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Encyclopedia Entry

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Political Science | Psychology


Political psychology is an interdisciplinary academic specialty focusing on the study of psychological processes that influence political behavior. Accordingly, a more precise label for the discipline might be the psychology of politics or psychological political science. Contemporary political psychology draws from all cognate areas of psychology, with the strongest emphasis on social, cognitive, personality, and developmental psychology; motivation and emotion; and cognitive neuroscience. It also draws abundantly from its other parent discipline, political science, including the field of international relations. Furthermore, it has ties with political communication, economics, philosophy, sociology, and other related disciplines.

The encyclopedia entry briefly traces the development of political psychology as an organized discipline and outlines its major areas of inquiry, including cognition, affect, and motivation in politics; political socialization; political personality and leadership; political participation; intergroup relations; international relations; and political stability and change.


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Related publication by the author

Immelman, A. (2003). Personality in political psychology. In I. B. Weiner (Series Ed.), T. Millon & M. J. Lerner (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Vol. 5. Personality and social psychology (pp. 599–625). John Wiley & Sons.