PS/PO 320 - Political Psychology
Political psychology aims to decipher the underlying reasons for our political convictions, how we arrive at them, and how we choose to act on them. An inherently interdisciplinary field, it is thus well positioned to address political questions both of perennial relevance - e.g. what are the psychological reasons for the differences between liberals and conservatives? are our political beliefs couched in rationality or emotion? - as well as those of more recent provenance, such as how we might explain the rise of populist parties in the Western world, with case studies on Central/Eastern Europe and the US. This course examines the aforementioned in addition to the relation between various types of media and the public, acquainting students with concepts such as information bubbles, issue framing, and explicit and implicit attitudes. With the current emphasis so often placed on individual consumers and citizens, students are also asked to reflect on the difficulties faced by policymakers who must take into account the vagaries of public opinion, not to mention their own psychology.