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Module Code: POU44321

Module Name: Topics in Political Psychology 2020-21

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 1
  • Contact Hours: One two-hour seminar per week
  • Module Personnel: Dr Gizem Arikan
  • Office Hours: TBA

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • explain, interpret, and discuss the implications of the major dispositional and situational approaches in political psychology,
  • discuss the psychological mechanisms underlying attitude formation and polarization,
  • explain the psychological correlates of group dynamics including obedience, ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and prejudice,
  • construct arguments concerning the psychological mechanisms underlying recent debates about citizen preferences in modern democracies.

Module learning aims

The module aims to introduce students to selected concepts and approaches in political psychology. By surveying key readings of the field and recent empirical findings, students will gain a thorough understanding of some of the most prominent theories explaining the origins of political attitudes and behavior and the application of these theories to some of the most pressing issues in world politics.

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Module content

This module is examines the psychological orientations underlying political attitudes and behaviors. It applies some of the most prominent theories in social and political psychology to understand and explain the psychological mechanisms underlying some recent developments in world politics such as political polarization, belief in fake news and conspiracy theories, the rise of xenophobia and right-wing populism. It surveys a number of dispositional and situational approaches to the study of political psychology and discuss the implications of these approaches for democratic citizenship.

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Recommended Reading List

  • Houghton, David Patrick. 2009. Political Psychology: Situations, Individuals, and Cases. New York: Routledge
  • Jost, John T. and Jim Sidanius. 2004. Political Psychology: Key Readings. New York and Hove: Psychology Press
  • Nesbitt-Larking, Paul, Catarina Kinnvall, Tereza Capelos, and Henk Dekker. 2014. The Palgrave Handbook of Global Political Psychology. Palgrave MacMillan

Assessment Details

Response papers - weighted 5%

Essay 1 - weighted 35%

Final essay - weighted 60%

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