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The Psychology of Politics

The study of politics draws from the knowledge and principles of political science, sociology, history, economics, neuroscience, and other related fields in order to examine and understand the political behavior that ultimately informs government policy and leadership in America. The goal of exploring these relationships is to understand how we act collectively, govern ourselves, make political decisions, resolve conflict, and use and abuse power, all of which reflect our deepest fears at least as much as our aspirations and ideals.

The personalities, ethics, behavior, motives, judgements, integrity, and management styles of political leaders must also be addressed. More than ever, social psychologists and others have a lot to say about the divisive nature of partisan politics and what can be done to allow diverse voices to be heard on topics like healthcare and immigration and reconcile the strong differences of opinion that can impede progress and pull a nation apart.

The Science of Governing


Public opinion plays a strong and influential role in policy setting and decision making in American government. Though not always 100 percent accurate, non-biased public opinion polls and surveys are one way for politicians and public officials to gauge the public’s feelings about any topic. Constituents can call or write to their elected officials at any time to have their voices heard. Special interest groups representing the opinions of large groups of people also have the ear of public officials. At the same time, political leaders often try to shape public opinion on issues and initiatives that concern them the most.

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