POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY: FALL 1994
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND REQUIREMENTS
Political Studies 185 Office Hours
MWF 10:00 Mon 11:00-11:45
Dana Ward Tues 11:00-12:00
Office: A207 Wed 11:00-11:45
Phone: 3177 Thur 11:00-12:00
This course provides an introduction to the psychological
foundations of political life. It is a cross disciplinary course
which requires some familiarity with both political science and
psychology. During the course we will explore three different
areas of psychology: affective, cognitive, and group psychology.
We will apply those psychological theories to particular political
problems including foreign policy decision making, the formation
of belief systems, moral reasoning and ideology, colonialism,
political socialization, political history, political culture,
mass hysteria, psychohistory, Machiavellianism, authoritarianism
and the formation of generational units.
The survey of psychological theory will not be comprehensive.
Rather, I have selected those theories which I have found most
useful in constructing a model of the political mind. The
affective theory will be a variety of psychoanalysis developed
primarily by Erik Erikson, the cognitive theory is Piagetian, and
the theory of group psychology we will employ is a product of a
number of different psychologists, W.R. Bion being perhaps the
most notable. These three areas represent the most important
systems of the mind that must be understood if we are to
understand political behavior.
During the first few weeks of the course it may seem as if we
are paying too much attention to psychology and not enough
attention to politics. In addition, it may be difficult to see
the relationship between cognitive, affective and group
psychology. Be patient. The three theories do fit together, and
each is a necessary tool for understanding political behavior.
The purpose of the course is to provide you with a model of
the political mind that is fairly comprehensive, multi-dimensional,
and flexible. Such qualities are not easily nor quickly achieved.
Furthermore, it will be impossible for me to make all the
necessary connections. You will have to provide sustained and
concentrated attention if the goals of the course are to be
achieved. If you are successful you should end the semester with
a broader and deeper understanding of the political world.
In addition to the main goal of developing a model of the
political mind, there are five other goals. The most general
purpose of the course simply is to introduce you to some of the
"classics" in the relatively new discipline of political
psychology. A second purpose is to provide a cross-disciplinary
approach to the study of politics. This is a deceptively simple
goal, but is nevertheless of fundamental importance. It is my
belief that the trend toward specialization within disciplines
has run its course. The future will require people who are able
to step across the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines
in order to construct models of complex systems which encompass
the tremendous accumulation of specialized knowledge which has
accrued over the last century. A third purpose of the course is
to provide some appreciation for the various steps involved in
the conduct of social science inquiry, from theory construction
through empirical confirmation. A fourth purpose is to sharpen
your critical, writing, oral, and research skills, while the
ultimate purpose is to provoke thought and to enjoy the
exploration of a new field.
One more general comment about the course is in order. This
is a course about power. It may not seem so at first, but you
ought to keep this focus in mind throughout the course. We are
looking at how people respond to exercising power, how people
respond when power is exercised over them, how people use power
to achieve their ends, and how people respond to changing
distributions of power. On that note it should be said that our
relationships among ourselves are appropriate topics of
discussion. Power in this course is shared with the group as a
whole. Nothing is non-negotiable, anything can be changed.
Finally, a few words on my general orientation toward
education are in order. You are the only person responsible
for your education and you must take an active part in that
process. if you expect to sit back and have me do your
thinking for you or entertain you, you will be disappointed. I
hope to challenge you, at times to guide you, and to provide as
much intellectual stimulation as my abilities permit, but
learning requires autonomy and initiative, and this you must
provide. I expect you to challenge me and to question my
assumptions. In the process I expect to learn at least as much
from you as you may learn from me.
Grades will be based on the following five criteria:
1) By Friday, September 10, you will each submit a statement
of your goals for the course. This statement should be as
specific and detailed as possible. Plan your method for meeting
the responsibilities of this course, set weekly goals and time
schedules, or whatever will help you to think about why you are
taking this particular course and how it fits your over-all
learning goals. Then on the last day of class you will turn in a
self-evaluation in which you will analyze how well you met your
goals, how your goals changed, and what unforeseen goals emerged.
