This course offers a broad overview of political psychology, a field that uses methods and theoretical ideas from psychology as tools to help understand political processes, with a focus on the individual. Concepts from psychology, such as personality, cognition, the dynamics of social groups, attitudes, and the ways in which emotion affects decision making, are applied to concepts within politics, including the media and political advertising, race relations, the perceived legitimacy of government institutions, conflict and conflict resolution, and the formation of opinions and ideologies. In addition, by describing political psychology experimentation in detail, the course teaches about how the scientific method can be applied to the study of politics.
- To critique, analyze and compare major political psychology theories, ranging from social cognition and personality to nationalism and terrorism.
- To design and produce a critical analysis of a political event by integrating political psychology theory.
- To examine and deconstruct the impact of political psychology as it relates to local, national, and broader international concerns.
- To gain an intermediate understanding of the theory and methodologies of political psychology.
- Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
- Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
- Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
- Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
- Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views.
- Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
- Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
- Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
- Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.