I’ve been a practicing clinical, research, and political psychologist for over thirty years. My current work focuses on “psychology for progressive purposes” — applying psychological knowledge to issues of social justice and social change.
I am the former executive director of the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at the University of Pennsylvania, and a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. I’m also a member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, which advocates against complicity in torture and in favor of restoring psychology’s commitment to do-no-harm ethics.
Over my career, I’ve written dozens of scholarly articles published in a variety of leading academic journals. In more recent years, my efforts have turned toward writing for a broader audience. In addition to my popular Psychology Today blog, my writing has appeared in outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, Alternet, and Truthout. In recognition of contributions to the field, I was honored to receive the Anthony J. Marsella Prize for the Psychology of Peace and Social Justice.
I received my undergraduate degree from Princeton University and my doctorate in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Political Mind Games
I’m currently working on a book that describes the psychological “mind games” used by those with extraordinary wealth and power to grow their empire — while stifling the public’s outrage and solidarity over today’s extreme inequality.
Selected Media Appearances
Links to some of my articles for a range of media outlets, and audio files of some interviews I’ve done for radio and TV.
Selected Papers in Academic Journals
PDF versions of several of the articles in a variety of peer-reviewed journals and other outlets.
Brief YouTube videos I’ve created that examine issues of war, psychological ethics, and right-wing propaganda.
A Political Cartoon
I’m not a cartoonist (but some say a picture is worth a thousand words). To date, this is my one and only attempt.
In a recent Washington Post commentary, I made four points. First, psychologists played essential roles in the government-authorized torture and abuse of “war on terror” detainees. Second, the American Psychological Association (APA) facilitated this involvement — by secretly accommodating CIA and Defense Department interests; by contesting evidence of wrongdoing with deceptive public statements; and by …
School children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut; parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina; co-workers in San Bernardino, California; nightclub attendees in Orlando, Florida; and now concertgoers in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each time, the horror of yet another mass shooting leaves us stunned, grief-stricken, and desperate for answers. But always lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce, …
Later this summer, millions of Americans — from Oregon to South Carolina — will be looking skyward to witness a rare total solar eclipse as the moon briefly blots out the sun. Yet for so many in the United States, dark days aren’t really anything new. And they’re becoming all the more commonplace as Trump, …