Category Archives: Political Psychology

Peter's Partisan Podcast: Pretty Powerful . . . Ah, I ran out of "P" words

Check out a podcast I made with GovLoop, a website for government employees, in which I discuss the challenge we face in this country of overcoming partisanship.  Take a listen and let me know what you think.

Posted in Political Psychology

Dying for Facts: Conclusion

In the last few posts, I’ve told the story of a couple heated debates. One still ongoing: “Does capital punishment deter criminals?” Another ended: “Do antiarrythmia drugs save lives?” The latter debate is over because people on both sides of … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology

Dying for Facts Part 4: Getting Evidence!

When I last posted to this site, I was recounting my experience as a medical resident in the late 80s, presumably saving my patients’ lives with wonder drugs. A few weeks into my cardiology rotation, the senior cardiologist who had … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology

Dying for Facts Part 3: The heart of the matter?

We live in an era of strident partisanship, with elections often decided by candidates’ attitudes towards morally and emotionally charged issues like gun control or abortion. Each presidential election seems to hinge on some set of irresolvable moral and cultural … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology

Dying for Facts Part 2: Same evidence, different conclusion

In my last post, the fate of a cold-blooded killer depended on nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices who could not agree whether his death would deter potential criminals. It is easy to understand why Supreme Court Justices, forced to make … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology

Dying For Facts Part 1: Death Penalty Debates

On November 23, 1973, Dennis Weaver read a disturbing article in his Atlanta newspaper. Two men were found dead in a ditch along the very same highway where he had been hitchhiking the day before. Even more disturbingly, Weaver recognized … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology

Abortion, Health Care and the Psychology of Compromise

It is a dangerous time to compromise in the U. S. government. A Republican working with Obama is dead meat in the next primary. A Democrat who works with Republicans? Well, you saw what happened to Joe Lieberman the last … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology

Megan Fox's Belly Button: The Key to Understanding Politics?

Okay, as fine as is her midriff, most of you probably don’t list Megan Fox’s belly button as her first, um, attribute worth pondering. But bear with me–her belly button IS key to understanding why the Massachusetts senate seat just … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology

Fat Lazy Neighborhoods?

If I told you that neighborhoods cause people to develop diabetes, would you believe me? And would that make you more or less willing to see your tax dollars spent researching ways to treat and prevent diabetes? That is essentially … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology

Hitler's Testicles and Palin's Death Panels

Did you know that Adolf Hitler had three testicles? You didn’t? Well, you are right. That is just an urban legend — one that I have just created. In fact, if anyone tells you that Hitler had three testicles, they … Continue reading

Posted in Political Psychology