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Relationship Between Psychology and Political Science


Relationship Between Psychology and Political Science 


What is Psychology? Psychology Facts             

The term "Psychology" is coined from two Greek words that ascertain it as life explanation, which makes it an important element of daily life.  The field of psychology can be described as a discipline focusing on the study of mind and behavior. This discipline is based upon several concepts and approaches that are used by psychologists in understanding human behavior. 

Since psychology is a broad field, psychologists not only use these concepts and approaches but also conduct scientific research that enables them to understand human behavior.  Some of the most common psychological concepts that are used to modify or change an individual’s behavior include operant conditioning, positive and negative reinforcement and various behavioral therapies.

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What is Political Science? Definition of Political Science    

Political science refers to the study of politics and the usage and transformation of power from domestic, international, and comparative perspectives. It provides an in-depth understanding of political ideas, ideologies, institutions, policies, processes, and behavior, as well as groups, classes, government, diplomacy, law, strategy, and war. A background in political science is valuable for citizenship and political action, as well as for future careers in government, law, business, media, or public service.

Relationship Between Psychology and Political Science
Relationship Between Psychology and Political Science

Connection Between Political Science and Psychology      

In due course of time, a variety of researches has been conducted from which an asymmetry has been noted in the relationship between Psychology and Political Science.  Thereby political scientists have placed much much more emphasis on political psychology as compared to psychologists”  But is it a universal truth? Are there existing areas in political science where psychologists are more likely to have a role to play in the relationship? Our answer is yes. 

We believe that it is within psychology that one finds a heavier reliance on political science than found elsewhere. It can be argued that the only existence of psychology is political. Therefore, psychology and political science are more intimately intertwined. Furthermore, we conceptualize that politics serves as a nexus between political science and psychology

Psychology as a subject matter studies the way the human mind works, which in turn helps us to understand why people behave in a certain way. Political scientists often make use of the insights of psychology in order to analyze a president’s or voter’s behavior or to explain why some people are more prone to supporting certain governments and ideologies.

If you have time, try checking out these 5 Psychology books to understand human behavior. The books are quite helpful and full of positive information, unlocks many facets of human psychology as you read them through.

Connecting the Dots Between Psychology and Political Science
Connecting the Dots Between Psychology and Political Science

Difference Between Political Science and Psychology

Political science and psychology are two extremely varied disciplines with different areas of study and along with that, the research methods are also quite unique in nature. When we say psychology and political science, the one thing that is imperative to keep in mind is that both subjects are interdependent on each other. This means that the very existence of one of these subjects is not viable without the existence of the other.
It is possible that because the central point of focus in both cases is humans, there might be a bit of overlap in the subject matter of political science and psychology. However, these two disciplines differ in their research methods, goals, and approaches. The difference between political science and psychology is focused on different parameters. Political science tends to focus on studying the behaviour of groups and institutions, while psychology often focuses on the behaviour of individuals.
Additionally, political scientists may use a range of research methods, including quantitative analysis and qualitative methods such as case studies and interviews, while psychologists often rely heavily on experimental research designs. To sum it up, we can say that the approach of political science is concerned with the study of political institutions, systems, and behaviour. However, when it comes to the field of psychology, is concerned with understanding the psychological processes underlying human behaviour.
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Role of Psychology In Political Science

Well as you might already know, the central focus of both fields is on none other than humans. Psychology as a field can provide one with valuable input and it can actually help one to focus on those paradigms which help one to analyse the trends. The role of psychology in political science is quite vivid. There are usually different parameters that psychology can help in political science. Some of these include-

Understanding Voter Behaviour

They can explore how emotions, beliefs, and biases influence political decision-making. Once you have an understanding of how the voter behaves and what is it that influences their decision, it is much more promising for the leaders as well. 

Examining Group Dynamics

Political science often involves the study of groups, such as political parties, interest groups, and social movements. Psychologists can help to explain how group dynamics affect political behaviour, such as conformity, polarisation, and social identity.

 Analysing Leadership 

Political leaders must make important decisions that can have significant consequences. Psychologists can study the cognitive and emotional processes involved in decision-making, as well as the personality traits and communication styles of effective leaders. Leaders are very important for any society and hence when we study them, it helps us to make out the patterns of behaviour.

Decision-making and Exploring the Psychology of Conflict

Conflict, as all of you would know is a very important part of political science and psychology helps one to understand the same. Not only does it help to solve it but at the same time it also helps us to understand how the same originated.

Psychology is the study of human behaviour and without humans, there is no political science. We have to understand that studying psychology in the light of political science helps us make sense of what politics is like and why it is that way. Not only does it help leaders and political parties but at the same time it helps commoners as well.
Decision Making Dilemma

As you already know, psychology is all about studying the behaviour of individuals but in a scientific manner. Psychology can play an important role in political science by providing insights into the behaviour and decision-making processes of individuals and groups in political contexts.

Is Psychology A Political Science?

It would be extremely wrong to say that psychology as a discipline is similar to political science and this is more because there is a gap that is quite evident. Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes, while political science is the scientific study of politics and government.

It is true that such is the nature of the two subjects and the subject matter that they have distinct approaches and areas of focus. Psychology seeks to understand individual behaviour and mental processes, while political science examines the structures, processes, and dynamics of political systems at the local, national, and international levels. While there are certainly psychological factors that influence political behaviour and decision-making, the answer to psychology and political science remains - NO.  

Political science, on the other hand, is completely concerned with political power and how it is exercised, distributed, and contested in society.

What is the Relation Between Psychology and Politics?

Finally, we come to decipher the relationship between psychology and politics. However, there is actually a much more profound relationship between the two subjects. There is a complex and multidimensional connection between psychology and politics. On one hand, political events and policies can have a significant impact on people's psychological well-being and behaviour.
For example, political instability, discrimination, and social inequality can cause stress, anxiety, and depression, which can, in turn, affect people's physical health and cognitive functioning. On the other hand, psychological research can provide valuable insights into the motivations, attitudes, and behaviours of political actors and voters.
Moreover, psychology can influence policy-making by providing evidence-based recommendations for addressing social and psychological issues. One has to keep in mind that the study of political science is all about society and how individuals interpret and assess their political jurisprudence. Psychology gives one the onus to understand why an individual behaves in a certain way and how the different mental processes formulate political standing.

Final Word About Political Science and Psychology            

The relationship between Psychology and Political Science has now resulted in their alignment in the form of a completely new subject matter which is recognized as which is known as Political Psychology. It is an interdisciplinary academic discipline that would cater to an in-depth understanding of politics, politicians and political behavior from a psychological perspective. 

The relationship between political science and psychology is considered bi-directional, with psychology being used as a lens for understanding politics and politics being used as a lens for understanding human psychology

As an interdisciplinary subject matter, political psychology has also inherited its roots from a wide range of other disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, international relations, economics, philosophy, media, journalism, and history. 

Yet the relationship between the two prominent subject matter in combination has been effective in manifold ways to throw ample light towards a better understanding of our society.

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