The Joys of Human Choice. How Scientific Explanations Undermines Libertarian Arguments

Ivar Hannikainen was kind enough to approach me regarding his newly published paper  on JESP (congratulations!). In it he shows how: [...] exposure to scientific explanations for patterns in human behaviour challenges the notion of personal autonomy and, in turn, undermines libertarian arguments against state paternalism appealing to autonomy and personal choice. Abstract: The proper limit … Continue reading The Joys of Human Choice. How Scientific Explanations Undermines Libertarian Arguments

The science of political advertising

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/advertising.aspx Tired of political ads? The positive ones with unfurling flags and smiling children? The negative ones with grainy images of opponents? Well, gird yourself. Campaigns will spend upward of $3 billion on broadcast television ads for the 2012 presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections, a record-breaking amount, according to Moody’s Investment Services. With this much … Continue reading The science of political advertising

The Interplay of Domination. System Justification or oppressed beating the oppressed

System Justification: Why People Buy Into Social Inequality Why do we support social systems that can work against our interests? Theorists and laypeople often assume that voting behaviour is “rational”, whereby people direct their vote toward the candidate that helps (vs. hinders) their own self or group interests. Jost and colleagues (2003) suggested that this … Continue reading The Interplay of Domination. System Justification or oppressed beating the oppressed

Collective Narcissism, support for “populist” initiatives and leaders who emphasise threats from disliked out-groups

A new very interesting take on Trump's supporters by my academic grandfather and the great Agnieszka Golec de Zavala. ‘Collective narcissism’ explains at least some of President Trump’s support President Trump speaks at a rally in Nashville on March 15. (Andrea Morales/Getty Images) President Trump’s populist candidacy and election defied the expectations of both political professionals and … Continue reading Collective Narcissism, support for “populist” initiatives and leaders who emphasise threats from disliked out-groups

Risk-takers more likely to vote Leave

Risk-takers and referendums: what happens when voters are better-informed? Voting for change in a referendum is the riskier option. People who voted for Brexit were more likely to be risk-takers. But when people have more information at their disposal, are they more or less likely to stick with the status quo? Davide Morisi found that when voters were … Continue reading Risk-takers more likely to vote Leave

A Divided Country. For many, many years

Trump's Challenge: Dealing With a Polarized America 22 February 2017 by Frank Newport   Donald Trump has skipped the traditional honeymoon period usually accorded presidents when they first take office. Americans, including those from the opposing party, typically have given a president a relatively high job approval rating until he settles into the job and … Continue reading A Divided Country. For many, many years