notes 10-15-07 - Notes Overview 1 Introduction 2 Cognitive...

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Notes 10-15-07 Overview 1. Introduction 2. Cognitive psychology 3. Psychoanalytic theory 4. Limitations of psychological approach 5. Observations about levels of analysis 6. Course logistics 1. Introduction In order for most poli sci theories to work, you must assume that people are rational and try their best. In reality, it is opposite. The very first political psychological theory focused on the abnormal as a way to understand politics. 2. Cognitive psychology Cognitive theories share the assumption that our brains have our own rules for processing information. There is a systematic regularity as to how info is proccessed. These rules are beyond are consciousness. What are those rules? One guideline is that mind prefers patterns over isolated facts. The mind prefers to perceive in patterns. In sum, all of us face information overload... we have limited brain power, therefore the brain uses psychological rules that govern which info we notice and which we ignore. These rules are driven by Simplicity Uncertainty The fundamental attribution error is an error that a lot of us make all the time. Scholars argue it has a huge pact on political policies. It is a set of rules that have to do with how we assess motive. It has four pieces: 1. If my enemy does something bad to me, I assume that is because of his or her character. 2. If my enemy does something good to me, I assume that that behavior is not because of their character, but because of their context. 3. If my friend or ally does something good to me, I assume that is because of their character.
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