Political Science | Political Psychology
Y490 | 12735 | Braman

In this class we will investigate how psychological theory helps us to
understand how people act (and interact) in the political arena. We
will start with basic concepts including attitudes, behavior and
cognition.  We will discuss what these terms mean and how they
interact to shape individual political experience. We will take some
time to talk about applications of the experimental method to
political phenomena. Focusing on the American political context we
will discuss how citizens form opinions about issues and candidates
and how they may be subject to persuasion by media outlets and
political elites. We will talk about how political officials make
decisions.  Finally, we will discuss how people come to identify as
part of a larger “social group,” how they interact based on those
identities and the implications for political phenomena including
racial and ethnic conflict. This class fulfills the intensive writing
requirement.  Students will be required to write 25-35 pages including
weekly response papers and a final research project.