Quantcast
Connect with us

‘He preys on weaknesses of the mind’: Acclaimed author uses behavioral psychology to explain Trump

Published

on

Donald Trump’s shocking win in this year’s presidential election has left many people scratching their heads about how he could have succeeded despite breaking almost every rule of modern politics.

Author Michael Lewis, who has just published a new book about cognitive psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky called The Undoing Project, has some ideas.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lewis recently sat down with Business Insider to talk about how the theories developed by Kahneman and Tversky helped him to understand the Trump phenomenon, and he says that he is amazed at how skillfully Trump exploits people’s psychological vulnerabilities to attain power.

“Almost instinctively, he preys on exactly on the weaknesses of the human mind that they identified,” Lewis says. “The simple one is ‘anchoring.’ Amos and Danny did these studies where they’d give their lab subjects a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ with the numbers 1 to 100 on it, and have them spin the wheel. And then after they’ve spun the wheel and got a number, ask them what percentage of countries in the United Nations come from Africa? And a people who had spun a high number, like 90, would guess a higher number of percentage of countries from Africa in the United Nations.”

In other words, the study shows that people are can be prone to being misled by a simple cognitive association to believe something is much larger than it actually is.

As an example, consider the way Trump has convinced his followers that “voter fraud” is a massive problem simply by claiming that “millions” of people had voted illegally for Hillary Clinton. While there is no evidence of any widespread voter fraud in the U.S., Trump can make it seem like a gigantic problem simply through confident, unflinching assertion that it is.

Lewis also says that human brains are wired to desire certainty and stability — and he says that “any kind of prevarication” leads us to doubt someone’s truthfulness and strength.

ADVERTISEMENT

Check out the whole video at this link.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Pence adviser says that Trump’s phone call to Ukrainian president was ‘unusual and inappropriate’

Published

on

Mike Pence sneer

Jennifer Williams, a Special Adviser on Europe and Russia issues for Vice President Mike Pence's foreign policy team, told congressional investigators that she viewed President Donald Trump's July 25th phone call to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky as "unusual and inappropriate." Williams had listened in on the phone call while it was happening, and a whistleblower revealing the controversial contents of that call prompted the current impeachment inquiry into Trump.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Chuck Todd burns down GOP’s Ron Johnson’s Ukraine excuses: ‘You seem to blame this on everybody but the president’

Published

on

A clearly exasperated Chuck Todd was forced to talk over a loud and filibustering Sen Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Sunday morning for once again pushing Ukraine conspiracies and arguing over whether Donald Trump wanted the president of Ukraine to attack former Vice President Joe Biden on his behalf.

Having let Johnson throw out several scenarios and try and spread the blame around, Todd, finally cut in to say, "You seem to blame this on everybody but the president. It was the president’s actions."

"You’re blaming everybody else for the reason we’re in this situation, other than the president," Todd continued. "Isn’t the president’s own behavior, which raised all of these yellow and red flags, isn’t is that why we’re here?”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

I can ‘do anything I want, I’m a police officer’: Indiana cop fired after racially profiling black men in mall parking lot

Published

on

A white police officer working for Lawrence Township in Indiana has been fired after he was filmed accosting two black men sitting in their car outside of a Nordstrom Rack and accusing them of being "suspicious."

According to WTHR, Lawrence Township Deputy Constable Daryl Jones approached cousins Aaron Blackwell and Durell Cunningham on the north side of Indianapolis but was filmed on a cellphone that eventually led to him losing his job.

The cousins stated that Jones racially profiled them and tried to run their car plates.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image