POL 3767: Political Psychology of Elite Behavior

3 CreditsCivic Life and Ethics

Why do some world leaders seek cooperation while others advocate war? Why do some Presidents effect major change while others are relegated to the dustbin of history? How does the personality of leaders affect how they behave in office? In this class, we will address questions like these by exploring the psychology of political elites, those members of society who wield outsized influence over political decisions. This outsized influence means that understanding how elites think is particularly important. It is also unusually difficult, leading some to argue that political psychology can play little role in understanding elite decision-making. Students will exit the class having mastered a body of knowledge about elite decision-making and learned about 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. This course fulfills the Civic Life and Ethics theme requirement.

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All Instructors

B+ Average (3.255)Most Common: A (31%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

233 students
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  • 4.03


  • 4.43


  • 4.12


  • 3.80



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