7 psychological concepts that explain the Trump era of politics

These are strange, unsettling times. And for the past several months, I’ve been asking psychologists variations on a basic question: What research can best help us reckon with uncomfortable social and political realities — like the rise of Donald Trump, the widening partisan split, the divisiveness that comes with multiculturalism? […] Read more »

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind: The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs

… You can just switch off the radio, change channels, only like the Facebook pages that give you the kind of news you prefer. You can construct a pillow fort of the information that’s comfortable. Most people aren’t totally ensconced in a cushiony cave, though. They build windows in the […] Read more »

Why We Believe Obvious Untruths

How can so many people believe things that are demonstrably false? … The truth is obvious if you bother to look for it, right? This line of thinking leads to explanations of the hoodwinked masses that amount to little more than name calling: “Those people are foolish” or “Those people […] Read more »

Why facts don’t change our minds

… As everyone who’s followed the research—or even occasionally picked up a copy of Psychology Today—knows, any graduate student with a clipboard can demonstrate that reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational. Rarely has this insight seemed more relevant than it does right now. Still, an essential puzzle remains: How did […] Read more »

The Normalization Trap

What’s normal? Perhaps the answer seems obvious: What’s normal is what’s typical — what is average. But in a recent paper in the journal Cognition, we argue that the situation is more complicated than that. … Our research suggests, for example, that as President Trump continues to do things that […] Read more »

‘Low information voters’ are a crucial part of Trump’s support

… Our research finds that Trump has attracted a disproportionate (and unprecedented) number of “low-information voters” to his campaign. Furthermore, these voters are more likely to respond to emotional appeals — whether about the economy, immigration, Muslims, racial relations, sexism, and even hostility to the first African American U.S. president, […] Read more »