We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Political Psychology?

By Haven Esme
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

If politics and psychology were to meet and hold hands, you would have political psychology. Political psychology is a field that examines the relationship between psychology and politics. In essence, the political psychologist applies psychological theories to political problems. Although political science is heavily involved in the study, psychology is stressed as the central field of study.

Political psychology emerged in the 1940s, when researchers began to psychoanalyze the correlation between politics and psychology. Political psychologists are those with a desire to find out the underpinnings and consequences political behavior has on the politician and the rest of the world. In order to do this, the political psychologist applies their knowledge of social science and psychology to the world of politics.

Political psychologists try to analyze the motives of politicians, as well as provide valuable information on political social relations. People who want to know why political events happen the way that they do would be interested in political psychology. Political psychology has roots that branch into several other disciplinary fields including sociology, anthropology, philosophy, international relations, and economics. In order to come to certain conclusions, a political psychologist may examine voting and elections, racism and prejudice, public opinion, and the media.

Political psychologists usually don't limit themselves to examining, observing, and diagnosing politicians. Political psychologists may also observe the public as a whole. A political psychologist may be interested in discovering what citizens really think of their government officials, and how they feel about political events and news. For this reason, politicians have an incentive to hire political psychologists to help them persuade public opinion, win elections, and win support for various issues.

Political psychologists are also often excellent journalists who are able to provide books, essays, and commentaries on important issues that are happening in the world. Someone who has studied political psychology may be able to provide a useful analysis that can enlighten people about current events. One interesting thing political psychologists have done is create tools so that citizens can recognize politicians who have a strong inclination towards dictatorship, war, and tyranny. These types of tools can help citizens keep from voting corrupt leaders in office.

One of the most popular schools of political psychology in the US is the Summer Institute in Political Psychology. The Institute was originally held on the campus of Ohio State University before moving to Stanford University. The institute encourages students who are studying political science or psychology to gather together for three weeks of lectures and discussion.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon344263 — On Aug 07, 2013

It it not true that PP started in the 1940's, there are papers written on the topic of PP from the 1900's and even before that. The term “political psychology” was first introduced by the ethnologist Adolph Bastian in his book "Man in History" (1860).

By BostonIrish — On Dec 03, 2010

It is interesting to note that so many political leaders throughout history have had psychological disorders, especially bipolar disorder. I have heard that high serotonin levels contribute to leadership ability and can also contribute to various psychological disorders. Even among schools of fish, it has been observed that the leading fish tends to have a higher level of serotonin.

By ShadowGenius — On Dec 02, 2010

Politicians often have a strong grasp of what appeals to the voters, and hence, the psychology of voters. Understanding the wants, desires, and hopes, of a given group of people enables politicians and journalists to easily cater to them and become ideal candidates, advertising change which they know people will not turn down.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.