All the Time

An expert on anger finds the antidote to meanness.

Does Human Nature Make Genocide Inevitable?

Knowledge about evolved psychology can help us prevent war.

Recent Posts on Race and Ethnicity

Depression and Suicide in Black Youth

Depression is a serious mental health issue that significantly impacts the lives of many youth. Among Black youth 3.2% report suicidal thoughts and 1.4% report attempting suicide. Given the serious risk, it is important to learn early warning signs.

What's the Matter With "All Lives Matter"

Some white folks have responded to the phrase "Black Lives Matter" with the phrase “All Lives Matter.” While this is a seemingly more empowering and diversity affirming response, it is neither. Here's why.

You Don’t Need to Have Racism in Your Heart to be a Racist

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in More Than Mortal
In order to combat racism people need to understand that racism can exist without deeply held racist beliefs. Racist behavior is not always the result of conscious deliberation.

Hunting Bwana the Dentist

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
What would motivate a dentist to spend $55,000 to kill an elderly tourist lion? The answer takes us on a psychological safari looking at recent themes in American life that incite and reward fantasies of the mighty hunter.

Stars, Bars, and Embryos

By Elliot Hosman J.D. on July 28, 2015 in Genetic Crossroads
The ideas of "choice" and "intent" have arisen in debates about both the confederate flag and prenatal genetic testing. But are these concepts insufficiently nuanced for these tough topics?

Emotions, Culture, and Heart Disease

The relationship between expressing hostility and heart disease is a strong candidate for a psychological universal. Or is it?

Fundamentalist Masculinity

There is a fundamentalist American form of masculinity that is dangerous and misogynist. At the very same time, it is weak and shaky, fragile and demands constant proof in order to Trump more civilized forms.

Understanding Conspicuous Consumption (Via Race)

By Jesse Marczyk on July 27, 2015 in Pop Psych
Highlighting the accuracy of some racial stereotypes, different racial groups tend to spend more of their income on highly-visible luxury goods. Understanding why presents us with an interesting puzzle to solve.

Why Female Celebrities Get Stuck in Public Feuds

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on July 23, 2015 in Insight Is 20/20
Three music superstars - Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry - recently acted out what happens on playgrounds between females far and wide. Why do they do it? It has to do with what's called "relational aggression."

Failing to Protect Sandra Bland

Many legal issues surrounding Ms. Sandra Bland’s arrest and death entail further investigations, including whether existed the illegal arrest and abuse of authority by the officer who stopped her for an alleged traffic violation and whether her death at a jail cell in Waller County, Texas was suicide or murder. One thing is certain that the jail authority violated the law.

Re-thinking Gender, Part 1

By Anthony Synnott Ph.D. on July 22, 2015 in Rethinking Men
The Ups, Downs, and Sideways of Gender Politics

I, Me, Mine

Americans, as a group, are becoming more individualistic. But what about people in other countries? In collectivist China, for example. Do they also have a Generation Me?

Why the Confederate Flag Had to Come Down

Taking the Confederate Battle Flag down from an honored position on the SCstate government grounds was important because a symbol of racial prejudice and bigotry was removed as a display of government support. Now when any citizen looks at the symbols of the SC government, there is nothing to suggest that one racial group is more important than another in that state.

"Do I Sound Gay?"

Why would a gay man dislike “sounding gay?” Why would “sounding less like a man” make a gay man view himself as inferior, unattractive, and undesirable? Why does "passing" as straight make a gay man feel good? Read on as we explore Internalized Homophobia - a very real but largely unseen, unheard, and unspoken psychological struggle that is experienced by many gay men.

Multiculturalism Around the World

By Eddy Ng Ph.D. on July 20, 2015 in Diverse and Competitive
Countries that embrace multiculturalism experience more positive outcomes

Culturally Induced Blindness

Can you answer this simple riddle or do you suffer from cultural blindness?

What Race Is Rachel Dolezal?

Rachel Dolezal says she is black, but many others--whites and blacks, liberals and conservatives--disagree. What race is she really? How should we react to her claim?

A Better Way to Combat Anti-Semitic Bullying

By Izzy Kalman on July 16, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
A recent settlement of $4.5 million in the anti-Semitic anti-bullying lawsuit against the Pine Bush School District in Upstate New York is a questionable cause for rejoicing. The taxpayers will pay, the lawyers are the biggest beneficiaries, and it will probably do little to reduce bullying and anti-Semitism. My free manual can do a much better job with less effort.

This Is How We Should Treat Each Other All the Time

By Ryan Martin Ph.D. on July 15, 2015 in All the Rage
Why can’t we muster up that same level of encouragement and support for the people we run into on a daily basis?

Looking in the Cultural Mirror at 100, The Top 10

Five years ago I began writing pieces for Looking in the Cultural Mirror. While psychology may define itself as the science of behavior, when it comes to people it often seems more like the science of American behavior than of human behavior everywhere. This, my 100th piece, discusses the blog’s background and aims. It offers links to most popular 10.

Understanding a Mutant

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on July 15, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Unpacking the cultural forces that shaped the unforgivable racist violence of Dylann Roof.

The Double-Edged Sword of Self-Control

For some people, self-control may act as a “double-edged sword" that leads to external success but speeds up the aging process at an epigenetic level.

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.

Why Did Harper Lee Change Her Portrait of Her Father?

By Stanton Peele on July 13, 2015 in Addiction in Society
Imagining the psychological journey Harper Lee went through to offer a lesser view of her father in "Go Set A Watchman."

After Charleston, what now?

We, as individual citizens of this nation, have been too passive in our encounters with language bigotry in our everyday lives. “It’s just a joke,” people say, and we take it as so. “Oh, they don’t really mean that; they’re just joking,” we say to ourselves and others to let it pass.

Creative Rehabilitation, Part 3: Stroke

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on July 12, 2015 in Trouble in Mind
It is especially important to think outside the box when planning rehabilitation for victims of stroke who are young or members of a minority group.

There Are Monkeys Everywhere

We who are sighted can be the blindest of all. We can confuse what we see with what is really there, but what we see has to be taught to our eyes/minds. Actually there are monkeys all around us. You just have to learn to see them I will tell you how.

Changing the Face of Business Academe

In 1994, when Bernie Milano of KPMG founded the PhD Project, there were only 294 African American, Hispanic American, and Native American business professors in the United States. In just 20 years, the PhD Project has played a vital role in quadrupling that number such that today there are 1,274 minority professors in business schools.

A Few Confederate Flags Down, But Many Trappings Remain

By Robert Klitzman M.D. on July 07, 2015 in Am I My Genes?
Symbols of the Confederacy -- not only flags, but uniforms, and portraits of Robert E. Lee and other leaders -- persist in the South as potent symbols. Removing flags from state offices is important, but these other symbols, and the pervasive psychological attitudes they represent and reinforce, need to be eliminated as well.

We Can Dream: A Marginalized Peoples Version of ‘Inside Out’

'Inside Out' is the nation's #1 movie. Critics and audiences are raving about it. Adults cry because of it. Even scientists applaud its scientific accuracy. But how reflective is it of marginalized peoples' minds and lived realities? What would the 'Inside Out' movie look like if it explored the inner workings and psychological experiences of marginalized peoples? Read on.