Definition of Political Psychology
Miscellanea / / August 10, 2022
Political psychology focuses on the study of behavior that arises from the interaction of the human being with respect to various sociopolitical processes. According to this definition, it is not only the union of psychology with political science, but it is also linked to other disciplines such as sociology, anthropology and history.
Degree in psychology
The complexity of psychology politics prevents placing it as one more aspect of the division of psychology, since it is a transdisciplinary field that forces the psychologist politician to look towards the work of other disciplines in order to provide a more complete look at the behavior of a person with respect to their field political.
It emerges and develops theoretically as such from the middle of the 20th century, although its most important antecedents take place at the end of from the nineteenth century in Europe, to the year 1986, when the sociologist and physicist Gustave Le Bon published his book on the psychology of masses. In this work, Le Bon makes an extremely important study for theSocial psychology, but also mentions the psychology of individuals with respect to political institutions and with respect to the process in which the electoral masses make decisions. (LeBon, 1896).
A second important moment for psychology is during the decade of the 1930s, when studies carried out by political scientists Charles Meriam and Harold Laswell highlighted the importance of psychology in understanding the impact of political science on people. Laswell published in 1930 the book Psychopathology and politics, where he makes an approach to the personality and the features of pathologies present in the behavior of political actors.
Objects of study of political psychology
Erroneously, attempts have been made to define political psychology as the mere study of behavior electoral individual, when the latter is only one line of investigation of a much more large.
Political psychology encompasses various phenomena as objects of study, such as electoral behavior, adherence to a certain ideology or political party, the profile of the political leader and his social influence, identification processes, as well as the motivation that leads a person to the stake as political actors. The vision from which political psychology starts is to understand how political life influences and determines, if applicable, human behavior.
Morton Deutsch, in his article What is Political psychology?, raises the following issues that he calls keys in the study of political psychology:
1. The individual as a political actor. Addresses the individual perspective of political behavior.
2. Coalitions and political structures. Analyze the counterpart of the individual. Here the interest has much to do with the social and political composition of groups that share ideologies or operating logics.
3. Relations between political groups. It aims to analyze the interaction of groups (not individuals), whose interests and ideologies are not necessarily the same but that due to political and social conditions are determined to coexist.
4. political processes. Everything that relates processes, both individual and collective, and that triggers a consequence of a political nature, will be the object of study of this topic. Examples: persuasion, perception, conflict, mobilization.
5. case studies. Detailed analysis of representative cases of a particular topic. When there is a detailed development that explains the research work carried out and its scope, then it is a monographic study.
6. human development and political economy. Works focused critically on the political environment and its consequences not only on behavior but also on the individual's psyche. Analysis of equality, Justice, democracy, etc.
Political Psychology in Latin America
In Latin America, political psychology was built with a sense of identity based on the needs and particularities of the region. Political Psychology emerged in the Latin American context, in the second half of the 1980s (Rodríguez Kauth, 2008). Psychologists such as Ignacio Martín Baró and Maritza Montero, convened from different aspects of psychology, to build a political psychology that considered elements from other areas. defined as community social psychology or liberation psychology to determine an area of study that not only lends itself to analyzing issues such as voter intentions, or ideological inclinations, but that their findings allow a critical study of political and historical processes and how they determine the collective and individual behavior of people.
In Latin America, a political psychology proposal has been built in recent decades that encompasses different themes and theoretical approaches. It is discussed in building a methodology own and that meets the needs not only of the work of the political psychologist but also the social needs of the community, people, society, country in question. The product of this initiative has been a series of innovative works in different latitudes of the region Latin American being the most outstanding countries Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico among others plus.
ReferencesDeutsch, M. (1984) What is Political Psychology? International Journal of Social Sciences. Political Dimensions of Psychology, 96, 239-256.
Rodriguez Kauth A. (2008) Research and teaching in political psychology. Electronic Journal of Political Psychology, (6) 17, 1-11.