Situations, Individuals, and Cases
Routledge – 2009 – 284 pages
Routledge – 2009 – 284 pages
What shapes political behavior more: the situations in which individuals find themselves, or the internal psychological makeup—beliefs, values, and so on—of those individuals? This is perhaps the leading division within the psychological study of politics today. This text provides a concise, readable, and conceptually-organized introduction to the topic of political psychology by examining this very question.
Using this situationism-dispositionism framework—which roughly parallels the concerns of social and cognitive psychology—this book focuses on such key explanatory mechanisms as behaviorism, obedience, personality, groupthink, cognition, affect, emotion, and neuroscience to explore topics ranging from voting behavior and racism to terrorism and international relations.
Houghton's clear and engaging examples directly challenge students to place themselves in both real and hypothetical situations which involve intense moral and political dilemmas. This highly readable text will provide students with the conceptual foundation they need to make sense of the rapidly changing and increasingly important field of political psychology.
"This textbook provides a concise, logically organised overview of the pertinent topic of political psychology, written in an accessible yet sophisticated way with undergraduates in mind … There is a scarcity of up-to-date general textbooks in the area of political psychology. This book fills the void in providing an introductory overview that is both highly accessible and interesting." – Fidelma Butler, occupational psychologist, in The Psychologist
"Political Psychology is written in an engaging manner and would serve as a good introduction for students to political psychology. It uses an interesting framework for discussing political behavior and prompts critical thinking from students. The book will be most useful to instructors of undergraduate political psychology courses." – Ruth Warner, PsycCRITIQUES
"I had come to believe that I would never find a political psychology text that treated this rapidly developing field in a reader-friendly yet sophisticated way. David Patrick Houghton’s Political Psychology: Situations, Individuals, and Cases has disabused me of this belief. Houghton's book is not only a lucid and thorough overview of the "situationist-dispositionist" debate in the field. It also employs these ostensibly opposing positions to integrate both an impressive range of ‘classic readings’ in the field and an extraordinary array of topics. Houghton’s book will be from henceforth the core text of my, and I suspect many others’, political psychology course. " – Ronald P. Seyb, Skidmore College
"This is an engaging discussion of how psychological theories and research provide insight into enduring problems of conflict and cooperation in political behavior and international relations. Houghton’s text reviews classic studies of conformity and obedience, as well as theories of personality, cognition, and emotion, and integrates them into an effective conceptual scheme that balances personal and situational influences on behavior. Students will find this book to be a tidy and persuasive introduction to the value of psychology for understanding the political issues of the contemporary world." – Dennis Chong, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, Professor Northwestern University
"Political Psychology provides a concise, readable, and conceptually organized introduction to the topic of political psychology. Houghton's clear and engaging examples directly challenge students to place themselves in both real and hypothetical situations which involve intense moral and political dilemmas. This highly readable text gives students the conceptual foundation they need to make sense of the rapidly changing and increasingly important field of political psychology." – SirReadaLot.org, January 2009
"A great addition to teaching political psychology to new students of the field. I will use the book because of its diverse, yet concise coverage, and its breadth." – David Wilson, University of Delaware, USA
1. The Conceptual Scheme of This Book 2. A Brief History of the Discipline Part I: The Situation 3. Behaviorism and Freedom 4. The Psychology of Obedience 5. Creating a "Bad Barrel" 6. Group Decision-Making Part II: The Individual 7. Psychobiography 8. Personality and Beliefs 9. Cognitive Theories 10. Affect and Emotion 11. Neuroscience Part III: Bringing the Two Together 12. The Psychology of Voting Behavior 13. The Psychology of Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and Genocide 14. The Psychology of Racism and Political Intolerance 15. The Psychology of Terrorism 16. The Psychology of International Relations 17. Conclusion: A Personal View
David Patrick Houghton is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Central Florida.