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This course is about the intersection of the political and the psychological. We will examine the bidirectional relationship between politics and psychology. First, the course acts as a primer in political psychology, which is the application of what is known about human psychology to the study of politics. We will examine theoretical perspectives and their corresponding evidence for a range of important topics including the origins of political ideology, the processes of radicalization, the causes of intergroup conflict, and the role of personality in election outcomes. We will examine current events within the context of key psychological theories. Second, we will also examine the role of politics in psychology. Social scientists have long known that political beliefs bias the way people think about, understand, and interpret the world around them. We will explore how political biases can influence the scientific process including the development of hypotheses, study design, and the interpretation of evidence.
Acknowledgements to Jarret Crawford & Philip Tetlock whose own course syllabi influenced the development of this course.