21st-century propaganda: A guide to interpreting and confronting the dark arts of persuasion

… The belief, or rather hope, that humankind is ultimately rational has gripped Western politics at least since Descartes, and inspired such 19th-century optimists as Thomas Jefferson and John Stuart Mill. “Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe,” Jefferson famously wrote. But in […] Read more »

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 »