Voters are starting to act like hard-core sports fans – with dangerous repercussions for democracy

Michael Devlin, Texas State University and Natalie Brown Devlin, University of Texas at Austin During Donald Trump’s presidency, the American electorate became more divided and partisan, with research suggesting that the ongoing division is less about policy and more about labels like “conservative” and “liberal.” Essentially, voters increasingly see themselves in one of two camps […]

The psychology of fairness: Why some Americans don’t believe the election results

David M. Mayer, University of Michigan The electoral votes have confirmed Joe Biden won the 2020 United States presidential election. The presidential electors gave Biden 306 electoral votes to President Donald Trump’s 232 votes. Biden also recorded a solid lead of over 7 million in the popular vote. Nonetheless, results from a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist […]

Why being stuck at home – and unable to hang out in cafes and bars – drains our creativity

Korydon Smith, University at Buffalo; Kelly Hayes McAlonie, University at Buffalo, and Rebecca Rotundo, University at Buffalo While the pandemic has caused thousands of small businesses to temporarily close or shutter for good, the disappearance of the corner coffee shop means more than lost wages. It also represents a collective loss of creativity. Researchers have […]

As the pandemic rages, the US could use a little bit more ‘samfundssind’

Marie Helweg-Larsen, Dickinson College In recent years, the English-speaking world has found two Danish concepts, “pyt” and “hygge,” useful for dealing with anxiety and stress. Now another Danish word – “samfundssind” – might help countries grapple with the pandemic. In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen urged all […]

How a flu virus shut down the US economy in 1872 – by infecting horses

Ernest Freeberg, University of Tennessee In 1872 the U.S. economy was growing as the young nation industrialized and expanded westward. Then in the autumn, a sudden shock paralyzed social and economic life. It was an energy crisis of sorts, but not a shortage of fossil fuels. Rather, the cause was a virus that spread among […]