Political Psychology

The End of the End of Ideology

In the aftermath of World War II, many social scientists claimed that individual citizens’ political attitudes lacked the consistency to be considered ideological and that there was little difference is the psychological processing of liberals and conservatives. According to these thinkers, the era of entrenched political ideology had ended. New More

The Unexpected Consensus Among Voting Methods

Historically, the theoretical social choice literature on voting procedures in economics and political science routinely highlights worst case scenarios, emphasizing the inexistence of a universally ‘best’ voting method. Indeed, the Impossibility Theorem of Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow proved that no voting method can ever satisfy all of his requirements simultaneously. More

Scientists Provide a Civics Lesson for Politicians

In the spring of 1975, a United States Senator from Wisconsin began a public media campaign against what he judged to be wasteful government spending.  His monthly press release, entitled the “Golden Fleece Award,” was made up of informational snippets, caustic humor, and ad hominum attack in roughly equal measure.  More

Observations

Facing the Way We Elect Our Leaders Apparently CNN, the Gallup Poll, and the New York Times are working way too hard during election season. A study published by Princeton University researchers in the June 10 issue of Science shows that a photograph is more than enough for voters to More

APS Lifetime Member Profile: Herbert C. Kelman

Herbert Kelman, who calls himself a “political psychologist,” came to the United States from Vienna during World War II. As professor of social ethics, emeritus, and chair of the Middle East Seminar at Harvard University, his research focuses on conformity and obedience, nationalism and national identity, ethnic conflict and its More