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What is political psychology? The name is new, with its inception as a separate discipline sometime in the twentieth century, and the formation of an official society only in 1978. Yet scholars discussed the relationship between psychology and political processes as early as ancient Greece. The primary purpose of this upper level course is to provide an overview of political psychological research with an emphasis on the psychological mechanisms underlying political behavior. By focusing on a list of selected topics that represent merely a portion of those covered in PP, this course is planned to give you a taste of what political psychology is. When one hears the term political psychology, one might envision the study of elections and campaigns. While not inaccurate, this perception excludes a broad range of topics that fall within the purview of political psychology. For example, the following questions address political psychology topics: What is the impact of prejudice and identity on intergroup relations? How does threat impact individuals’ political choices? Or what is the psychological and physiological impact of war and terrorism on individuals' political worldviews ?What is political psychology? The name is new, with its inception as a separate discipline sometime in the twentieth century, and the formation of an official society only in 1978. Yet scholars discussed the relationship between psychology and political processes as early as ancient Greece. The primary purpose of this upper level course is to provide an overview of political psychological research with an emphasis on the psychological mechanisms underlying political behavior. By focusing on a list of selected topics that represent merely a portion of those covered in PP, this course is planned to give you a taste of what political psychology is. When one hears the term political psychology, one might envision the study of elections and campaigns. While not inaccurate, this perception excludes a broad range of topics that fall within the purview of political psychology. For example, the following questions address political psychology topics: What is the impact of prejudice and identity on intergroup relations? How does threat impact individuals’ political choices? Or what is the psychological and physiological impact of war and terrorism on individuals' political worldviews ?

Greek fables discuss both the sour grapes phenomenon, in which desires are adjusted in accordance with what we cannot have, and an alternative phenomenon in which we want what wecannot have . Machiavelli presents a complex and sophisticated manual for how the Prince shoulduse psychology to gain political power. De Tocqueville makes the revolution of rising expectations and the concept of relative deprivation key to the fall of the old regime in France. Finally, the founding fathers built the American system of government on critical assumptions about human nature, setting up checks and balances to counter human tendencies toward domination. The practical political world is similarly filled with assumptions about how relations among people might be said to be inevitably linked with human psychology; appeals to character are a longstanding staple in democratic politics and every precinct committeeman understands the electoral importance of the bandwagon and the underdog effect .

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