Category Archives: Political Psychology

Making Policy by Hurt Feelings

Randall Kennedy, a law professor at Harvard, puts it this way in an email to Thomas Edsall of the New York Times. “Authorities… need to become much more skeptical and tough-minded when encountering the language of hurt.” Why? Here’s how … Continue reading

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Another Marshmallow Test

Many years ago, psychologist Walter Mischel devised a test of the ability to defer rewards. For experimental subjects, he used students at his daughter’s grade school. For rewards, he used whatever kind of treat a child might choose. Some years … Continue reading

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Where totalitarianism comes from

The book I am reading now has three quotes at the beginning: one by JeanCasson, a Toulouse resistance leader and poet; one by Robert F. Kennedy; and one by Hannah Arendt.  The book is about the adventures of Virginia Hall, … Continue reading

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Two Cheers for the Wheaton faculty!

The last time I looked, 284 faculty has signed a statement called  Statement from Wheaton College Faculty and Staff Concerning the January 6 Attack on the Capitol.  See the Appendix for the full statement. Other Wheaton friends of mine grumbled … Continue reading

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Eggs and Omelettes

As I write this, it is getting dark in Washington D. C. There are still pro-Trump rioters inside the Capitol and darkness does odd things to riots.  On all the channels I have watched, the reporters and commentators are asking, … Continue reading

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The most lied about President

It was a professional conversation.  About long-term financial planning, mostly.  We had done all the work and the comments being made were “on the way out the door comments,”  In some way, the topic of President Trump came up and … Continue reading

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Trying to understand vigilantes. Failing.

Amber Elliott, currently director of the St. Francois County public health department in Missouri, resigns today, November 20.  She and her family are being harassed by angry citizens. Kelly Vollmar is director of the Jefferson County Health Department and has … Continue reading

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Lasting Damage to the Republic

I want to write this post as a rebuke to myself.  I want to look back on the day I wrote this and say, “This helped me avoid making a really bad mistake.” Here is the mistake: “At last, the … Continue reading

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Bo Knows Politics?

There comes a time when, as the logic of a movement plays out, it just goes too far.  In this essay I want to say that I have reached that point myself, so far as the self-righteous political left is … Continue reading

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Just Enough Evidence for Now

I have one model of persuasion I would like to explore today and one I would like to reject.  I am sure these models have names that are known to people who study persuasion, but I don’t know what they … Continue reading

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