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  3. Political Psychology

Political Psychology (POLS30034)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2017
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codePOLS30034
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Why do people vote the way they do? How do elites make decisions when faced with foreign policy crises? Is emotion a positive or negative force in politics? What factors lead to political participation? Why did just about everyone fail to predict the global financial crisis? Political psychology helps answer questions such as these. In exploring such questions this subject will explore the personalities, thought processes, emotions, motivations and political behaviour of citizens and elites. We will trace the early roots of political psychology such as psychobiography. We will also explore the real world applications of political psychology such as how the Obama election campaign mobilised voters using the findings from political psychology, as well as how the Behavioural Insights Team influenced policy-making in Britain.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • understand broad findings from psychology (and other related disciplines) and be able to apply them to political science questions;
  • understand different approaches to political psychology and the associated research methods;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the causal antecedents of cognition and political behaviour;
  • be able to synthesise and articulate arguments in different settings, including in class;
  • understand the role political psychology can play in policy development and regulation.

Last updated: 23 January 2019