Zachary Elwood Profile picture
Host a psych/behavior podcast (see link). Poker tells author, first book is in 8 languages. Writing book on U.S. divides. Research featured in NYT, WaPo, more.
Nov 16 6 tweets 2 min read
"I think that the Left has fallen into a bit of a delusion in thinking that by stopping things from being said, that you're stopping people from believing those things."
- paraphrasing @Erica_Etelson from polarization discussion "those thoughts & beliefs that we really might not like [...], they go underground, they fester. People will find another outlet; if they can't talk about it openly in their classroom or somewhere else, then they're gonna go online, & then the alt right will be recruiting them."
Apr 20, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
An interview I did w/ a recently retired police captain, which includes his thoughts on Chauvin's behavior (it sucked), how bad neck restraints are, how anti-cop sentiment contributed to his deciding to retire, and more.

Links:… One of the more interesting things mentioned by this cop I interviewed was an increase in domestic/family fights due to social media.
Nov 5, 2020 6 tweets 6 min read
A look at what people are saying in a 'Deplorables for Trump' Facebook group.

Note the shit welovetrump "news" URL.

#ElectionResults2020 More from same thread.

Oct 17, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Some beliefs associated w/ US political parties make sense, while some might seem rather arbitrary and based on “opinion cascades” (see below).

Can u think of some group-associated politicized views that you could imagine either group having if things had gone a different way? The paper on "opinion cascades" by Michael Macy of @CornellSoc…
Oct 17, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Has anyone called @JamesOKeefeIII Slippin’ Jimmy O’Keefe yet?

Getting his start pretending to be a pimp and making deceptively edited videos going on to becoming a prominent GOP con artist seems like a dumber, less ethical Saul Goodman plot line. For my new conservative friends, you might enjoy my podcast, where I talk about how we've gone too far, on the left & right, w/ political anger and polarization.

In this one, I talk to a Portland protester who defends violent protest (badly IMO):…
Oct 16, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Thread about tips for more psychologically healthy use of Twitter (and other social media). Turn off notifications. This is key for emotional well being. If important to get some messages, leave message in your bio to contact you another way if something is important.
Sep 30, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
To the narcissist’s mind, all criticism or questions are attacks. Trump telling Chris Wallace “I guess I’m debating you” is a good example. Anything less than complete obedience is an attack.

#Debates2020 Watching Trump debate a normal human being is like watching a kindergartner who’s somehow taken control of a classroom debate the teacher. It’s so fucking sad.

Sep 24, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
I saw 'Social Dilemma', about social media effects.

Keep expecting these shows to point out what is IMO root cause: this media radicalizes & divides us because it works on some of our social/psych weaknesses. Isn't about the algorithms (although obv those can accelerate). Psych factor #1: We believe more strongly in things we write down (see Deutsch & Gerard study). Writing things down even secretly makes us commit more to those ideas.

But writing things down publicly is whole other level: we feel committed, we double down, we're defensive.
Sep 14, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
@BudrykZack FYI, just a note: you shouldn't refer to True Pundit as "a pro-Trump blog," you should refer to it as what it is: a "fake news site"; it was created by disgraced journalist who's been arrested by FBI. If you didn't know, you can read more here:… True Pundit is one of the most influential domestic fake news creators we have. The very, very fake kind, who completely makes up stories. IMO his fake Clinton news was a major factor in Trump being elected.
Sep 9, 2020 9 tweets 6 min read
This thread will examine BLM-type groups on Facebook sharing fake/misleading news.

Note that this isn't always necessary done purposefully, but the effect (social media increasingly dividing us and polarizing us) is the same. Seen several posts about Nathaniel Julius, a kid w/ Downs Syndrome killed by police.

Most people share it w/o mentioning it happened in S. Africa, or that the cops claim it was result of kid being in crossfire.

