POL3766: Political Psychology of Mass Behavior

3 CreditsComm, Lang, Lit, & PhilosophyField StudyOnline AvailableSocial Sciences

How do people develop their political opinions? What makes people vote the way that they do? Why do some people love, and other loathe, Donald Trump? Understanding how ordinary citizens engage with the political sphere is essential to understanding how politics work. This course applies a psychological approach to understanding how average people - members of the mass public - think about politics, make political decisions, and decide how (and whether) to take political actions. We will explore arguments about the role that ideology, biological and evolutionary factors, personality, identity and partisanship, racial attitudes, and political discussion play in shaping the opinion and behavior of members of the mass public. In addition, this class introduces students to the methodology of political psychology and how political psychologists approach questions and attempt to understand the political world.Students will exit the class having mastered a body of knowledge about how they and their fellow citizens think about politics and the different approaches that scholars take to study these decisions. They will also gain the critical capacity to judge arguments about politics, the ability to identify, define, and solve problems, and the skill to locate and critically evaluate information relevant to these tasks. Finally, this course takes a cooperative approach to learning, and many course activities will be structured around learning and working with a group of fellow students over the course of the semester.

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All Instructors

B+ Average (3.235)Most Common: A (30%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

902 students
  • 4.37


  • 3.82


  • 4.55


  • 4.40


  • 3.65



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