You will then assign yourself an over-all grade based on your
performance in this course and this will constitute ten percent
of your final grade.
2) On December 3, peer evaluations are due. Each student
will turn in an evaluation of each of the other students in the
class. On the top left hand corner of a 4" x 6" file
card type the name of the student being evaluated, followed by a
letter grade (e.g., A, A-, AB, B+, B, B-, BC, etc.) . Use
separate cards for each student since the evaluations will be
distributed to the individual. The evaluators will remain
anonymous. The grade given should reflect your evaluation of
the student's contribution to your own education. That is, how
thought provoking, helpful, and informative has the student in
question been in your own attempts to understand our subject.
Below the student's name and grade, type as thorough and
thoughtful an analysis as possible of the basis for your
evaluation, emphasizing strengths, weaknesses and suggestions
for improvements (use additional cards as necessary). This will
constitute five percent of the student's final grade.
3) A three page (maximum) research design for testing a
hypothesis in the field of political psychology. This is a much
more difficult task than it may seem. You will each have an
opportunity to re-write the research design. The design will be
due October 6, and will constitute twenty percent of your final
4) A five to seven page paper on a topic of your choice which
must be approved by me. This paper will be due November 15 and
will constitute twenty percent of your final grade.
5) A ten to twelve page paper summarizing and criticizing the
field of political psychology as presented in the course readings
and lectures. This is due on the last day of class and will
constitute forty percent of your final grade. You should be
working on the paper all semester long.
ALL LATE PAPERS WILL BE DOWNGRADED ONE GRADE FOR EACH 24 HOUR PERIOD
THAT THE PAPER IS LATE.
I recommend that you consult with me early and often on your
choice of research design and paper topics. You must be careful
that your topics are in the field of political psychology, not
psychology or politics per se. That is the problem or issue you
investigate must be "political". Your definition of
political, however, can be fairly broad as long as it is clearly
spelled out. At the same time, you must be sure that your topic
is not too narrowly political, i.e., you must spell out the
psychological foundations of your argument. A second caution is
that your paper must have a hypothesis. it can not be a mere
description. Description is for journalism. You must state your
hypothesis early in the paper and the remainder of the paper must
be devoted to establishing your argument. Note that there is a
world of difference between an assertion and an argument.
Research Design: 20%
Short Paper: 20%
Long Paper: 40%
From time to time during the semester we will break up into
smaller discussion groups during class. These discussion
groups will focus on one of the assigned books. Each group
will analyze and criticize the book and then we will re-
constitute ourselves into one group and compare our
conclusions. On some occasions one group will be assigned
the task of defending the book, while the other group will point
out its weaknesses. On each occasion when we break up into smaller
discussion groups one or two individuals will be selected to lead
the group's discussion when we move back into the large group.
Everyone will have to lead at least one of these discussion over
the course of the semester and this should be considered part of
the peer evaluation. Obviously, it is essential that the reading
be completed by the assigned date.
The dates preceding the readings are the dates by which the
reading must be completed. The number in parentheses below
the date is the total number of pages to be read for that
Sept 2: Introduction to the course
Sept 5: Smith, M.B. (1968), "A Map for the Analysis of Personality and
(67) Politics", Journal of Social Issues, vol. 24, pp. 29-49 (also found
in DiRenzo, Personality and Politics, pp. 55-80.
Greenstein, F. (1992), "Can Personality and Politics be Studied
Systematically", Political Psychology, vol. 13, #1, pp. 105-125.
Davies, J. (1986), "The Roots of Political Behavior", in Herman, ed.,
Political Psychology, pp. 39-61.
Optional: Greenstein, F. (1967), "The Impact of Personality on
Politics: An Attempt to Clear Away Underbrush", American
Political Science Review, vol. 61, #3, pp. 629-641.
Sept 7: Hoover, K. The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking, pp. 3-14,
(60) 17-46, 49-69.
