What shapes political behavior more: the situations in which individuals find themselves, or the internal psychological makeup—beliefs, values, and so on—of those individuals? This is perhaps the leading division within the psychological study of politics today. This text provides a concise, readable, and conceptually-organized introduction to the topic of political psychology by examining this very question.
Using this situationism-dispositionism framework—which roughly parallels the concerns of social and cognitive psychology—this book focuses on such key explanatory mechanisms as behaviorism, obedience, personality, groupthink, cognition, affect, emotion, and neuroscience to explore topics ranging from voting behavior and racism to terrorism and international relations.
Houghton's clear and engaging examples directly challenge students to place themselves in both real and hypothetical situations which involve intense moral and political dilemmas. This highly readable text will provide students with the conceptual foundation they need to make sense of the rapidly changing and increasingly important field of political psychology.