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Syllabus Introduction to Political Psychology - 56338
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Last update 24-09-2021
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 1st degree (Bachelor)

Responsible Department: Political Science

Semester: 1st Semester

Teaching Languages: Hebrew

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: By appointment

Teaching Staff:
Prof Pazit Ben-Nun bloom

Course/Module description:
Political behavior can be studied from a variety of perspectives, for example, in terms of cost-benefit calculations, in which people are motivated by their self interest. This course suggests an approach utilizing psychological processes and findings about the human psyche to understand political behavior. Since the individual is the building block of every political behavior, we should start our investigation of politics by studying who those individuals are—what are their proclivities, motives, and personality traits, and how are they influenced by institutions and situations. Consequently, we can examine how these affect the course of politics. Due to its dual roots in political science and psychology, this approach is called political psychology.

Course/Module aims:
The main objective of this course is to give you a set of conceptual tools that will allow you to understand current events and the behavior of politicians and political groups.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Define commonly used terms in political psychology.

Identify the main approaches in political psychology.

Explain how different psychological theories advance the study of political behavior.

Demonstrate the use of experimental methodology in the study of political behavior.

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Lectures

Course/Module Content:
1. Organizational meeting and review of syllabus

2. Introduction: what is political psychology?

3. Group conformity and obedience

4. De-individuation and roles

5. Frameworks for studying personality; Leader trait analysis: psycho-biographic approach

6. Followers analysis: the authoritarian personality

7. Political sophistication

8. Bounded rationality and heuristics

9. Mass media effects

10. Motivated reasoning

11. Groups and origins of prejudice: SIT and RCT

12. Group heterogeneity

13. Group dynamics: suicide terrorism

14. Current approaches in political psychology, bio-psycho-politics

Required Reading:
1. רקע, נושאי הקורס


* סילבוס הקורס

2. מבוא: מהי פסיכולוגיה פוליטית?


* McGuire, W.J. (1993). The Poly-Psy Relationship: Three Phases of a Long Affair. In- Jost and Sidanius, 22-31. JS

* Jordan, C.H., Zanna, M.P. How to read a journal article in social psychology. In- Jost and Sidanius, p. 467-476. JS

3. קונפורמיות וציות


* Asch, S.E. (1955). Opinions and social pressure. Scientific American, 193:31-35.

* Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral study of obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67:371-378.

4. דה-אינדיווידואציה ותפקידים


* Diener, E., Fraser, S.C., Beaman, A.L. and Kelem, R.T. (1976). Effects of deindividuation variables on stealing among Halloween trick-or-treaters. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 33(2):178-183.

* Zimbardo, P.G. (1970). The human choice: Individuation, reason, and order vs deindividuation, impulse, and chaos. In W. J. Arnold & D. Levine (Eds.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation,1960. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

5. ניתוח התנהגות מנהיגים: הגישה הפסיכו-ביוגרפית, הגישה מבוססת-התכונות


* Barber, J.D. (1985). The presidential character. Reprinted in Neil Kressel, ed., Political Psychology: Classic and Contemporary Readings. New York: Paragon, 1993.

* Winter, D.G. (1987). Leader appeal, leader performance, and the motive profiles of leaders and followers: A study of American presidents and elections. In- Jost and Sidanius, 124-134. JS

6. ניתוח מונהגים: הדוגמה של סמכותנות


* Brown, R. The Authoritarian Personality and the Organization of Attitudes. In- Jost and Sidanius, 39-68. JS

* Stenner, K. (2005). The Authoritarian Dynamic. London: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 2, pp. 13-36.

7. תחכום פוליטי


* Converse, P.E. (1964). The nature of mass belief systems in mass publics. In- Jost and Sidanius, 181-199. JS

8. רציונליות מוגבלת וכללי אצבע


* Lupia, A. (1994). Shortcuts versus encyclopedias: Information and voting behavior in California insurance reform elections. American Political Science Review, 88:63-76.

9. השפעות תקשורת ההמונים


* Iyengar, S., Peters, M.D., Kinder, D.R. Experimental demonstrations of the "not-so-minimal" consequences of television news programs. American Political Science Review, 76, 848-858. In- Jost and Sidanius, 139-149. JS

* Nelson, T.E., Clawson, R.A., Oxley, Z.M. (1997). Media framing of a civil liberties conflict and its effect on tolerance. American Political Science Review, 91, 567-583.

10. קוגניציה פוליטית: חשיבה-מוּנעת

* Taber, C., Lodge, M. (2006). Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs. American Journal of Political Science, 50, 755-769.

* Lebo, M. J., Cassino, D. (2007). The Aggregated Consequences of Motivated Reasoning and the Dynamics of Partisan Residential Approval. Political Psychology 28, 719-746.

11. קונפליקט בין קבוצות


* Tajfel, H., Turner, J.C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W.G. Austin and S. Worchel (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.

12. השפעת הרכב הקבוצה


* Huckfeldt, R., Morehouse Mendez, J., Osborn, T. (2004). Disagreement, ambivalence, and engagement: The political consequences of heterogeneous networks. Political Psychology, 25, 65-95.

* Mutz, D.C. (2002). The consequences of cross-cutting networks for political participation. American Journal of Political Science, 46, 838-855.

13. התאבדות טרוריסטית: פרופיל אישיותי מול דינמיקה קבוצתית


* Merari, A. (2010). Conclusion: An integrative view of suicide terrorism. In A. Merari. Driven to Death: Psychological and social aspects of suicide terrorism. Oxford University Press, chapter 10, 261-280.

14. סיכום: זרמים עדכניים בפסיכולוגיה פוליטית, ביו-פסיכו-פוליטיקה

* Alford, J.R., Funk, C.L., Hibbing, J.R. (2005). Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted? American Political Science Review, 99, 153-167.

Additional Reading Material:

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 100 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
See moodle for most current version of the syllabus.
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.