This is an advanced seminar on political psychology designed for upper-level undergraduates, primarily juniors and seniors. We consider several issues lying at the intersection of social and political psychology. We begin with consideration of what it means to be "liberal" or "conservative", and the complexities inherent in measuring ideology and its relation to voting. We then consider the dynamics of political polarization: what factors drive liberals and conservatives to disagree with one another, and is there any way of reducing these divisions? We also focus on other issues, such as the role of situational factors (e.g., terrorist threat) in "shifting" ideological preferences and the dynamics of politically-infused conspiracy theories, such as beliefs associated with the Covid pandemic. Given the timing of this course, the dynamics of the Fall 2022 midterm elections will be a major focus. PREREQ: Psych 315.
Course Attributes: AS SSC; FA SSC; AR SSC; EN S