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Armchair psychologists—and some actual clinicians—have accused President Donald Trump of several psychological conditions ever since he came to national attention in the 1980s. The most common accusation concerns Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but now people say Trump has a messiah or messianic complex.

A messiah complex is a term from psychology. It is closely associated with grandiosity, megalomania and delusional disorder: grandiose type.

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MSNBC Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on October 23, 2018. (MSNBC/YouTube)

On Monday night, former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough took to Twitter to post an excerpt from the United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) report on dictator Adolph Hitler. The OSS was the WWII precursor to the CIA and NSA.

In the OSS psychological profile of Hitler, they described the head of the NAZI party with the classic traits of a person with narcissistic personality disorder. While anyone can display some degree of any of the traits of a narcissist, the diagnosis of the personality disorder is rare and requires a specific rigid set of personality traits that the person refuses to deviate from.

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US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, on June 8, 2018. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

If you’ve ever wondered why your in-laws continue to believe the earth is flat and climate change is a hoax, scientists may have found the answer — and it has nothing to do with intelligence.

A group of developmental psychologists from the University of Rochester and UC Berkeley discovered that feedback trumps (no pun intended) facts and physical evidence when it comes to beliefs and decision making.

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Helmut Corneli / Alamy

Animals’ ability to recognize themselves in a mirror — long considered the ultimate test of self-awareness — has historically been limited to great apes like chimpanzees and, more recently, young dolphins. However, an international group of researchers working in Japan recently tried “the mirror test,” as it’s known, with fish, and the results were shocking.

The fish passed.

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Image via Pixabay

Empathy—that ability to imagine how another person feels and share an emotional experience along with them—is praised as an ideal of human behavior. After all, one of the alleged hallmarks of a true psychopath is that they can’t feel empathy or don’t come by it naturally. Without empathy, how can we understand what the marginalized and the suffering go through? Social scientists believe that empathy originates, evolutionarily, as a series of “prosocial” behaviors, essential glue that helps humans stick together for increased survival.

Yet, more recently, psychologists and neuroscientists alike have begun to take a radically different stance on the empathy-is-good line of thinking. In fact, over-empathizing might be making us emotionally burned out and unwell, leading to such states as “compassion fatigue,” or “secondary trauma,” which affects first responders and caregivers at higher rates. In these states, a person can begin to feel numb, depressed, anxious, or even inexplicably angry.

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It turns out that we may read science fiction less thoughtfully than we do literary writing.

According to a paper published in the journal, Scientific Study of Literature, professors Chris Gavaler and Dan Johnson of Washington and Lee University found that when mentally classifying text under science fiction, readers automatically assume the text is less valuable — in a literary sense. For this reason, humans unconsciously put a decreased level of effort into reading works of science fiction than they would apply to literary writing.

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Radical Islamic terrorism — a phrase that may not have been coined by President Donald Trump, but is one he frequently uses and has employed since the early days of his campaign — has managed to convince a vast portion of America that it is the greatest threat currently facing the nation.

This idea not only ushered in Trump’s presidency; it has made way for bold, anti-Muslim executive orders and overreaching legislation — like the banning of travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. There is no doubt that terrorism is a threat to the world, though the radical Islamic variety usually occurs outside of America. Is terrorism really as colossal of a threat to Americans as it is so widely perceived?

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