Political Psychology Neuroscience, Genetics, and Politics

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-07-24
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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InPolitical Psychology: Neuroscience, Genetics, and Politics,scholar George Marcus provides a cutting-edge introduction that discusses the field's origins, evolution, and possibilities. Offering context that other texts typically omit, this unique volume includes a historical account of the ideas that underpin political psychology--ranging from Ancient Greece, through the Enlightenment, to today--thereby highlighting the deep intellectual roots and continuous vitality of the field. The book also looks at emerging trends in the discipline, integrating an "inside-out" perspective that analyzes how neuroscience, cognitive science, and genetics apply to politics. In addition to opening up new areas of inquiry, this approach gives students new conceptual, theoretical, and methodological tools that they can use to seek out new answers to old questions. An ideal text for upper-level undergraduate courses in political psychology or as a supplement in political behavior, public opinion, and political communications courses,Political Psychologyfocuses on teaching the essential skills involved in making credible political psychology explanations: creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Exercises throughout enable students to practice and master these skills and to "learn by doing."

Author Biography

George E. Marcus is Professor of Political Science at Williams College and Councilor of the International Society of Political Psychology. He is the author of numerous books and articles on political tolerance, emotion, and politics.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Importance of Political Psychology
The Field of Political Psychology
The Social Organization of Political Psychology
The Core Concerns of Political Psychology
The Usefulness of Taxonomies
Human Nature and Human Politics
Doing Political Psychology
Explanation in Political Psychology
Description and Explanation in Political Psychology
Plan of the Book
Chapter 2. A Brief Methodology Primer for Political Psychologists
Explanations as Persuasion or Justification, and Explanation as Knowledge
Generating Explanations: Theorizing
Getting Observations: Data, Sampling, and Generalization
Surveys: Samples from a Population of Interest
Other Data Collection Methodologies
Measuring Concepts: Measurement Theory
Forms of Relationships
Chapter 3. A Short History of a Long Tradition
Understanding Premodern Conceptions of Time
Understanding Modern Time
Emotion and Reason Shaping Political Psychology
The Modern Dilemma: The Unexpected Trajectory of Progress
Chapter 4. Neuroscience and Political Psychology
Neuroscience and Time
Neuroscience and Knowledge
Neuroscience and Action
Psychology and Knowledge
Valence Conception
Discrete, or Appraisal Conceptions
Dimensional Conceptions
Chapter 5. Brain and Conscious Mind
The Psychology of Mind and Brain
Split Brain Experiments
Time and Brain Functions
A Provisional Beginning: The Theory of Affective Intelligence
The Politics of Mind and Brain
Chapter 6. Political Action: The Uses and Limits of the Mind
The Limits of the Mind, the Blind Spot of Political Psychology
An Overview of Preconscious Appraisal and Action
Political Psychology Wrestles with the Unconscious
The Preconscious and Politics
Dual Process Models: Brain and Mind
Chapter 7. Personality and Political Psychology
A Very Brief Historical Introduction to Personality
Personality as Taxonomy: Personality as Types
The Four Humors
Modern Research on Personality
Personality in Psychobiography
Personality in Political Psychology
Four Limitations of Trait Conceptions of Personality
Neuroscience and Personality
Pathology and Research Agenda of Personality in Political Psychology
Political Psychology and Personality Going Forward
Suggested Readings
Chapter 8. Political Psychology and Democratic Politics
How Do We Know?
How Do We Manage?: Dual Process Models
Moral Judgment
Free Will
The Special Challenge of Manipulation
Rethinking Core Conceptions
Critical books and articles exploring biological sources of variation in personality
Gene Environment Interactions
Motor Action (behavior)
Seminal Pieces regarding Genes and Political Attitudes
Applications to Political Psychology: Selected Examples
Developmental Psychology
Early Seminal Work on Personality
Some Primers: Evolutionary Accounts & Probabilistic Epigenesis
Affective Neuroscience
Early Basics
Recent Basics
Consciousness and Preconsciousness
Social Neuroscience
Behavioral Development
Neural Development
Decision Neuroscience
Chapter 9. Using the Past and Present so as to Live in the Future
A Brief Reprise
Context in Political Philosophy
Context in Psychology
A Preliminary Consideration of Authority and Context in Politics
A Provisional Psychological Taxonomy of Context
Assessing the Empirical Story
The Normative Story
Affect and Context
A Taxonomy of Context or a Taxonomy of Contexts
Chapter 10. Conclusion: Political Psychology and Politics
The Limitations of Political Psychology
An Agenda for Political Psychology (Redux)
Political Psychology for the Young Scholar
Choosing Research Topics
Political Psychology for the Citizen

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