GOV 370L • Political Psychology
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary. This course employs psychological theories to investigate how we think and act politically. We will consider influences indigenous to individuals, notably their personality. We will look at how we process information cognitively, which often entails simplifying the world around us even when simplification produces misunderstandings or distortions. We will move "outside" ourselves to consider how the environment around us, and particularly other people, influence our attitudes and behavior. The "environment" subsumes such things as learning processes (e.g., how we learn from our parents, or the media), as well as pressures to conform or obey, which arise through our interactions with others. We will investigate how our loyalties to various groups also guide behavior. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on those applications of these psychological theories that have political relevance.