Confidence Boomed After the Election. The Economy Hasn’t.

After Donald J. Trump won the presidential election, Americans’ optimism about the economic future soared. But midway through the year, that optimism has not translated into concrete economic gains. This seeming contradiction exposes a reality about the role of psychology in economics — or more specifically, how psychology is connected […] Read more »

What makes populist leaders tick? Here are 3 things we’ve learned.

… For decades, most political theories tended to assume that people were rational, which suggested that it didn’t much matter exactly who held power. Of course, psychologists have known for a long time that this assumption wasn’t always true, but it was difficult to study top decision-makers to draw general […] Read more »

You’re Not Going to Change Your Mind

… It recently struck us that confirmation bias is often conflated with “telling people what they want to hear,” which is actually a distinct phenomenon known as desirability bias, or the tendency to credit information you want to believe. … So we decided to conduct an experiment that would isolate […] Read more »

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 »

French voters are just as divided as American ones

Marine Le Pen. AP Photo/Michel Euler   Michele Gelfand, University of Maryland and Joshua Conrad Jackson, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill On May 7, France will choose its next president. In the first round of voting on April 23, voters rejected candidates from the country’s established parties, lifting […] Read more »