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POLS 365

Political Psychology

This course examines the psychology behind political attitudes, preferences, and outcomes. Concepts in psychology such as personality, group identity theory, or other cognitive heuristics can offer new ways to think about contemporary issues in political science. After all, many important political decisions such as vote choice or policy preferences are guided by social preferences or biases, rather than more objective or "rational" approaches to make choices. Throughout this course, we will understand how such internal preferences or biases can guide and influence political outcomes. For example, how do our partisan, ideological, or ethnic group identities affect the political information we select, or the policies we support? How might appeals to fear, resentment, or prejudices impact electoral outcomes? Or why do misinformation and conspiracy theories linger in the public's mind for so long?

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Social Science 1 course