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 »

Why More Democrats Are Now Embracing Conspiracy Theories

Even as Democrats decry the false claims streaming regularly from the White House, they appear to have become more vulnerable to unsupported claims and conspiracy theories that flatter their own political prejudices. The reason isn’t just that a Republican now occupies the White House. Political psychology research suggests that losing […] 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 »

Why do we fall for fake news?

S. Shyam Sundar, Pennsylvania State University In recent weeks, the amount of online fake news that circulated during the final months of the presidential race is coming to light, a disturbing revelation that threatens to undermine the country’s democratic process. We’re already seeing some real-world consequences. After fake news stories […] Read more »

The Roots of Implicit Bias

… As new research from our laboratory suggests, implicit bias is grounded in a basic human tendency to divide the social world into groups. In other words, what may appear as an example of tacit racism may actually be a manifestation of a broader propensity to think in terms of […] Read more »