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Political Psychology

 

Book reviews > Political Psychology

 

Jost, T. and Sidanius, J. (eds). (2003). Political Psychology: Key Readings, London: Psychology Press

 

As a part of the Psychology Press 'Key Readings in Social Psychology' series, this is a big, 500-page book in the relatively specialized, but very important, area of political psychology.

Bridging the gap between political science and general psychology, political psychology looks more deeply into the working of the political mind and is arguably one of the most important areas of concern for aspiring politicians and their supporters today.

Jost and Sidanius, professors from NYU and UCLA respectively, have assembled a good balance of old and new writings to give a very helpful overview of this area. After a historical overview, the book is divided into seven parts, covering the following areas:

  • Personality and politics
  • Mass-media and candidate perception
  • Ideology and public opinion
  • Cognitive styles and ideological functioning
  • Challenges of decision-making
  • Prejudice, diversity and social contact
  • Conflict, violence and political transformation

In other words, a very wide spectrum, from leadership to terrorism is explored, giving something of interest to most readers.

The quality of the articles is consistently good, although the writing style, as with any such collection, does vary with each author.

Overall, this book would make an excellent text for any graduate or post-graduate course in either political psychology or political science. For the lay reader it may be a little on the heavy side, although those who are prepared to put in the necessary time and effort will be well-rewarded.

 

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John T. Jost and Jim Sidanius (Eds), Political Psychology: Key Readings, Psychology Press, 2003 

  Solid academic writings in the relatively specialized area of political psychology. Includes key papers from the past plus updates to give an excellent overview of this important area.

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