Skeptics Society lecture: The Psychology of Brexit: From psychodrama to behavioural science.

Brendan Burgess

The next public lecture of the Irish Skeptics Society will be held on Wednesday December 11th. We are delighted to welcome Professor Brian Hughes back to speak to us. He has been a very popular presenter on various topics for the ISS over the years and his December lecture is a very topical and fascinating one!

Brian is Professor of Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is former president of the Psychological Society of Ireland and a prominent advocate for scientific psychology, evidence-based policy, and the role of psychology in society.

Date and time: Wednesday December 11th at 8pm
Location: Wynn’s Hotel, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
Admission: €3 (Members and concessions); €6 (Non-members)
Title: The Psychology of Brexit: From psychodrama to behavioural science.
Speaker: Professor Brian Hughes, NUIG.

Brian has sent the following abstract:
The Psychology of Brexit: From Psychodrama to Behavioural Science

Brexit is a true psychodrama. As such, it has attracted a huge amount of media analysis of its psychological underpinnings. Commentators have sought to explain Brexit in terms of imperialism, classism, xenophobia, nostalgia, masochism, mental derangement, low intelligence, authoritarianism, susceptibility to manipulation by social media, and many other culprits. Virtually all of this commentary is speculative, polemical, and partisan. Indeed, the psychobabble surrounding Brexit is part of the mayhem that causes social division and political chaos.
This lecture will set out how scientific research can shed empirical light on the psychology of Brexit, by showing how events are shaped by people's perceptions, preferences, choices, self-images, attitudes, assumptions, group relations, and reasoned (or ill-reasoned) conclusions. By looking at the true psychological causes, catalysts, and consequences of Brexit, we will examine what Brexit can teach us about ourselves, and what we can do to deal with its short-term impact and long-term fallout.