Sept 9: Hoover, K., The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking, pp. 73-98,
(73) 101-135, 137-151.
Sept 12: Barner-Barry, Carol & Robert Rosenwein, Psychological
(78) Perspectives on Politics, pp. 1-78.
Sept 14: Piaget, J. & Inhelder, B., The Psychology of the Child, pp, 1-60.
Sept 16: Piaget, J. & Inhelder, B., The Psychology of the Child, pp. 61-120.
Sept 19: Piaget, J. & Inhelder, B., The Psychology of the Child, pp. 120-159.
(76) Adelson, J (1971), "The Political Imagination of the Young
Adolescent", Daedelus, vol. 100, #4, pp. 1013-1050.
Sept 21: Rosenberg, S., Ward, D., & Chilton, S., Political Reasoning &
(65) Cognition, pp. 1-65.
Sept 23: Erikson, E., Childhood and Society, pp. 247-274.
(74) Erikson, E., Young Man Luther, pp. 13-48.
Barner-Barry & Rosenwein, pp.270-282.
Sept 26: Erikson, E., Insight and Responsibility, pp. 111-157.
(70) Erikson, E., Gandhi's Truth, pp. 395-409.
Barner-Barry & Rosenwein, pp. 282-292.
Sept 28: Best, J., Public Opinion: Micro and Macro, pp. 48-69.
(64) Kohlberg, L., "The Development of Moral Character and Moral
Ideology", in Hoffman, M. and Hoffman, L. (eds.), Review of
ChildDevelopment Research, pp. 383-427.
Sept 30: Gilligan, C., In A Different Voice, pp. 1-63.
Oct 3: Gilligan, C. In A Different Voice, pp. 64-127.
Oct 5: Gilligan, C. In a Different Voice, pp. 128-174.
(79) Rosenberg, Ward, & Chilton, Political Reasoning & Cognition,
Oct 7: Lee, D., "Individual Autonomy and Social Structure", "Personal
(83) Significance and Group Structure", & "Responsibility Among the
Dakota", Freedom and Culture, pp. 5-14, 15-26, 56-69.
DeMause, L. "The Evolution of Childhood", The History of Childhood,
pp. 1-54 (also found in The History of Childhood Quarterly,
vol. 1, #4, pp. 503-556.
Oct 10: Rogin, M., "Liberal Society and the Indian Question", Politics and
(63) Society, May 1971, pp. 269-312.
Buzinkai, D. "V.I. Lenin: Adolescent Rivalry and Identification",
paper on reserve.
Oct 12: Mannheim, K., "The Problem of Generations", in Essays on the
(73) Sociology of Knowledge, or in P.G. Altbach and R. Laufer (eds.)
The New Pilgrims, pp, 101-138.
Rosenberg, Ward, & Chilton, Political Reasoning and Cognition,
Ward, D., "Generations and the Expression of Symbolic Racism",
Political Psychology, vol. 6, # 1, pp. 1-18.
Oct 14: Barner-Barry, Carol & Robert Rosenwein, Psychological
(65) Perspectives on Politics, pp. 79-144.
Oct 19: Caldwell, D., Kissinger: His Personality and Politics, pp. 3-63.
Oct 21: Caldwell, D., Kissinger: His Personality and Politics, pp. 64-127.
Oct 24: Bettelheim, B. "Imaginary Impasse: & The Consciousness of
(60) Freedom", in The Informed Heart, pp. 43-63, 65-105 (The page
numbers in your edition may not be the same, but the chapter
titles are the same.)
Oct 26: Bettelheim, B., "Behavior in Extreme Situations: Coercion", The
(68) Informed Heart, pp. 107-175.
Oct 28: Bettelheim, B., "Behavior in Extreme Situations: Defenses", The
(58) Informed Heart, pp. 177-235.
Oct 31: Bettelheim, B. "The Fluctuating Price of Life", & "Men Are Not Ants".
(61) The Informed Heart, pp. 237-265 &267-300.
Nov 2: Milgram, S., Obedience to Authority, pp. 1-72.
