According to psychological scientist Edward Lemay of the University of Maryland, our desire to bond with another person in a close, committed relationship is so strong that it can bias our thinking, distorting attention and memory and interpretation so that we see and believe what we want to be true.
The results taken together are consistent with a view of the political extremist as thoughtful and confident, not unthinking. This does not mean of course that extreme political positions are necessarily sound or that they are not biased in other ways, but it does raise doubts about the mindless ideologue stereotype.
Leigh Steinberg, the inspiration for the title character in the film Jerry Maguire, is one of the most successful agents in the history of American sports. He is also a master negotiator. Psychological scientists believe they may have an explanation for Steinberg's seemingly irrational behavior and for its ironic success.
One of the enigmas of our political landscape is the impoverished Republican. This is the American with very little money, and many unmet needs, who nevertheless votes for people and policies that will deny him or her assistance. Indeed, many of the reddest states in the nation are among the largest beneficiaries of government aid.
A small cadre of psychological scientists have continued over the years to explore the controversial connection between low intelligence and prejudice, and at this point they have overcome most of the methodological barricades, allowing them to rigorously analyze and answer this important societal question.
Maybe there is some risk in overzealously documenting our lives. There are certainly times to put that camera away and join in the fun. But these findings suggest that there may also be risk in failing to create mementos. The seemingly dull and quotidian details of our everyday lives may be the emotional treasures of the future.