This branch of psychology helps us to better understand society and political science. Political science with psychology is one of those areas of psychology that, not having defined an object of study as other branches of it. That seems to be blurred in the ambiguity of the social sciences. However, that does not mean that it is not relevant.
Why political science is related to psychology?
Thanks to his joint work with fields of knowledge such as sociology and anthropology. It is better to understand what happens in an increasingly globalized world, with increasingly wide and, ultimately, social conflicts. Next, we will see what are the main functions, characteristics, and problems of political science with psychology.
Political Science and Psychology
Political science with psychology is a difficult concept to define. The diffuseness of its limits and structural characteristics has meant that this name has been used to refer to different things for years.
However, a definition as specific as it is complete is the one made by Luis A. Oblitas and Ángel Rodríguez Krauth (1999): political science psychology is the part of psychology responsible for analyzing phenomena of a political nature based on their psychological aspects. : the perception of corruption, the political discourse of parties, social movements, and pressure groups, identification with reference groups or leaders, etc.
But a simple definition is not enough to understand the distinguishing characteristics of this branch of psychology. First, its relationship with historical processes and social psychology must be taken into account.
The importance of historical processes
Some people have a conception of what psychology relates to biology than to the social sciences. From this point of view, this would be a science responsible for studying neural structures that, being inside our body, emit behaviors in the same way in which a gland produces saliva.
While it is true that psychology is not strictly a social science in its entirety, the previous view of the profession of psychologists is wrong. This is so because psychology is the study of behavior. Human behavior is never born spontaneously inside bodies concerning human beings but is always modulated by the historical context in which people live. The same person is very different depending on where and when they are born. For example, today’s misogynistic behavior could be considered as normal as little as a century ago.
Ultimately, our way of being is not separated from the flow of events around us, and a good part of these is of a social and political nature.
On the other hand, the actions we take also contribute to changing the context we live in. Consequently, the object of the study of political science psychology, and social psychology, is constantly changing. This means that their approach to what happens cannot be the same as that of the exact sciences, which analyzes phenomena whose components are more or less invariable. They must use a probabilistic approach when investigating. In turn, this fact brings political psychology closer to other disciplines that study social phenomena, such as anthropology and sociology.
Political Science and Political Psychology?
Keep in mind that people engaged in political science psychology are very sensitive to how political phenomena influence our way of thinking. Of course, studying in today’s Spain, the interaction processes between politically mobilized ethnic groups is not the same as doing it in Hitler’s Germany. Science is also a human and social activity, and therefore it is not isolated from these influences.
Consequently, one of the objectives of political psychology is to analyze how political processes, throughout history or present, contribute to certain models of human behavior, gaining strength to the detriment of others, which they lose support.
In short, political psychology always tries to direct efforts to make self-criticism about the presuppositions from which it starts. The epistemological approach it uses when reaching conclusions. The effects are placing more emphasis on certain study topics than on others.
Its forms of application: examples
It may seem that political psychology is content to understand certain social phenomena, reaching abstract and not very courageous conclusions. It works from concepts that are very difficult to study, always changing, and having little concrete limits. Where does humor end and where does humor begin? Chauvinism in certain propaganda initiatives, for example. However, this does not have to be like this.
Political science psychology can be used, for example, to make predictions movements that mobilized groups will carry out or to measure the degree of racism and xenophobia that appear in certain discourses of parties and groups. The consequences of this have been made clear throughout history.
At the same time, it also serves to know what are the probabilities that a regressive movement will appear in a generally progressive country. Vice versa, a progressive one in one anchored in religious fundamentalism and nationalist essentialisms.
In short, political science psychology, although it is far from being infallible, serves to reach very important conclusions since it tells us about phenomena that can affect thousands or millions of people.