Nov 4: Milgram, S. Obedience to Authority, pp. 73-134.
Nov 7: Milgram, S., Obedience to Authority, pp. 135-189.
(67) Rosenberg, Ward, & Chilton, Political Reasoning and Cognition,
Nov 9: Altemeyer, B., Enemies of Freedom, pp. 1-73.
Nov 11: Altemeyer, B., Enemies of Freedom, pp. 73-151.
Nov 14: Altemeyer, B., Enemies of Freedom, pp. 151-232.
Nov 16: Altemeyer, B., Enemies of Freedom, pp. 239-319, 327-333.
Nov 18: Christie, R. & Geis, F., Studies in Machiavellianism, pp. 1-9, 35-52,
(75) 130-160, 190-209.
Nov 21: Christie, R. & Geis, F., Studies in Machiavellianism, pp. 260-338.
Nov 23: Barner-Barry, Carol & Robert Rosenwein, Psychological
(64) Perspectives on Politics, pp. 145-209.
Nov 28: Lane, R.E., "Government and Self Esteem"", Political Theory, vol. 10,
(61) #1, pp. 5-31.
Lane, R.E., "Interpersonal Relations and Leadership in a Cold
Society", Comparative Politics, vol 10, pp. 443-459.
Lane, R.E., "Autonomy, Felicity, Futility: The Effects of the Market
Economy on Political Personality", Journal of Politics, vol. 40,
Nov 30: Lane, R.E., "Markets and Politics: The Human Product", British
(62) Journal of Political Science, vol 11, pp. 1-16.
Lane, R.E., "Market Choice & Human Choice", in Markets and Justice,
Nomos XXXI, Chapman & Pennock, eds. pp. 226-246.
Lane, R.E., "Political Observers and Market Participants: The Effects
on Cognition", Political Psychology, vol. 4, pp. 455-482.
Dec 2: Lane, R.E., "Market Justice, Political Justice", American Political
(58) Science Review, vol. 80, #2, pp. 383-400.
Lane, R.E., "Experiencing Money and Experiencing Power", in Shapiro
& Reeher, eds., Inequality and Democratic Politics, pp. 80-101.
Lane, R.E., "The Legitimacy Bias: Conservative Man in Market and
State", in Legitimation of Regimes, pp. 55-75.
Dec 5: Bennis and Shepard, "Theory of Group Development", pp. 127-153;
(89) Gibbard, G., "Individuation, Fusion and Role Specialization",
pp. 247-266; Jaques, E. "Social Systems as a Defense Against
Anxiety", pp. 277-299; and Turquet, P.M., "Leadership: The
Individual and the Group", pp. 349-371, all in Gibbard, G.,
The Analysis of Groups.
Dec 7: Janis, I.; Groupthink, pp. 2-47, 132-158, 174-197.
Dec 9: Janis, I., Groupthink, pp. 242-276.
(93) Barner-Barry & Rosenwein, pp. 210-269.
Copies of all reading assignments are on reserve at Honnold library.
In addition, copies of many articles and chapters from books are on reserve
at Mead. We will be making extensive use of the following books and I
therefore recommend you purchase the majority for your personal use, but I
urge you to form several book cooperatives among members of the class so
that no one must buy all the books. If three people team up to share the
costs of the books, it should be easy to coordinate access when the books
Altemeyer, Bob; Enemies of Freedom
Barner-Barry, Carol & Robert Rosenwein, Psychological Perspectives
Bettelheim, Bruno; The Informed Heart
Caldwell, Dan, ed.; Kissinger: His Personality and Policies
Gilligan, Carol; In A Different Voice
Hoover, Kenneth; The Elements of Social Scientific Thinking
Janis, Irving; Groupthink
Milgram, Stanley; Obedience to Authority
Piaget, Jean & Inhelder, Barbara The Psychology of the Child
Rosenberg, Shawn, Dana Ward, and Stephen Chilton, Political
Reasoning and Cognition: A Piagetian View