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Unformatted text preview: Political Psychology: What is it? A fusion of political science & psychology in an effort to answer questions about the behavior of the governed and political leadership. Very interdisciplinary: includes some anthropology, sociology, etc. How the political environment affects us individually, as a group, and as a society; and how we affect it o e.g., we are the generation of 9/11: it shaped our political environment Political Psychology studies: 1. how psychological phenomena such as cognition, motivation, personality, emotions, and identity influence political decision-making and behavior 2. how political phenomena, such as war, leadership, public policy, and social movements affect the thoughts, feelings, and motives of participants in the political life of a community and/or nation Follows the logic of the scientific method, but we do not conduct experiments: we do not prove anything in our field What do we do in Political Psychology? o Content Analysis: revolves around the idea that what we do and say reflects the way that we see the world o Conduct interviews, surveys, small group experiments, provide questionnaires, etc. o Facial Action Coding System (FACS): developed by Dr. Paul Ekman an attempt to map out facial expressions and match them up with discreet emotions (used to study foreign leaders and analyze and predict their behavior) Outlines 3 parts of analysis when considering an individual: 1. cognition: how you think & why you think what you think 2. emotion: how you feel very much tied to cognition (bidirectional relationship: each affects the other) 3. personality: not just who you are, but why you are who you are shaped by nature & experience We go with what works: were interested in practical solutions, not ivory tower theories. Interested in both causation & consequences Psychological Assessment of Political Leaders: Political Personality Profile (Jerrold Post): Jerrold Post points out that Political Psychology is useful for understanding both international conflict & international crises There are 2 parts to the political personality profile: 1. longitudinal: constructing a life history of the subject a chronology of the shaping life events that influenced core attitudes , political personality, leadership, and political behavior. A psychobiography (e.g., Where did they grow up? What happened there during their formative years? Did it influence them and their family?) 2. cross-sectional analysis: an attempt to define the nature of the subjects basic personality to identify characteristic adaptive styles and those aspects of cognition, attitudes, affect, and interpersonal relations which bear on specific elements of leadership functioning, such as leadership style, crisis decision-making, negotiating style, and identification of those political issues that are especially salient for the subjects psychology....
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- Fall '07
- Political Science