A Terrifying Journey to the Centre of Politics: Political Centrism as an Effect of Mortality Salience and a Need for Closure

Three studies assessed the relationship between need for closure (NFC) and evaluations of political ideology conversions as a function of mortality salience (MS). Following anexperimental (vs. control) manipulation, 156 participants evaluated politicians who switchedpolitical ideologies. Results indicate that MS induced people high in NFC to express greater support for politicians seeking consensus in the political … Continue reading A Terrifying Journey to the Centre of Politics: Political Centrism as an Effect of Mortality Salience and a Need for Closure

The Big-Five Personality Test and Cambridge Analytica

Personality and the Foundations of Political Behavior The scant science behind Cambridge Analytica’s controversial marketing techniques Nature peers into the evidence for ‘psychographic targeting’. 29 March 2018 NEWS EXPLAINER Elizabeth Gibney The practices of Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm involved in US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, have made headlines around the world this … Continue reading The Big-Five Personality Test and Cambridge Analytica

The Psychology of Political Polarisation

The hyper-partisan nature of contemporary American politics is a major roadblock to effective compromise between Democrats and Republicans and an important contributor to rampant distrust of government in the U.S.  I identify three factors that contribute to our polarized political environment by describing how 1) genuine differences in the moral sensibilities of liberals and conservatives … Continue reading The Psychology of Political Polarisation

Reminders of Mortality Fuels Support for BREXIT, and Trump

This Theory Holds the Secret to Healing America's Division Terror Management Theory explains how we became divided and how to heal. Posted Feb 12, 2019 It’s clear that America is becoming increasingly divided, and if we remain on the path we’re on, things are only going to get worse. There will be more aggression in the streets, … Continue reading Reminders of Mortality Fuels Support for BREXIT, and Trump

Politically Motivated Cognition

Blinded By Ideology: People Find It Difficult To Think Logically About Arguments That Contradict Their Politics Cognition, Political, ThoughtJanuary 23, 2019 By Jesse Singal A heated political story in the United States last weekend perfectly illustrates how tribal politics can supercharge a human weakness that psychologists have been studying for some time – our deep-seated tendency to accept evidence that supports our … Continue reading Politically Motivated Cognition

Presidents influence how we think, feel, and behave.

Our Nation’s Danger from Within Posted Dec 03, 2018 In the lead-up to the midterm elections, the nation watched in horror as reports came in of yet another mass shooting in America. In Pittsburgh, an individual with an anti-Semitic history reportedly carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and multiple handguns, shouted, “All Jews must die,” as … Continue reading Presidents influence how we think, feel, and behave.

Brain responses to disagreement predict Brexit vote

In or out – how brain activity can predict your vote on Brexit People’s brain responses to statements about the EU were a more accurate predictor of how they voted than their stated intentions By: Helge Hasselmann Surveys and opinion polls are notoriously bad at predicting election results, as a chain of rather unexpected events last … Continue reading Brain responses to disagreement predict Brexit vote

Conspiracy theories and disenfranchisement

Conspiracy Theories and Antisemitism. This entry was posted in Conspiracy Theories on 22 June 2018 by  Presentation to the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, Palace of Westminster, 19 June 2018.Richard J. Evans For the past five years I’ve been Principal Investigator on the research project “Conspiracy and Democracy”, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. I have two co-investigators, … Continue reading Conspiracy theories and disenfranchisement

Identity Politics

Is contemporary partisanship “identity all the way down”? By Christopher M. Federico  22 October, 2018 If there is a single buzzword that sums up American politics in the present era, it is “polarization.” Though citizens and commentators alike loosely use the term to refer to the acrimony that characterizes relations between Democrats and Republicans, political scientists often … Continue reading Identity Politics

Enhancing turnout by stimulating social acceptance

The powerful social psychology behind those ‘I voted’ stickers It’s tiny, usually. No bigger than a fist, for certain. But that unassuming little “I voted” sticker holds significance greater than the adhesive paper it’s printed on. “It makes the wearer proud, and it reaffirms their values and their self-concept as a good citizen,” said Judith Hall, … Continue reading Enhancing turnout by stimulating social acceptance

The Three Pillars of Radicalisation.

