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Political Psychology

The New Deal is Dead. Long Live the Raw Deal

Brian Ross | Posted 04.24.2014 | 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 02.24.2014 | 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.

The Politics and Psychology of Time

Robert Klitzman, M.D. | Posted 11.10.2012 | Politics
Robert Klitzman, M.D.

"Time is relative," Einstein discovered. So, too, is political time. But these two facts together cause many problems, as reflected in current debates over the seemingly simple question, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

The Hand That Rocks the White House

Mindy Utay | Posted 11.06.2012 | Politics
Mindy Utay

She protects. She soothes. She guides and encourages. She's a safe harbor in times of stress or duress. She's... Valerie Jarrett. In last Saturday's...

Paul Ryan and the Progressive Psyche

Christopher Newfield | Posted 10.16.2012 | Politics
Christopher Newfield

Americans are ambivalent and confused about many aspects of health care but not about preserving Medicare. But the whole country must take this bad idea seriously because the top of the Republican ticket advocates it.

Ego-Inflated Nation

Sofia Crutchfield | Posted 08.13.2012 | Teen
Sofia Crutchfield

Politicians are us: They are the symbols of America, the essence of our societal disposition. And they are polluted by egocentrism.

Red Mind, Blue Mind: Are There Really Any Independents?

Wray Herbert | Posted 07.25.2012 | Science
Wray Herbert

How do Independents manage to rise above party politics while the rest of the electorate is divided by ideology? Well, perhaps they don't. New evidence suggests that the label "Independent" may imply more objectivity and purity than these Independents deserve.

Shivering Liberals, Parched Conservatives

Wray Herbert | Posted 05.21.2012 | Science
Wray Herbert

Nobody thinks, "Democrats drink more water," or, "Republicans wear warmer clothes." Knowing someone's politics should not affect how cold or thirsty we think they are -- yet these results suggest that it does.

Conservatives vs. Liberals: More Than Politics

Thomas B. Edsall | Posted 04.09.2012 | Books
Thomas B. Edsall

The contest for power between Democrats and Republicans pits two antithetical value systems against each other; two conflicting concepts of freedom, liberty, fairness, right, and wrong; two mutually exclusive notions of the state, the individual, and the collective good.

A Presidential Candidate Openly Taking Meds? Don't Bet On It

Kaitlin Bell Barnett | Posted 03.19.2012 | Politics
Kaitlin Bell Barnett

Today, we know a lot more about mental illness than we did forty years ago. But given the grueling and brutal demands of modern campaigning, we would be extremely unlikely to embrace a presidential candidate who acknowledged taking drugs for a psychiatric condition.

Going With Your Gut in the Voting Booth

Sam Sommers | Posted 03.12.2012 | Politics
Sam Sommers

No, this is not another blog post about the benefits (or costs) to being beautiful, though attractiveness certainly is a characteristic that can impact an election. Just ask Richard Nixon. But I'm not talking about physical attractiveness per se.

Why Republicans Deny Science: The Quest for a Scientific Explanation

Chris Mooney | Posted 03.12.2012 | Science
Chris Mooney

An increasing body of science suggests that we disagree about politics not for intellectual or philosophical reasons, but because we have fundamentally different ways of responding to the basic information presented to us by the world.