Many people respond as if it was in U.S. ImageImage
Sep 4, 2020 21 tweets 13 min read
Getting rid of bunch of my books. Will share random pages that I’ve bookmarked as interesting.

This is from M. Scott Peck’s ‘People Of The Lie’, which is about the nature of “evil”.

Peck’s a bit religious and weird but was good read with some good ideas. ImageImage A couple books that long ago influenced my understanding on sex and biology and male/female relationships. ImageImageImage
Aug 28, 2020 6 tweets 4 min read
This is disturbing. The Epoch Times, a Falun Gong-run anti-China, pro-Trump propaganda outlet is delivering physical papers.

Not sure if this is widespread mailing or due to me being on GOP mailing list. Just says ‘current resident’. ImageImageImageImage This is next level disturbing. ImageImageImageImage
Aug 27, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
One aspect of police brutality I haven't seen talked much about: It's hard to get a jury to convict a cop.

& unfortunately the aggressive, polarizing nature of these protests means that a typical jury that has a few conservatives, will IMO be more likely than before to acquit. Article about the factors that make convicting a cop hard:…
Aug 25, 2020 8 tweets 5 min read
Facebook event 'Armed Citizens to Protect our Lives and Property' has people in #Kenosha planning to go out and confront protesters/rioters.

Event page:… ImageImageImage This event was organized by this group 'Kenosha guard':

Group was created June 2, 2020. ImageImageImage
Aug 24, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
Because we live in country w/ absurd amount of guns & gun crime, we’ll unfortunately continue to have a high # of deaths caused by police (w/ good cause and without).

Been strange seeing both liberals & conservatives avoid talking about our gun problem & its role in this. Piece in Atlantic by @DKThomp…
Aug 19, 2020 128 tweets 50 min read
"This poll is highly CLASSIFIED and is only intended for a small group of hand-picked Patriots."

"Do you agree that Slow Joe and Phony Kamala would DESTROY our Nation?"

"Do you agree that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are just Trojan Horses being used by the Radical Left?" ImageImage Trump selling "face coverings" for a $50 donation. Image
Aug 17, 2020 130 tweets 51 min read
"Defend your Nation [...] We need to FIGHT BACK."

"Sleepy Joe and Kamala Harris are nothing more than puppets being used by the Radical Left. How Pathetic."

"These two Corrupt SOCIALISTS have vowed to destroy everything my Administration has built." ImageImage "The future of our Nation is at risk. [...] Help us STOP THEM."

"To protect the future of our Nation from a RADICAL SOCIALIST TAKEOVER..." ImageImage
Aug 16, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Documentary 'The Great Hack' gives distorted perception of what's possible w/ psych-based ad-targeting.

Was skeptical of claims in that doc, & led me to read more on it, esp thoughts on it from @davekarpf.

Articles about this:…… This is a great article also, by Dave Karpf, on the subject of online disinformation:…
Aug 8, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Was talking to experienced police officer acquaintance, and he was echoing @SamHarrisOrg thoughts in the 'Can we pull back from brink?' episode, lamenting how bad cop morale would be, & how that would lead to bad officer candidates & even worse examples of cop behavior in future. Other thing he told me was that years ago he saw an intimidating large man harassing woman in downtown Portland. He confronted the man & got him to go away.

He recognized the man's face in the news later; it was Jeremy Christian, the man who killed 2 people on the Portland MAX.
Aug 5, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
There can be tendency for some liberals to criticize their own "side" more than other "side", because the other side can seem so illogical/outlandish that it's not worth discussing in serious way. Unfortunately, this tendency can be perceived (esp in brief social media posts) by people on your own "side" as attacking one's "side" and helping the other "side."

I think this is misguided. IMO many liberals don't understand how beneficial debate & public critique can be.
Aug 4, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Know-It-All Society, a book by Michael @Plural_truth Lynch about our modern digital environment and how it makes us arrogant.… Image Words of certainty as indicators of “moral entanglement”, from Know-It-All Society by @Plural_truth Image