Does ‘us’ need ‘them’?

Democrats and Republicans dislike each other more than ever before. Donald Trump won the White House, in part, by creating an identity for his followers — distinguishing sharply between an aggrieved “us” and a guilty “them.” Disregarding the definitional problems I’ve treated before, America feels deeply polarized. How did that […] Read more »

Beyond Misinformation: Understanding and coping with the post-truth era

The terms “post-truth” and “fake news” have become increasingly prevalent in public discourse over the last year. This article explores the growing abundance of misinformation, how it influences people, and how to counter it. We examine the ways in which misinformation can have an adverse impact on society. We summarize […] Read more »

How Norms Change

… Understanding the psychology of changing norms starts from a simple insight: although we may wish to be perfectly rational and impartial, bias is an inescapable part of what it means to be human. … The question, therefore, isn’t “Do biases exist?” but, rather, “How much do we let them […] Read more »

Why the wiring of our brains makes it hard to stop climate change

… Humans aren’t well wired to act on complex statistical risks. We care a lot more about the tangible present than the distant future. Many of us do that to the extreme — what behavioral scientists call hyperbolic discounting — which makes it particularly hard to grapple with something like […] Read more »

Who Falls for Fake News? The Roles of Analytic Thinking, Motivated Reasoning, Political Ideology, and Bullshit Receptivity

Inaccurate beliefs pose a threat to democracy and fake news represents a particularly egregious and direct avenue by which inaccurate beliefs have been propagated via social media. Here we investigate the cognitive psychological profile of individuals who fall prey to fake news. CONT. Gordon Pennycook & David G. Rand, Yale […] Read more »