We Need to Address the Danger from Trump’s Fake News Awards

United States President Donald Trump.

by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky Donald Trump’s “Fake News Awards” for what he calls “the most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media” have drawn mockery. However, behavioral science research suggests they are deadly serious. These awards create an institution for Trump’s relentless attacks on mainstream media and position Trump as the only voice who gets to determine truthful media. Unfortunately, the typical style of news coverage will perpetuate Trump’s agenda. However, a different style informed by behavioral science strategies would convey more accurate information and address the damage from the…

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The GOP’s Incredible Christmas Gift To Corporations

photo image of hand offering Christmas stocking brimming with gifts to an individual not seen in image

GOP and President Trump play Santa to Corporations and One Percenters President Donald Trump called the recently-passed tax bill “an incredible Christmas gift” for middle-class Americans. In reality, the tax bill takes money from the pockets of middle-class Americans and gives it to corporations. Anyone who claims the tax bill primarily benefits the middle class is spreading falsehoods. With the new bill, the tax rate for corporations is reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent. That makes a total reduction of 40 percent from what they were paying earlier. Other…

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Donald Trump – The First Post Truth President And The Tragedy Of The Commons

Trump Swearing In Ceremony during Inauguration

By GLEB TSIPURSKY  Donald Trump is our first post-truth president. And he may well be the first of many. The Oxford Dictionaries website chose “post-truth” as its 2016 word of the year, in large part due to Trump’s success in the presidential election. It defined post-truth as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” (Incidentally, the 2015 word of the year wasn’t a word at all but the “face with tears of joy” emoji.) Trump’s…

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Knowing Just Enough To Be Dangerous: How Overconfidence Subverts Rational Politics

still image of Floyd Mayweather landing a hard punch on Conor McGregor in recent bout in Las Vegas

By Joel Lehman   “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” -Shakespeare It happens every year. It’s the beginning round tryouts on the talent show American Idol, and a man confidently takes the stage, sparks in his eyes. He thinks he’s destined for greatness, this is his moment. The music starts, and with anticipation quaking, he smiles full of composure, and boldly unleashes — a cracked and cringe-worthy voice! Clearly, he can’t carry a tune if his life depended on…

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Is Spirituality Irrational?

remarkable cloud formation suggesting an angelic being with arms outstretched backlit by the sun and radiating beams of light

  By Ron Garret Spirituality and rationality seem completely opposed. But are they really? To get at this question, let’s start with a little thought experiment. Consider the following two questions: 1. If you were given a choice between reading a physical book (or an e-book) or listening to an audiobook, which would you prefer? 2. If you were given a choice between listening to music, or looking at the grooves of a phonograph record through a microscope, which would you prefer? But I am more interested in the answer…

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How To Advance Rational Thinking In Your Community

bronze statue of a woman in thought

  by Gleb Tsipursky Why don’t they teach this in high school?!? Or even college, for that matter. That’s the reaction that my wife and I had after attending Columbus Rationality meetings. This subgroup of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio, an affiliate of the American Humanist Association, hosts a wide variety of events devoted to advancing rational thinking strategies.   My wife and I aren’t alone in our reactions – many attendees report having similar experiences. After an event focused on effective decision-making, one participant reported in feedback sheets distributed afterwards that “this was…

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How To Avoid Giving Regret – Understanding The Influence of Attentional Bias

school children in Ghana

by Gleb Tsipursky I want to share my story to help you avoid the kind of regret I experienced as a deep churning in my stomach when I found out what bad decisions I made by giving to my favorite charity for many years. Make-A-Wish Foundation helps kids with terminal diseases achieve a grand wish. For example, it could take the child and her family to Disneyland. It then shares the stories of these kids through their marketing materials. These stories are truly heartwarming. I fell for it, and donated every…

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Being A Weird American on Independence Day – Aspirational Patriotism

by Gleb Tsipursky  In celebration of Independence Day, I want to share why I think of myself as a weird American. I’m very proud to be a citizen of the United States. It’s one of the greatest countries in the world. America is a beacon of hope for democracy and freedom for millions of people across the globe. Our universities consistently produce ground-breaking research; our companies drive innovation for the global economy; our military helps keep peace in many global conflicts. Yet I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable thinking of…

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Searching For Meaning And Purpose In Life? Is Religion Essential Or Optional?

Series: Find Your Purpose Written by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, Intentional Insights Co-Founder and President. Graphics by Cerina Gillilan Imagine the following scenario: you have been raised in a deeply evangelical household. From an early age, your parents taught you to pray daily and told you that the purpose and meaning of life were found in God. Attending Sunday school reinforced this message. So did the television that your family watched, the books that they gave you to read, and the music to which they encouraged you to listen. You grew…

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