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Political psychology


About the course

Important dates and deadlines

Please note: this course has been canceled for Autumn Term 2022. 


This PhD-course deals with theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of Political Psychology. Political psychology focuses on applying what is known about human psychology to the study of politics.

This course starts out with an overview of various theoretical approaches that have provided the basis for the field, for example, rational choice theory, theories focusing on the role of emotion, on social identity, on personality features and cognition. It also gives a brief overview of some of the methodological approaches that are used in the field. The course then presents several applied topics, focusing on the decisions and behavior of individuals at the mass level, and at the elite level.

The course will deal with questions such as:

  • Why do individuals take part in collective action?
  • Why do people vote for specific candidates?
  • Why do some individuals become radicalized?
  • How do destructive leaders interact with their followers?
  • What leadership traits determine foreign policy outcomes?

Course information

Course coordinators
Hanna Bäck and Magnus Lindén

Course administrator
Frank Schreier

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Course syllabus (PDF 7 kB)
Reading list (PDF 53 kB)

Course schedule: 
This course has been canceled for the Autumn Term 2022.