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Political Psychology

Donald Trump's Narcissistic Personality Makes Him A Dangerous World Leader

Bobby Azarian | Posted 03.24.2016 | Politics
Bobby Azarian

The position of President of the United States is one that requires great empathy, a certain amount of humility, the ability to preserve relationships, and a willingness to establish new ones. These are all qualities that the narcissist lacks, and with their absence comes danger. Do we really want to put all Americans, and even the entire world, at great risk by giving a narcissist the nuclear code?

How Important Is It For Politicians To Have Empathy?

The Huffington Post | Carolyn Gregoire | Posted 03.23.2016 | Science

In a time of terrorist attacks, escalating racial tensions and violence, and outward bigotry against entire religious groups, it may seem like we need...

Shifting the Political Dialogue to Create Change

Larry Shushansky | Posted 02.19.2016 | Politics
Larry Shushansky

Many of us are fed up with politics, disillusioned with government, and don't trust our elected officials. We begrudgingly accept that money, power, and connections are what run our government.

American Voters Should Stop Getting Drunk on Partisanship

Mark Gerzon | Posted 02.08.2016 | Politics
Mark Gerzon

Although my work for the last 20 years has been bridging the gap between Left and Right, I recognize the incredible power of this quick turn-on. Whether I am attending a political event in person or engaging via the media, I feel the high just like everyone else. But frankly, the buzz is wearing off.

Outrage Culture Kills Important Conversation

Michael Shammas | Posted 01.27.2016 | Politics
Michael Shammas

Productive discourse is dying, trampled over by closed minds who value comfortable opinion-holding over uncomfortable soul-searching. As dialogue lies flailing and gasping, outrage culture's pulse is stronger than ever.

Why Hillary Clinton Should Be Like George Washington

Pythia Peay | Posted 05.20.2016 | Politics
Pythia Peay

America should not be in the business of establishing family monarchies. It should be in the business of building lasting democracies.

I'm Rich. You Must Be, Too.

Wray Herbert | Posted 06.28.2015 | Science
Wray Herbert

The very wealthy are disproportionately opposed to any policy -- including tax policies -- that would redistribute wealth more equitably. This makes sense from a purely economic perspective. But is there more to it than rational self-interest?

Revisiting the Land of Opportunity

Wray Herbert | Posted 02.03.2015 | Science
Wray Herbert

Fewer and fewer Americans, including many middle-class Americans, believe that they can even preserve their existing standard of living -- or that their children will do any better. But how accurate are these perceptions?

Are You a Political Extremist?

Wray Herbert | Posted 01.04.2015 | Science
Wray Herbert

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.

Why Liberals & Conservatives Aren't As Different As You Think

LiveScience | Stephanie Pappas | Posted 07.01.2014 | Science

Contrary to stereotype, conservatives are not more accepting of authority than are liberals. But they are less concerned that their opinions appear un...

The New Deal is Dead. Long Live the Raw Deal

Brian Ross | Posted 06.24.2014 | Politics
Brian Ross

The New Deal is dead. Long live the Raw Deal! The far Right white one percent are using the psychology of disenfranchisement that they leveled against...

The Future of the (Scared, White) GOP

Wray Herbert | Posted 04.26.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

Psychological theory supports the idea that conservatives, if threatened, will circle the ideological wagons, embracing rather than moving away from conservative values. Craig and Richeson decided to see if the likelihood of an increasingly diverse racial landscape influences the politics of white Americans, and if so, how.

Little Authoritarians: The Closing of Young Minds

Wray Herbert | Posted 04.07.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

The scientists predicted that children of parents high in authoritarianism would be more sensitive to cues of conventionality -- that is, that they would be more trusting of unfamiliar adults who appeared to respect conventions. And that's just what they found.

No Fate! Or Maybe Fate. What's Your Choice?

Wray Herbert | Posted 02.17.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

Fatalism is a supernatural belief, and it can indeed have harmful consequences for the way we act in the world. But where does fatalism come from?

The psychological toll on federal workers

Tom Fox | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Tom Fox

James Campbell Quick is a professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the University of Texas at Arlington. He specializes in addressing wo...

Women and Compromise: A DW-NOMINATE Analysis of Congresswomen and Congressmen

Jarryd Willis | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Jarryd Willis

The data supports the conventional wisdom that women are more likely to compromise than men. Of course, there are several caveats and limitations to these results.

The Face(s) of the GOP. Who Do You See?

Wray Herbert | Posted 12.08.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Can people be so biased by their political attitudes that they look out and see a different world, a world where up is down and black is white? I came across a new study this week that argues just that.

Why 'Occupy Wall Street' Fizzled

Wray Herbert | Posted 09.29.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Perceived consensus -- even if it's just a perception -- can motivate a movement's rank and file to embrace social change and stay focused. By contrast, the desire for uniqueness can undermine individuals' ability to capitalize on whatever consensus actually exists.

The Psychology of Neo-McCarthyism

Douglas LaBier | Posted 09.14.2013 | Politics
Douglas LaBier

There are political motives for this odd, self-destructive path. But there's another source worth considering as well: The mental and emotional drivers that may underlie the resurgence of McCarthyism at this particular point in our culture.

Taking Joy in the Stupidity of Politicians: A Modern Ritual

Troy Campbell | Posted 08.25.2013 | Politics
Troy Campbell

Stanford University researchers have found that people tend to react in two ways to gaining a sense of moral superiority.

Hail to the Narcissist: POTUS And Personality

Wray Herbert | Posted 07.07.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Looking back on U.S. history, certain presidents clearly stand out as larger than life. Andrew Jackson, TR, LBJ -- these were flamboyant and domineering men, and also great leaders. Yet our greatest leaders often have dark sides as well.

TV Hosts: Shut Up and Let the Scientist Speak

Troy Campbell | Posted 07.01.2013 | Media
Troy Campbell

On modern TV shows, the expert guests can rarely get three sentences into a statement without the host derailing the conversation.

Let's Not Give Up on Reason in Politics: A Response to Jonathan Haidt's 'The Righteous Mind'

Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W. | Posted 01.28.2013 | Books
Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W.

Haidt maintains that when we confront a moral or political question, our first reaction is intuitive. We use reason to defend our intuitions rather than to form them.

Policy and Prowess: Did Ancient Humans Diss the 47%?

Wray Herbert | Posted 12.12.2012 | Science
Wray Herbert

We may debate civilly and settle our differences in the voting booth, but is it possible that physical prowess still shapes our positions on this fundamental social issue?

Extremist Politics: Debating the Nuts and Bolts

Wray Herbert | Posted 11.26.2012 | Science
Wray Herbert

Philip Fernbach and his colleagues wondered if forcing people to explain complex policies in detail might force them to confront their ignorance and thus weaken their extremist stands on issues. They ran a series of lab experiments to test this idea.