Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The relationships between psychology and politics are complex and have generated both controversy and a substantial amount of research. This entry discusses these relationships, which have been the focus of research in the subfield of political psychology in recent decades. They include personality aspects, group and mass phenomena, emotional intelligence, and political symbolism. In simplistic terms, sociology refers to collective behaviors and psychology to individual ones. Therefore, it might be expected that political researchers who adopt a collective or structural approach toward political relationships would be the most reluctant to acknowledge the relevance of political psychology, while those who support an individualistic approach would be more likely to recognize its usefulness or even to claim its necessity. But this has not occurred. Political psychology has met with much opposition from both sides. Why? After all, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose work is still highly valued by political scientists in both America ...