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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 role of emotion and identity in elections, the processes of radicalization, political polarization, and affinities for fake news and science denial. 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. These include how political biases influence the acceptability of topics, the development of hypotheses, study design, construct development and measurement, and the interpretation of evidence.
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