Politics and politicians often create a collective shrug in society. But with the global financial crisis striking on the eve of the U.S. presidential election, many Americans are paying more attention to the politics than ever before. Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, and their running mates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, have been forced to speak out about the banking debacle and the housing crisis when they might prefer to talk about their records or health care or global political situations. We look at the psychology, sociology and economics of today's political climate.
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Latest Articles

Political Polarization? Sure, But Study Reveals Hope (Op-Ed)
GOP Republican Elephant arguing with a DNC Democrat Donkey.
July 9th, 2014
Focusing on the center — and it's wide — how polarized is the United States?
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Hey, Tom Coburn: Why 'Wasteful' Science Is Important
Angus calf in a pasture
December 18th, 2013
An annual report on allegedly wasteful government spending gets the science wrong.
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Liberals Don't Hate Authority After All
President Obama appeared in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana on May 17, 2009.
June 27th, 2014
Liberals are just as accepting of authority as conservatives, when that authority shares their political views, new research finds. But the left and the right do differ on how much they value consensus versus uniqueness in political voices.
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Liberals & Conservatives Literally Moving Farther Apart
Gated community and homes
December 11th, 2013
Americans feel like they belong when their neighbors vote the same way they do, a tendency that appears to be driving the formation of red and blue enclaves around the country.
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A Weighty Issue: Chris Christie and Obesity in Politics
November 7th, 2013
While political pundits debate whether a candidate's girth is an election-day liability, science has weighed in with a surprising find: Politicians who are overweight are perceived as more reliable, honest and inspiring — but only if they're male.
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Gov't Shutdown Science: Why Human Nature Is to Blame
The U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.
October 2nd, 2013
The failure of Congress to reach the agreement needed to avoid a government shutdown today can, in some ways, be seen as human nature, resulting from the way people act when they form groups, psychologists and sociologists say.
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Political Lies, White Lies and Damned Lies (Op-Ed)
what not to say, keep quiet, hush
May 31st, 2014
Lying is ubiquitous. According to this study humans tell about two lies per day.
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Computer Scientist Andrea Johnson: Getting to the Heart of the Matter
Andrea Johnson, computer science, plain language, voting, elections , voter access
December 3rd, 2013
Andrea Johnson, who works on Prime III, an electronic system designed to improve voting accessibility, discusses her passion for her field.
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Beyond the Environment, America's Representative Democracy at Risk (Op-Ed)
Tenaya Lake
October 17th, 2013
Can the U.S. protect its environmental health without a truly representative republic?
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