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What is Political Psychology?
Political psychology is a thriving field of social scientific inquiry, with roots in political science and psychology and connections to a range of other social sciences, including sociology, economics, communication, business, education, and many other fields. Political psychologists attempt to understand the psychological underpinnings, roots, and consequences of political behavior.
Some of this work enhances understanding of political phenomena by applying basic theories of cognitive processes and social relations that were originally developed outside of the domain of politics.
Other political psychology involves the development of completely new theory to provide psychological accounts of political phenomena.
Political psychology thus illuminates the dynamics of important real-world phenomena in ways that yield practically valuable information and also that enhance the development of basic theories of cognitive processes and social relations.
And all of this work helps us understand why political events unfold as they do.
The Summer Institute in Political Psychology is a three-week intensive training program that introduces graduate students, faculty members, and professionals to the world of political psychology scholarship. The curriculum is designed to accomplish one preeminent goal: to produce skilled, creative, and effective scholarly researchers who will do more and better work in political psychology as the result of their attendance at SIPP.
At the Summer Institute, participants:
- attend lectures on core topics and recent research developments, delivered by world-renowned scholars.
- receive instruction in the most important research methods used in political psychology, such as survey research, laboratory experimentation, and content analysis.
- develop your own research ideas through personal interaction with peers and specialists.
- join the international network of political psychology scholars.
Lectures By Internationally-Recognized Experts
|Morning and afternoon sessions will be devoted to two and a half hour lectures by faculty on core political psychology topics and recent research developments. Topics addressed during past summers include voting and elections, international relations, media and politics, foreign policy decision-making, public opinion formation, racism and prejudice, terrorism, bargaining and negotiation, social protest movements, group identity, political culture, and much more.|
Discussion Groups and Interest Groups
|Participants will meet daily in small groups to discuss lectures and assigned readings. The discussions will focus on applying the concepts and theories addressed in the lectures to general themes in political psychology, debating the merits of various approaches to political psychology that are raised in the lectures, and sharing participants' own research ideas and interests. Groups organized around common research interests will also meet to share ideas.|
|Participants have many opportunities to take part in planned events and spontaneous social activities, which allow for sharing ideas and having fun. Staff and participants eat lunch together every day. Stanford University and the surrounding area offer an abundance of destinations for recreational activities. The charming downtown area of Palo Alto provides a wide variety of cafes, restaurants, bookstores and movie theaters in walking distance from the Stanford campus.|
At the end of the Summer Institute, all participants receive a certificate indicating that they have completed coursework in Political Psychology.
Who Should Attend?
The Summer Institute primarily serves graduate students and qualified undergraduates in political science, psychology, sociology, and related social science disciplines. Government and private professionals in fields such as organizational behavior, international relations, and public communication are also welcome. Our maximum enrollment will be 60 participants.
The Summer Institute is directed by Dr. Jon Krosnick, who is the Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at Stanford. Author of four books and numerous journal articles and chapters, Dr. Krosnick received the Erik Erikson Early Career Award for Excellence and Creativity in the Field of Political Psychology from the International Society of Political Psychology. His political psychology research has explored topics such as how policy debates affect voters' candidate preferences, how the news media shape which national problems citizens think are most important for the nation and shape how citizens evaluate the President's job performance, how becoming very knowledgeable about and emotionally invested in a government policy issue affects people's political thinking and participation, how people's political views change as they move through the life-cycle from early adulthood to old age, and how the order of candidates' names on the ballot affect voting behavior. Dr. Krosnick also studies attitude formation and change processes and principles of optimal questionnaire design.