The psychology of how someone becomes radicalized Angela Fritz Several hundred white nationalists and white supremacists carrying torches march through Charlottesville in August 2017. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post) Before he walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue with three handguns and an assault rifle, authorities say, professed his desired to “kill Jews” and opened fire, Robert … Continue reading The Three Pillars of Radicalisation.

Certain Personality Traits are More Attracted to Populism.

The Personality Trait That Is Ripping America (and the World) Apart. People who are antagonistic resonate more with populist messages. Scott Barry Kaufman. October 26, 2018. "First there was the "Me Generation" then "Generation Me". Now we have empirical evidence that we live in what will become known as the "Asshole Age" otherwise known as the Twitter … Continue reading Certain Personality Traits are More Attracted to Populism.

Psychology and neuroscience give us insights into the power of people’s words.

The Neuroscience of Hate Speech. Humans are social creatures who are easily influenced by the anger and rage that are everywhere these days. Oct. 31, 2018. Ben Jones. Do politicians’ words, the president’s especially, matter? Since he has been in office, President Trump has relentlessly demonized his political opponents as evil and belittled them as … Continue reading Psychology and neuroscience give us insights into the power of people’s words.

The Neuroscience of Hate Speech.

The Neuroscience of Hate Speech. Humans are social creatures who are easily influenced by the anger and rage that are everywhere these days. Oct. 31, 2018. Ben Jones.   Do politicians’ words, the president’s especially, matter? Since he has been in office, President Trump has relentlessly demonized his political opponents as evil and belittled them … Continue reading The Neuroscience of Hate Speech.

People can (and do) understand the facts, but the facts don’t always matter.

Why People Ignore Facts. When it comes to reasoning, identity trumps truth. Steve Rathje. Posted Oct 25, 2018 Our ability to reason did not develop simply to help us find the truth. Instead, reasoning evolved to fulfill fundamentally social functions, like cooperating in large groups and communicating with others. This is one of the arguments … Continue reading People can (and do) understand the facts, but the facts don’t always matter.

Exposure to opposing political views can increase political polarisation.

Exposure To Opposing Political Opinions Online Can Increase Political Polarization Written By: Alex Bolano Social media sites like Facebook are often charged with increasing political polarization by establishing what are called “echo chambers,” places of discourse that prevent people from being exposed to things that contradict their beliefs. It is commonly believed that exposure to opposing … Continue reading Exposure to opposing political views can increase political polarisation.

Focusing on emotions helps diffuse political tension

Workshops focusing on intergroup emotions are showing how deeply-rooted beliefs can be changed to support conflict resolution. Group interventions, each lasting just five hours, broadened dozens of Israelis’ views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a study published in January showed. The study explored how in unyielding conflicts, the belief that one group can change their views motivates … Continue reading Focusing on emotions helps diffuse political tension

People who overestimate their political knowledge more likely to believe conspiracy theories

People who overestimate their political knowledge are more likely to believe conspiracy theories Eric W. Dolan June 11, 2018 People who overestimate their understanding of political issues are more likely to believe conspiracy theories, according to new research that appears in the European Journal for Social Psychology. “Conspiracy theories about government actors and institutions are … Continue reading People who overestimate their political knowledge more likely to believe conspiracy theories

Nostalgia is a Powerful Driver of Political Behaviour

Approach With Caution: Nostalgia Is a Potent Political Agent. Research shows that when life is hard, people look to the past for guidance. We must be vigilant against the allure of a false nostalgia. 10.31.2017 / By Clay Routledge.   A year has passed since Donald Trump’s highly unorthodox ascension to the White House, and … Continue reading Nostalgia is a Powerful Driver of Political Behaviour

Using Psychology to Understand Politics and Elections

Introduction: Using Psychology to Understand Politics and Elections. Public Opinion Quarterly, Volume 82, Issue S1, 11 April 2018, Pages 209–212, https://doi.org/10.1093/poq/nfy008 The outcome of the 2016 presidential election stunned political pundits and ordinary Americans alike. How did it happen? Why didn’t we see it coming? When surprises like these occur, human beings operate as “intuitive … Continue reading Using Psychology to Understand Politics and Elections