What is Political Psychology?

Political psychology is a thriving field of social scientific inquiry, with roots in political science and psychology and connections to a range of other social sciences, including sociology, economics, communication, business, education, and many other fields. Political psychologists attempt to understand the psychological underpinnings, roots, and consequences of political behavior.

Some of this work enhances understanding of political phenomena by applying basic theories of cognitive processes and social relations that were originally developed outside of the domain of politics.

Other political psychology involves the development of completely new theory to provide psychological accounts of political phenomena.

Political psychology thus illuminates the dynamics of important real-world phenomena in ways that yield practically valuable information and also that enhance the development of basic theories of cognitive processes and social relations.

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And all of this work helps us understand why political events unfold as they do.